Data, data, data. It's what drives modern marketing efforts. It only stands to reason, then, that more data is better, right? Um, no. Collecting too much customer data can lead to TMI (too much information, for those of you without texting teenagers). When have you crossed the line from personalized customer service into creepy stalker marketing type?
Confusing the Business Self With the Personal Self
Jane is a technical writer. All day, she researches cloud computing and mobile technology. But outside of work, Jane is an avid golfer, a passionate cook, and cares nothing for the latest mobile gadgets or public cloud security feature. Are you advertising to Jane's business self on her personal accounts? Don't do that. Jane doesn't like it.
Assuming the Customer is Okay Giving You All That Data
Marketers often assume that customers are cool with forking over all of their personal info, and that it's a fair trade off for getting great offers and discounts. Studies, however, show that customers are not too keen on giving out personal details. They are more resigned to having to do it than they are accepting of it. In order to avoid TMI, make sure you aren't asking more than your customers have a tolerance for answering.
Practical Reasons to Consider Before Collecting Too Many Data Points
Aside from the creep factor, there are some practical reasons not to collect more data than necessary. First, it can slow down the sales process, and that gives buyers more time to opt out and walk away from the sale. All that data is also hard to manage, and once it's collected it has to be stored, processed, analyzed, and kept secure -- each of which rack up additional costs and trouble. Why collect trouble when all you need is valuable customer data?
Using Too Much Empathy Without Objective Data
When a marketer truly loves their product and is passionate about it, that's a wonderful thing. But too much empathy for the customer without gathering actual data is dangerous. For example, say you market weight loss products. You might have struggled with a weight problem yourself and found that your company's product was excellent. Just because you had that experience, don't assume that all customers are just like you. They may not share your family history, body type, food temptations, exercise obstacles, and other challenges. Do get enough data to actually know your customers.
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