How to use Progressive Profiling in marketing intelligence automation

No two customers are the sameProgressive profiling has been introduced by email service providers and marketing automation companies as an elegant proxy for surveys. Because these are mini-surveys and are contextually relevant, customers are more open to sharing information. The technology can provide more data on customers. But how to extract insights? And how to deploy these insights for marketing intelligence automation? These are the questions discussed here.

There are two tactical considerations with the same underlying issue of actionability.

  1. 1-1 marketing: Survey data can yield valuable high-level insights into the market – the size, the opportunity, the wants, the needs, the strengths relative to the competition, the weaknesses and the growth opportunities. These insights are based on a few thousand customers and are not mapped to the complete database. Without the mapping the digital marketer cannot undertake 1-1 marketing. [Social media channels such as Facebook can address this gap but most businesses lack the capital and capabilities to build the follower-base]
  2. Customer experience design: A simple way progressive profiling has been used is in designing the customer experience around single questions. This is an interesting option but risky. It can limit retail opportunities. [Perhaps the reason Ikea makes you walk a rabbit maze to get to the ficus tree you came to buy].

The first issue can be handled elegantly by using market research to build a behavioral segmentation of the customer database. See How-direct-marketers-should-use-market-research-but-don-t . However, this is not an exact science. Thedata adequacy score referenced in the linked post limits the quality of the segmentation. Progressive profiling augments knowledge on customer wants and needs to improve the market research mapping.

The second issue is addressed by using behavioral segmentation to design the customer experience in email marketing and the web site experience.

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