As technology continues to advance, businesses are changing the way they gather and utilize data. Most brands now rely on online data to study the market and understand consumer behaviors. When browsing the internet, customers leave a meaningful data trail that helps marketers and researchers make informed business decisions and improve user experience. At the helm of this process are digital marketing metadata and behavioral data.
What is Digital Marketing Metadata?
Very simply, digital marketing metadata contains information needed to understand and effectively use data. This includes data content, quality, structure, and accessibility. In other words, digital metadata is all of the underlying attributes related to all the interactions and content your users engage in. This is the data generated when online information is acquired, created, deleted, or updated from a data system within an enterprise data architecture. Therefore, you can use this data to study and understand the actions taking place within all of your digital experiences.
It is an integral part of marketing as it conveys information about web pages, images, videos, documents, and more. For instance, a video file on your website or social media pages may include metadata information like the name and size of the file, the date it was created, a description of the content, video length, or resolution.
What is Behavioral Data?
Behavioral data includes all information gathered from consumer product usage, buying habits, and preferences. This includes information from a customer’s events and activities on the website. However, part of this information is only digital metadata because not all consumer product usage delivers behavioral data. In fact, only digital product usage delivers behavioral data from customer engagement with a business.This type of data is generated through customer engagement with a business. As such, companies can gather behavioral data from email signups, page views, button clicks, video playback, mobile app use, websites, help desk, and more.
For years, marketers and researchers have been using declarative data to make informed decisions. However, this data form suffers from the challenge of getting accurate information because it depends on self-reporting. On the contrary, behavioral data cannot be manipulated because it is collected using tech to more accurately understand customer intent. This also means that behavioral data is more reliable than traditional forms of data.
Behavioral data is also beneficial to the research process because there no memory lapses on the part of the participants. The data is all about consumer actions, which means a single set of data can speak a lot of volume to the marketing team and help them make informed business decisions. It goes beyond traditional analytics by assisting marketers in asking questions virtually and receiving the answers they need. It also provides solutions to why and how customers react to content, products, and services in different manners.
Understanding Behavioral Data
Behavioral data is created and stored in the form of an event. In this context, an event is an action taken by the consumer. This data allows marketers to get the most out of their user experience, marketing campaigns, and even increase customer engagement. For instance, a marketing team that sends out an email campaign with the intention of increasing the company website traffic can easily monitor the success of the email by looking at the blog with the most views and demographics of the blog visitors. This data can be used to successfully optimize customer acquisition, identify the demographics of their loyal customers, and have a clear understanding of how customers are engaging with their products and services.
For product managers, behavioral data creates a product road map and optimizes user engagement. For instance, a product manager looking to find out more and monitor an app’s new features can use behavioral data to track a user’s discovery while choosing those features. This implies that product teams can fully understand how users behave, measure engagement, proactively isolate, and identify new user behavior.
How Does Behavioral Data Work?
Understanding how behavioral data works helps organizations get a better perspective of consumer behavior, which is vital in creating customized products to meet their needs. Ideally, the use of behavioral data in marketing involves the following steps:
- Data Collection. Data is collected from various sources including websites, CRM platforms, and applications. Consumers’ information is gathered even without their knowledge through these primary sources. This is done through cookies that are found on various platforms. However, the fact remains that consumers are not aware of when this data is captured and stored.
- Data Segmentation. This involves breaking the initial data collected into smaller pieces to represent different categories. For instance, you could segment the data of people who have been active on your mobile app in the past month from those who have not. Your segmented data will largely depend on your type of business and your marketing goals.
- Data Implementation. This is where the data generated is put into use and targeted adverts present it to a specific audience. Data implementation is not just carried out without adequate knowledge of the customer’s buying behaviors and need. It is done after a thorough review of the data collected and optimized to help marketers make the right business decision.
Benefits of Behavioral Data
Behavior data provides rich information that is beneficial to brands in several ways. Since this type of data does not rely on human memory, it allows marketers to observe a set of collected data that is complete and more accurate. This will help marketers make more informed business decisions. The main benefits of behavioral data to organizations include the following:
- Understand consumer buying behavior. The primary reason for collecting behavioral data is to understand the customer’s behavior. With this understanding, companies can provide the right products or services that are tailored to meet their needs and improve the customer experience.
- Anticipate future consumer needs. Behavioral data helps organizations to anticipate future consumer needs. With a good understanding of this data, marketers can anticipate future consumer needs based on their present and offer them products that meet those needs.
