Data collection is a must in today’s business world. Data provides an in-depth insight into how prospects interact with particular products or services. There are several sources of data depending on the type of business you run. Any form of data collected will help you create a marketing strategy that bears fruits within the desired period. We have discussed the types and methods of data collection and tools that you can use to make the whole process a success.
Types and Methods of Data Collection
Your business decisions should be data-driven at all times to ensure that you are at par with the needs of your customers. We have discussed the two types of data collection and the available data collection tools to help you get started.
1. Primary Data Collection
Primary data collection is getting information directly from the targeted audience. The data collection tools used in this type of research depends on the objectives of your research. Some of the data collection tools you can use include:
Email is one of the most affordable ways of reaching your target audience. Most emailing service providers enable you to customize templates so as to match your business overall look and touch. The features also provide analysis and click-through rates so that you able to personalize your headings and subjects lines in your emails. The email platforms also will give you information about bounce rate.
- This kind of information will help you create a marketing strategy that will increase your conversions.
Landing pages are powerful digital data collection tools. The pages are purposefully for collecting the user information in exchange for a free gift; it can be a coupon code or an eBook. Some of the most common types of landing pages include; webinars, sign-ups for memberships and online newsletters. Most businesses generate more than half of their leads through the use of landing pages, therefore making it one of the most efficient ways in which you can in co-operating data collection into your business.
Interviews can be individual and group based. The data from the interview process can be collected in an audio form or taken as notes. The main purpose of an interview is to get first-hand information about an audience’s honest response about given products and services. During face to face interviews, the respondents have no time to consider their answers thus giving the interviewer an upper hand in getting an honest opinion about the subject at hand.
Surveys are an excellent way of collecting a large amount of information from a population. A survey can help you determine your audience needs and interests. These findings can help you develop products and services that solve their problems.
The online survey is time-saving, cheap and accurate. Most common types of surveys are E- surveys which are usually as a result of an email invitation. For you to carry out a successful survey:
- You need to have a list of correspondents with their correct email address
- Determine whether there is an internet connection in your target audience working environment.
- You need to draft straightforward questions that are not likely to take more than 10 minutes to answer.
A focus group is a small group of individuals that fit your audience. These people can discuss with you about their needs, interests and attitudes. Your role as the group leader is to encourage an honest opinion so that you can drive your product or service development in the right direction.
Customer Relations Management
This type of data collection is aimed at determining the relationship with customers. They simply sum up the customer’s interaction with products or services and give pinpoints on where and how to improve customer service. As a business CRM is crucial data collecting tool that can provide you with an insight on how to maintain and attract clients.
With the questionnaire method, data can be collected using social media; email or even short message. The questions for the exercises are drafted earlier and sent to the desired respondents. The respondents will then answer them depending on their opinions. A questionnaire is an effective data collection tool when the questions are clear.
Social media is a good platform to listen to people’s opinions. This way you are able to know which opportunities to tap into. You will be able to gather information about products that your competitors offer that you don’t. You can also determine your brand awareness and attitude of your target audience towards your offers.
How your competitors are interacting with their clients on social media is another factor you have to examine. Pay attention to what your audience says about your competition. You do not have to participate through the data collecting process when it comes to social media; you may choose to observe and take notes.
Consumer panels can be used to monitor customer behaviour directly or indirectly. The consumers’ opinions are then recorded on a regular basis depending on the products and services offered by a brand. The consumer panels also take customers purchasing trends into account. You may also capture the buyer’s preferences in terms of services or products.
2. Secondary Data Collection
Secondary data collection involves obtaining information from documents, reports and statistics. This type of data collection is cheap compared to primary data collection. It is the type most preferred by start-ups and medium-sized entities. Here are some sources where you can get data from:
Trade publications are news or magazine articles that make their reports available online. These reports when analysed well, give an insight into a company’s performance and that of the specific industry. In most cases, the news articles contain information from leading companies in a certain industry about new innovations, plans and strategies for conversions.
Government publications are published online and can help provide related information about specific products and services. Even though you may not find the data format appealing, it may take some manipulation to make it useful.
Industry associations deal with information about the specific industry in terms of listed companies, sales and innovations. Industry associations are a great source of information for individuals aiming at learning about a new industry.
Most established companies publish their public relation reports on their websites and are available to everyone. These companies provide information mainly related to customer relations, sales structures and methods, targeted market and many more. This type of data enables you to determine which strategies to use to improve your products to meet the needs and interests of your target audience.
At this point, you already know where to get useful data to help you strategize properly. Cross-checking pieces of information against each other will help you identify outliers and trends so that you are able to get a clear picture of whom you are targeting with your products and services.
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