The Importance of Behavioral Data

by Michael Finn

Using behavioral data to make better predictions and recommendations

Observing customer behavior is a time-tested practice that organizations employ to understand consumer buying habits. Understanding your customers is crucial as you look to increase conversions, engagement, and retention for your company. At Syntasa, we believe that understanding your customers is best achieved through incorporating behavioral data to discern their brand preferences, buying habits, and product usage and delivering personalized experiences. Put your behavioral data to work and let diversified teams of marketers, developers and engineers create compelling content, engaging products, and customized customer experiences that specifically address your customers’ shopping needs.  

What is behavior?

Before the rise of digital commerce, store employees were able to observe their customers’ behavior in person. If you were an owner of a modestly sized store, keeping track of your patrons browsing and purchasing interests was a suitable method to understand their buying habits. Brick and motor companies with regular returning customers presented products their consumers could find easily based on consistent purchasing practices. This method may still work for small mom and pop stores, but it’s not a reliable way of producing a personalized experience for stores with a vast number of customers and an extensive catalog of products.

Observing customer behavior dramatically changed as the Internet transformed the way we consume our desired goods and services. Web analytics tools like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics make it easier to analyze customer interactions with your websites, mobile apps, and devices. These tools empower companies to identify popular content, underperforming content, keywords that bring visitors to your site, and other useful information that helps you connect with and understand your customers. But while these analytics tools provide helpful reporting, they don’t provide insight into each individual visitor.

Why does my organization need to use behavioral data?

As your business goes digital, your behavioral data becomes incredibly valuable. It is generated from page views, product views, product purchases, downloads from content offer pages, newsletter signups, and other forms of user engagement. Digital businesses look to their websites, mobile applications, CRM systems, marketing automation systems, and help centers as main sources of behavioral data.

Behavioral data is crucial in optimizing your company’s conversion, engagement, and retention. This goes beyond the “what” and “how” a customer engages with your company. When you have your customer’s behavioral data at your fingertips, you can now analyze the “why” of customer behavior. For example, why is a customer looking at a certain product and not buying it?

Better Data

Enterprise tools like Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics 360 do provide access to behavioral data. And while this behavioral data is undeniably valuable, it is also difficult to deal with due to the massive volumes and complex data structures. The data is provided at extremely granular levels – called hits – and this activity must be synthesized into sessions and individuals using an ID graph. Syntasa runs natively in all major clouds (GCP, AWS, and Azure) to meet this scaling challenge and deliver behavioral data pipelines at the individual level. Now add enterprise data (like purchase transactions, subscriptions, and content consumption) and this combined pipeline becomes a platform for analysts to evaluate relationships between devices and engagement across multiple sessions. This depth of information gives organizations a thorough look at individual behavior, and it goes beyond surface-level analytics that features overall website activity.

Behavioral data strengthens your organization as you begin to understand your customers at the individual level. You can completely transform your marketing campaigns and personalized recommendations when you begin to combine data from your websites, applications, and devices with enterprise data. This, in turn, allows you to utilize this data to your advantage and create personalized experiences for your visitors and customers.

Better Analytics

Providing a personalized experience for your customers starts with using analytics tools like Tableau or Qlik for both in-depth reporting and visualizations. These tools empower your analysts to aggregate your raw data into dashboards, charts, and visualizations to analyze your data and insights further. This was precisely the case of a prominent news organization based in the U.K. With over 25 million unique visitors to their website, the global media brand suffered from fragmented data across three different media platforms. They leveraged their data with Syntasa’s assistance and organized it into dashboards and business reports. And their analysts are now able to quickly answer business questions like, “What is the size of our overall audience?” using ad hoc queries.

Better Decisions

With your behavioral data incorporated into a pipeline, you can use it to make better decisions. Some brands will want their decisions driven by business rules, like building an audience of visitors that put a certain item in their shopping cart. Others will want their data science team to use Syntasa’s cutting edge AI/ML capabilities to find patterns in behavior. These companies are using the power of big data to predict the interests and intent of each individual. Their predictions are informed by past behaviors of individual visitors on a website. This is how a worldwide technology manufacturer is building models to predict which visitors are likely to purchase a specific product and add them to a targeted campaign for that product.

Better Actions

The ultimate value of behavioral data is activating these decisions, informed by the types of items they look at, in what order, and what products they decide to purchase, to your consumers at the right moment in their journey. This is exactly what Dixons Carphone is now able to do as they generate real-time personalized product recommendations on their website. As a result, they have experienced a 300% uplift in attachment rate with their customer’s shopping baskets.

Behavioral data is much more than just data. It allows you to predict the future – by anticipating your customer’s needs and behavior. Thanks to recent advancements in cloud-based big data processing and machine learning, accurately predicting your customer behavior is now possible. Instead of relying on general observations, your company can realize the power of personalization – based on behavioral data. If you’re interested to learn more about the power of behavioral data for your brand, we’d love to help. Request a free trial today.

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Michael Finn

VP of Product Marketing at Syntasa

Mike is VP of Product Marketing at Syntasa (a Marketing AI Platform loved by Marketers, Data Scientists, and Data Engineers for its ability to unlock real value from their enterprise and clickstream data).