Objective: Data Capture

There are occasions when companies need to capture potential customers data.  This is often used to build a contact database, which can be used for future marketing communication.

Using the right marketing strategy will ensure you are collecting personal information for people who are relevant to your business.  This might not just apply to potential customers, but business partners or suppliers alike.  Success lies in the number of people who submit their information, but also the accuracy of the information given.

There are numerous ways to collect personal data and on various platforms.  However it is generally advisable to navigate a ‘customer’ (or other groups of relevance) to your website.   Not only does this give the website exposure, but enables you to manage the information that is given to people at each stage of the process.  A strong call to action should be provided to lead people to a dedicated offer page that provides more information on the offer and additional reasons why people should provide their information.  The below image shows how each of these elements direct people to a dedicated page or ‘microsite’ and then to the database, which is where the information is stored.

How Digital Marketing can direct visitors to a data capture page
How Digital Marketing can direct visitors to a data capture page

The key to creating a high response is a strong offer with a clear reason why people would want to give up their information.  An offer can take many forms; competitions, money off vouchers, free reports, access to exclusive content or website membership etc.  A compelling competition and/or special offer is created that appeals specifically to your target audience, to help ensure that only relevant people provide their information.   The more information that is needed generally the more compelling the offer must be.

Once the offer is created, relevant marketing activity needs conducting to drive people to the data capture page. The most effective of these can be seen in the image above, but are:

  1. Social Marketing
  2. Search Engine Optimisation
  3. Search Engine Marketing (Pay per Click)
  4. Display Advertising (Contextual)

For the online PR effort third party websites and blogs need to be identified and contacted.  Building a relationship with the site owners is crucial if they are to promote your offer on their website.  Again, relevance here is the key as content owners will only promote something that they deem interesting and think their readers will value.  As such the promotion should not be blatantly sales driven, but focus on creating an editorial style around the  businesses industry and promotion. This makes the content easier for the editor to use straight away as an article and increases the success rate of partners promoting your offer.

A consistent message is built around the agreed offer and used across  marketing material that is needed for each party of the activity.  As with any marketing effort consistency of messaging is crucial. This applies to text and imagery alike.  In this case, advertising banners, imagery, call to action text and editorial articles. are produced.  The below image shows how a competition to “Win 7 nights luxury accommodation” is used across all marketing efforts.

An example of how PR is used throughout a Digital Marketing strategy to capture potential customers data
An example of how PR is used throughout a Digital Marketing strategy to capture potential customers data

Display advertising is generally used to drive large numbers directly to the data collection page with a simple, but strong call to action, which communicates the offer.  Social Media and online PR on the other hand is used to build interest and trust in the offer within relevant online groups.  Greater detail can be given using these approaches and can put people at ease when giving up their information.  This increases the number of people who give up their information, as they begin to trust you and the offer’s credibility.

As we discussed above key difference between lead generation and data capture is (often) the need for a dedicated microsite or landing page on your current website.  This page must provide full competition information, terms and conditions, a privacy policy, as well as a contact form to collect the necessary data.

The information that is collected is stored on a dedicated and maintained database until the offer expires, when the data is then collected and sent to you in your preferred format.