Personalized marketing - customer data gathering tips.
Len Smofsky Aug 07 ,2018


Looking to gain a better perspective on who your customers are and what motivates them?
Some marketers are guilty of gathering data that only scrapes the surface. The most successful personalized campaigns are developed by companies who were able to peel back the layers and really understand their complex and diverse customer base.

Ultimately, the rich customer data you collect will enable you to segment and analyze so you can determine what messaging works for each individual.

But where do you come across these valuable insights? Ask yourself these two simple questions:

  • How can I get the data I need without scaring customers away?
  • What is the best method to gather data from our target audience?



Building a level of trust with your customer is just as important as learning about them. Before you start collecting data, make sure your company adheres to the following “Golden Rules”.

  1. Be as transparent as possible. Always ask for your user’s permission to share their personal information.
  2. Provide a benefit to the consumer. “By sharing your personal data, we will be able to give you specialized offers catered to your interests.”
  3. Don’t get too hasty. Build and nurture your relationship with the customer before asking for data.
  4. Create and stick to a data policy.
  5. Ask for only what you need. Don’t overwhelm your customer with long questions and forms.
  6. Keep all of the information relevant.

Related Article: The most important that you generate a level of trust and provide them a benefit as to why you’re collecting the information. Read our article: “Personalized Marketing: How Personal is Too Personal?”


There are several opportunities throughout your customer acquisition process and journey where you can learn about your customers.


When a customer is making a transaction with you online, there is an inherit exchange of basic contact information like their name, address, and what was purchased.

In order to go beyond the basic data, you can urge the customer to register for an account with you or sign up for your loyalty program should you have one in place.

During that sign-up process, you can ask for details like their social media profile, their hobbies and interests, and other personal details.

Once enough purchases are made, you can then start to define a purchasing pattern and behaviour that can influence future timely communications.


Surveys offer a great way to collect a lot of information from your customers at once. You have the opportunity to gain longer answers about your customer’s relationship with your brand. (Hint: when using long form questions, leverage the learnings for SEO! You have a valuable opportunity to experience how your customers organically speak about your brand and products.)

Here are a couple questions your survey should look to answer:

  • What would make you consider a competitor over us?
  • What’s the reason you keep coming back?
  • How can we improve our online experience?

It’s important to respect your customers’ time and prevent people giving up halfway through. Ensure this by providing an estimate of how long the survey could take.

The best way to incentivize your visitors to enter their own survey submissions is to offer special rewards or deals. You may find that customers are willing to trade $5 off their next order or free shipping in exchange for 5-10 minutes of their time.


Competitions are great way to generate a quick list of emails and names that can then be used to run a contest. When a large prize is involved, customers are more willing to exchange their personal information.


By recording every online chat, interaction, email chain, and phone call, you can gather key insights like:

  • What made the customer purchase from us in the past?
  • What were some concerns they raised?
  • How were your representatives able to solve any problems that arose during the call?
  • Are there any frequently asked questions you can resolve in your marketing?

Over time, you will start to notice trends in some of the obstacles your customers are encountering. Then you can determine how your marketing communications can alleviate those concerns in order to make happier customers and customer representatives.


Personalized video is the most effective way to engage your customers. However, to implement a personalized video campaign, you need to already have access to key customer data.

Interactive video has the power to entertain, educate, and engage your customer, while gathering crucial data at the personal or aggregate level. Watch in the video below how after a couple questions, one customer is directed to a product that works for their unique financial situation.

Related article: Intrigued by the prospect of engaging your customers with interactive video? Review these “6 Types of Interactive Video for Your Business”.


The sooner you invest in creating a rich customer database, the better. The more your database matures, the better you will get at discerning which consumer data sets are providing the most value and which data collection methods are working for your company.

For more insight into how you can creating successful personalized marketing campaigns with video, stay tuned to the BlueRush blog.

About the author: Len Smofsky

Len Smofsky

Len has over 25 years of experience in visual communications and strategy. Over the last decade his focus has been primarily in the digital area.

Specializing in corporate communications, Len founded one of Canada’s most successful production companies. His company created leading edge video production, TV commercials, digital strategy and media.

In 2006, Len and Larry formed a partnership to create a new BlueRush with the intent of creating personalized customer experiences using a unique blend of digital media and deep technology capabilities. BlueRush works with clients in the financial services, healthcare and packaged goods industries leveraging current digital technologies and services, creating great user experiences at all points in the customer journey.


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