Why Behavior Data Is The New Unfair Advantage You Need
Two, 5 or maybe 10 years from now, the story of you and all the other companies in your industry will be exactly like Amazon vs. Walmart, Target, Sears, KMart, etc. There will be a couple who turned out sort of okay. There’ll be a lot of losers and one amazing success story. You can be the success story, and here’s how.
Everybody’s talking about mobile device data, big data and behavior data. But the real question is: How should you be using this data right now? (And yes, you should be.)
Think for a moment about how people act and what this tells you. For example, the armed forces know they’ve had a lot of success recruiting young people who:
- Have a veteran (or someone currently serving) in the household.
- Visited an armed forces website.
- Are taking some responsibility (looking for a job, getting a car or planning for college).
This is a great example of propensities. In this case, a person with a high propensity to join the military. People who behave a certain way are more likely to take an expected action. The more criteria they fit, the higher the propensity they have (the more likely they are) to act.
Notice the first item (veteran in the house) is a simple demographic. Marketers have known about and used demographics for years. And what about the website visitors? Cookies and targeting pixels can often be matched to specific people with their consent. (They entered their email, filled out a form or requested information.)
But what about the last item? Back in the day, there were only desktop and laptop computers. Now, almost everyone uses their mobile device.
Keyword tools can tell you what searches people type into Google. But can you see how the apps people install on their phones tell you so much about them? They tell you people’s lifestyles, habits, even the purchases they are about to make.
How can you use this information? Well, you could make a list of certain apps and target anyone who uses them. One little problem with that: tons of brand new apps are popping up on people’s phones every day. Your criteria is obsolete before you can use it.
How can you solve this? Categories. Every app falls into a finite number of categories. In the example above, some apps fall into the job-seeking category. Other apps are for college planning.
If you sell cars, imagine how useful it would be to know that someone in your area is searching for a car right now. Either on your lot or a competitor’s. Even if they’re searching for Fords and you sell Chevy – wouldn’t you like to know about them? And as you can see, behavior data not only tells you who – but can tell you when to make people offers.
It gets better. To get the best deals, consumers are happily revealing their location through their devices. And even the purchases they make. Can you see the opportunities here?
Yet there’s another reason you should be using behavior data now. Earl Nightingale, one of the first business philosophers said something really powerful:
“If you really want success…you can get a head start by looking at what everybody else is doing and do the opposite.”
It’s strange advice for those not familiar, but it’s a great strategy for those who are serious about improving their business. Let’s deal in reality here. Most people want 100% certainty before they dive into a marketing method. (And most people make excuses instead of progress, too.)
Mobile device data, behavior data and propensities are still new. And yes, there will always be a bit of unknown in any marketing strategy. Yet the risk behind behavior data is far lower, far safer than just using demographic data or all those marketing tactics people used in past decades. When you use methods like behavior data to narrow your focus and target a specific audience, you don’t just get a little better – your marketing gets exponentially better.
Not everyone will act on this. Some will just talk. Others will wait and see. And that’s why some companies will sort of do ok. Most of them will fail. And only a few will win big.
What will you do?
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