Data Collection Methods Every Brand Should Use
Everyone needs to collect data these days. Names. Mobile numbers. Email addresses. Demographics, general interests, you name it. But with industry regulation like GDPR and California’s new data privacy laws, it’s critical to capture data using the right tools and methods. When collecting data in person, your brand should focus on a few key priorities: finding qualified leads, using opt-in permissions, and ensuring ease of use. Using the right tools like OnSpot Social can speed up the data collection process and remove the friction for the end user. Need some help with streamlining your data collection methods? Bookmark this handy guide.
How to Find Qualified Leads
First things first. It doesn’t matter how you set up your data collection process if you’re not targeting the right leads to begin with. Before you start casting a wide net, make sure you are searching for qualified leads. This means that a prospective buyer would be likely to patronize your company because their business needs, budget, and timing are in line with what you offer. Qualified leads also tend to have the power of the purse and can make purchasing decisions. To find qualified leads in person, target industry events, maximize trade shows, and prospective customers at your brick-and-mortar location.
How to Set Opt-in Permissions For Your Data Collection Process
Even if you don’t collect data from EU citizens or capture leads in California, consumers should always understand what personal information you are collecting and what it will be used for. No matter which data collection methods you use, ensure that customers opt-in to receive any emails or text messages from your company before sending them out. Customers should also be able to opt-out at any time.
How to Collect Data (Hint: Online Is Best)
In today’s digital age, the best data collection methods leverage online channels. Although some sales reps still prefer to use pen and paper or ask leads to drop a business card into a jar, these data collection methods are time-consuming because it means at the end of the day, a human must manually enter all information into a CMS anyway (and handwriting can be illegible, too!). The benefit of using online data collection methods is that you can easily export and import data into different platforms that can be further used for marketing. For example, customer data should always go into your CMS.
However, not every event you attend will have reliable access to the Internet. That means you should always have a backup method for how to collect data. If you can’t ask leads to directly input their information into an online form, use one of the following other methods which can easily transfer collected data online.
How to Use Offline Forms
Offline forms are ideal for sales reps out in the field, at conferences, or in other locations where they can use a tablet or mobile phone to capture lead data. True to the name, offline forms collect and save data onto the device itself rather than to the Internet. Offline forms will automatically sync up again when the sales reps connect to a network. This is particularly useful if there are multiple sales reps trying to capture data or if the wi-fi is unreliable.
How to Use a Data Collection Sheet
In a pinch, you can use a data collection sheet like Microsoft Excel to capture lead data. Most CMS and marketing platforms will have an option for you to upload leads via an Excel document. To adhere to data security measures, these data collection sheets should be encrypted for storage on your computer and transfer to other applications.
How to Use a Mobile Data Collection App
Our best recommendation is to collect data directly using a mobile data collection app. A mobile data collection app can house all lead capture data and integrate with other sales and marketing platforms. Businesses and sales reps across industries use OnSpot Social as their preferred platform because it works both online and offline. Here’s a quick data collection case study:
When The Light Group wanted to deepen their engagement and increase business from patrons who visited their bars & nightclubs, they used OnSpot Social to collect contact information and other data from customers who were waiting in line to get into the club. Since 2012, The Light Group has collected more than 100,000 email addresses. This underscores the importance of having data collection methods that are mobile and user-friendly.
With OnSpot Social, you can also gamify the experience through contests, surveys, and features like Scratch & Win. This makes your data collection method not only efficient, but also fun.
Still have questions on how to collect data for your company? Reach out to us or sign up for a free demo.