Data is possibly the most important tool in a marketer’s arsenal. Without it, you’re essentially taking shots in the dark, hoping your campaigns will magically hit the bullseye. Backed with insightful data, though, you can turn on the light and make informed, intentional decisions.
But with all the data available in the world, how to best gather, analyze, and use it is a point of much debate. That’s where data enrichment comes in. This method allows companies to flesh out existing customer data and organize it in a way that allows for highly personalized (and highly effective) marketing campaigns.
What is Data Enrichment?
Data enrichment is the process of supplementing existing data with additional information to achieve a more holistic understanding of customers or prospects. A brand might have millions of names in their database, but often it is just that—names and maybe email addresses. Without a proper process for categorizing, adding additional data, and drawing insights from your customer data, your brand will struggle to segment and re-engage customers.
With data enrichment—also known as a data append—you can fill in the gaps to learn more about your customers and, ultimately, take meaningful action to drive greater sales and loyalty.
Why Does Data Enrichment Matter?
Data enrichment helps you understand your customers on a deeper level and aids in creating targeted marketing campaigns. For example, if you know that a customer is a member of the military, you can send Veteran’s Day or Military Appreciation Month promotions their way. Rather than blasting your entire customer base with a deal that may not be relevant, you can share it directly with those who are eligible.
Knowing how to append customer data helps you develop the best tactics for reaching the groups that matter most to your brand.In addition, data enrichment can help you:
- Drive Personalization: When you understand more about your customers and the groups they fall into, you can create more targeted content, product recommendations, and marketing campaigns that speak to their specific pain points.
- Improve Data Accuracy: Incomplete customer profiles with outdated data can be misleading, potentially leading you down the wrong path when it comes to marketing. Enriching your existing customer data ensures you’re getting a fuller picture of your customers.
- Boost Sales: Up-to-date, accurate data means more effective marketing, and more effective marketing translates into increased conversions and higher ROI.
- Develop New Products and Services: Knowing more about your customers gives you insight that can help you build products that more effectively meet their needs.
How to Enrich Customer Data
Here’s how data enrichment typically works: a brand hands over select elements of their customer data (for example, names and email addresses) to a company for enrichment. That company can then enrich the data on a number of different fields, depending on what you’re looking to learn. For instance, some companies enrich data with information such as household size, income level, or even occupation, such as if the customer is a student or a teacher.
Here are some specific ways in which you can use data enrichment:
Build Out Identity Graphs
Identity graphs ensure that all customer data is tied to one specific consumer identity. For example, if you have various pieces of data about Jane Doe in different data silos and software systems, an identity graph would consolidate the data so Jane Doe’s three email addresses, her phone number, and the fact that she is a military member are all attached to her name and accessible from a single location. Data enrichment takes what is in your identity graph now and adds even more information to customer profiles.
Reduce Marketing Spend
A brand’s marketing budget can take up to 9.5% of the company’s total revenue as of 2022.You want to make the most of those dollars—especially with the very real threat of an economic recession on the horizon. Data enrichment is an excellent strategy to make your marketing more efficient and targeted, ensuring that your budget is put to good use. For instance, you could send information about a discount for new movers just to people who have bought a home recently rather than wasting resources promoting it to your entire customer base.
Audience segmentation is the process of separating your audience into groups, or segments, that share common characteristics. There are many different ways you can segment your audience, such as by using demographics, geographic commonalities, shared behaviors, or psychographic traits. Regardless of the segments you choose, data enrichment gives you the insight you need to segment your audience into meaningful groups. Including segmentation in your marketing strategy allows you to offer personalized campaigns, improve product development, boost customer acquisition efforts, and generate loyalty.
When using data enrichment for segmentation, consider filtering by consumer community. Consumer communities are groups that share affiliations based on deep-seated commonalities, such as profession or lifestage. For instance, the military community shares many traits, and members often identify highly with this aspect of their lives. In fact, 85% of the military strongly identify with this affiliation.
Because of this identification, when you target consumers based on these communities, you touch them in a highly personal way that builds a positive brand relationship. In particular, gated offers for these communities makes them feel valued and appreciated. The emotional element makes this type of data more impactful than other forms, such as demographic data, and more effectively connects your brand with customers.
6 Steps to Building a Sound Data Enrichment Strategy
Define Your Needs & KPIs
It’s important to be sure you aren’t just collecting data at random. If you’re going to enrich data, there needs to be a specific purpose behind it. For example, perhaps your goal is using data to re-engage customers and improve retention. In that case, you might want to just enrich data for people who haven’t engaged with your brand recently to learn more about how to encourage repeat purchases.
Whatever your goal, construct a thorough data enrichment plan before you leap. As part of this plan, you’ll want to define what KPIs you’ll use to measure success.
Evaluate Your Data Set
Next, take a look at the data you have currently. Do you have an email list? Phone numbers? Purchase history? What audience groups can you identify? Given the needs you defined in the previous step, determine any gaps in your data. Perhaps you have contact info but know nothing about where these consumers live, how much they make, or their affiliations. Make note of what you have and what you want to learn.
Now it’s time to break your audience into relevant segments. As explained above, there are many ways you can segment your audience, from where they live to the devices they use to shop. Make sure you’re being thoughtful and considering what audiences are most relevant to your brand. For instance, if your brand sells video games, Gen Z and students will likely be an excellent group to target.
Implement Data Enriching Tools
Once all the preparation is complete, you can begin the actual data enrichment process. Take your data and either hand it over to a data enrichment company or run it through a data enrichment tool. Data enrichment tools will organize your data according to the parameters provided, leaving you with clear information presented in a logical format.
Run Targeted Campaigns
After you have all your data neatly organized, you can put it to work. Take the insights from the data enrichment phase and use it to build personalized campaigns for the audience segments you identified.
After you’ve launched a campaign, you need to then analyze its performance. Consider what worked and what didn’t. Take any lessons learned and apply those to the next campaign. From there, rinse and repeat as you continue refining your campaigns and adapting to market changes.
Making Data Enrichment Work for You
Data enrichment is one of the best ways to connect with your audience. It allows you to achieve a fuller, more insightful understanding of your buyers and use that information to engage them in meaningful ways.
SheerID’s Audience Development is a data enrichment product that can let your brand know what consumer communities your customers belong to. For example, Audience Development can identify military members, students, and teachers. Knowing the communities your customers belong to helps your brand build highly personalized campaigns. Ultimately, when you target consumers based on who they are as people, you connect with them on an emotional level and generate long-term customer loyalty.