- Better and faster innovation. Through valuable behavioral data, organizations can also figure out different trends and patterns, which were unimaginable to become better and more innovative.
- Efficiently drive business goals. Behavioral data puts an end to the concept of doing business based on intuition and predictions. Through this process, you can benefit from more efficient use of time, employees, and other resources.
- Real-time collection. Through cloud computing technologies, behavioral data can be collected in real-time and processed programmatically. This implies that a product researcher can analyze data in hours rather than weeks or months.
Understanding Digital Marketing Metadata
Digital marketing metadata plays a critical role in organizing and displaying content. With proper use of this data, your marketing efforts can reach their maximum potential. You will be able to increase your brand visibility and improve the searchability of your content on the web.
For digital marketing metadata to be effective, it must be persistent and available to provide timely information that could be complex and heterogeneous. At the same time, marketers and product researchers need a centralized platform that employs metadata to promote efficient management, centralized administration reusability, scalability, and that acts as a single source of truth for the organization.
Benefits of Metadata
There are so many benefits that metadata offers to the enterprise, including the following:
- Extends data longevity. Usually, a data set’s lifespan is short due to missing relevant metadata. However, developing and maintaining comprehensive metadata can reduce data’s natural tendencies to degrade over time.
- Efficient Management. Metadata gives room for efficient data management; this implies that all information can be stored and managed in a centralized location, which creates a single source of truth. In this centralized system, data from different sources can be combined through a metadata layer to give room for useful business analyses and execution.
- Security and Governance. Metadata also provides room for securing and governing data derived from multiple sources. An object-based architecture allows for control of all data that include reports, dashboards, and configuration. Since everything is treated as objects, it gives the business ease of mind that their data are secured on a single platform viewable only by desired business users.
- Scalability and Reusability. Metadata is a single source of truth; once it is created and defined, it can be used repeatedly. Different departments of the organization can use digital metadata with confidence that the data will match reports from other departments. This helps businesses to avoid a mismatch with data analysis and to reduce redundancy.
- Cost and Time. Having digital marketing metadata requires less time to manage, reducing operation costs. It also reduces the headache of dealing with an inadequate analysis that requires extra time and effort.
- Maintain historical records. Metadata is essential for maintaining historical records for a long-term data set. This is because inconsistencies in documenting data and instrumentation changes might occur during an ongoing long-term project.
- Facilitates interoperability. The use of metadata can also facilitate interoperability and integrate resources, thereby helping humans and machines better understand such resources.
Differences Between Digital Marketing Metadata and Behavioral Data
Digital marketing metadata and behavioral data are both important in marketing. While behavioral data contain information about customers and their online behavior, metadata is a description of data on an online platform or campaign. Although the two types of data are different, they both complement the decision-making process and marketing approach used by a brand.
Marketers use behavioral data to get the most out of their user experience, marketing campaigns, and even increase customer engagement. The biggest challenge with this type of data is that companies are now employing unethical means of collecting customer information. Also, most organizations lack the technical proficiency to process large data. That is why organizations need to build a comprehensive IT infrastructure that composes an extensive database, processors, and other IT capabilities. Apart from the cost of processing a large amount of data, which is substantially high, another major challenge of behavioral data is that so many customers value privacy and are not ready to give out private information.
Unfortunately, the concept of privacy is slowly fading away because corporations can now capture customer data through other means that may or may not be ethical.
Digital marketing metadata is more complex, but beneficial to a company in several ways. Although it does not only simplify data management, metadata saves time and money while allowing organizations to focus on the core activities of the business. Digital metadata is also a meaningful way to protect resources and their future accessibility. Due to the fragile nature of digital information and its susceptibility to alteration, metadata is used to track objects’ lineage and describe physical characteristics and behaviors. As much as developing and maintaining digital metadata can be quite expensive, the investment is worthwhile as it will allow your business to understand customers better.
Undoubtedly, data is one of the most valuable elements of a successful business. It allows brands to understand the customer and tailor their marketing strategies in a way that appeals to the customer most. Both digital marketing metadata and behavioral data are of great importance to the growth of every organization. However, it would be best if you embraced the use of ethical means to collect the data, gain insight, remain productive, improve business processes, and make more money.
Meredith Davis has a decade-worth of experience in digital marketing. She has worked with various companies as a marketing consultant to help promote and sell their products and services effectively.