Websites are Marketing Machines

Websites are meant to lead viewers and customers into an immersive environment where they can learn, watch and read about you and your services.

The Web has become an incredibly powerful digital tool which functions as a lead generation and data capture engine. In the same way retail stores have begun capturing data for marketing purposes.

Almost every major retailer, from grocery chains to investment banks to the U.S. Postal Service, has a “predictive analytics” department devoted to understanding not just consumers’ shopping habits but also their personal habits, so as to more efficiently market to them.

This era of customer supplied information and social forensics will lead us towards a personalized web browsing experience.

Running Like a Machine

Imagine if Garmin collected all of the data from runners around the world. All of a sudden Garmin knows at what time their customers are running, or walking, where they exercise and for how long.

“If you use a credit card or a coupon, or fill out a survey, or mail in a refund, or call the customer help line, or open an e-mail we’ve sent you or visit our Web site, we’ll record it and link it to your Guest ID,” Pole said. “We want to know everything we can.”

This is how Target figured out a teen girl was pregnant before her father did. They made sense of the information they were collecting,  found useful patterns and used this information to create powerful advertising campaigns.

In digital marketing this process of comprehending and discerning meaning involves a computer-automated analysis of blog postings, comments, reading habits, likes and anything else customers share online, looking for insights into how ideas spread and buyers buy.

Do you believe businesses should use customer data if it helps create personalized marketing?

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Closing Thought:

I think digital marketing is starting to look more like art & science, rather than just science.

photo credit: Nick-K (Nikos Koutoulas) via cc


Mike Toner

Based in Alexandria, Virginia Michael is the Manager of Social Media at Navy Federal Credit Union. By evening, he's a husband, dog owner and runner. Toner writes about social media strategy, tools, training and best practices for social and digital marketing programs.


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