Data enrichment refers to the detailed process of enhancing collected customer data in order to make it more relevant for your context. This is done through mining and building on your customer profiles as well as by combining first-party with third-party data.  First-party data refers to data that comes directly from your customer. Third-party data enrichment is information that is leveraged by a trusted third-party source. Data enrichment is what takes your customer data to the next level in order to better understand your customer base and their needs. This in turn will maximise your data's potential to be more useful to your business. 

Understanding the problem

The first priority in the data enrichment process is to itemise the reasons you require the extra data and what you would use it for. The desired result will affect what is required from your data enrichment strategy which can take five different directions:

Web analytics

It is vital to understand your customer’s online behaviour. On-site web analytics like cookies will track your customer’s moves on your website and give you intricate insights into what your customers are doing on your site. For example, what products are catching their attention. This gives enormous insight into what is drawing in traffic and how this content is engaging them once there.

Email engagement

Most consumers still prefer email engagement as their preferred method of communication. This makes email a very strategic communication channel worthy of investment. In order to understand this channel one should study your customer’s email engagement behaviour. From this, you can then understand how to segment your subscribers, how to optimise your messaging, how often to communicate and how to personalise communication with each individual customer in mind.

Data capturing

Surveys and forms can be a highly effective way of enriching your database. The reason this is so vital is that armed with this info you can then customise the interaction according to specific needs. Bear in mind that you should never ask for too much from a customer at any given point. Rather, you need to profile over time. The best place to start is with personal details, contact methods and data protection and then as time goes on you can increase this with more detailed information about their needs and preferences. 

Loyalty and rewards programs

It’s not always easy getting customers to share information with you. But if you offer something in return for their information, they will be more open to changing their minds. Remember to steer clear of triggering words like “free”, “collect” and “opportunity” as spam filters will catch them. Alternatively, friendlier words like “rewards” and “loyalty” won’t be picked up as spam and will also entice your customer to read on. 

Strategic social media

Mobile phones own a massive share of website traffic. What this boils down to is that all email communication also needs to be optimised for mobile devices so they can be read easily on the run. It also means that communication should cross-pollinate with social media strategies. Facebook shares a lot of insights about customers like hobbies and interests, which can prove useful when trying to get to know your customer and communicate with them. 

The bottom line

When you communicate with your customers it’s vital to be as specific as possible. Enriching your data empowers you to build your customer profile and speak to customers in a more strategic way. This process needs to be ongoing and maintained with the long-term game in mind.  By capturing data, building and developing it and then extracting key insights you will then be able to enrich your data and personalise a far more effective communication strategy in your business.

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