How will you capture data in 2013?

In the digital world 2012 has been all about bringing companies up to scratch with social media thinking. There is still a lot more to do in some sectors in this regard, but for the market leaders, 2013 will be about capturing and utilising data and leveraging CRM investments. Digital marketing, and social media in particular, gives businesses unparalleled access to this “big data” but a true data capture strategy needs to consider all avenues including social, mobile, and real world.

Over the course of this year there have been many different strategies for collecting data through social media. Some of these strategies have been good, and many others not so good. Knowing what the data goals are from the outset is often the major challenge. The biggest lesson to be gathered from the last twelve months is that in the end your brand must clearly define value for your market and use this as a motivation to exchange data.

A steady stream of qualified leads and knowledge about current customers is the lifeblood that most businesses need to continue growing.

The mobile and off-line experiences are equally valuable, and in some cases even more so. A steady stream of qualified leads and knowledge about current customers is the lifeblood that most businesses need to continue growing. The right methods and tools can make this much more effective.

This is particularly relevant in the automotive industry. When a potential customer shows an interest in buying, that customer’s data needs to be captured. Failing to follow up on a lead of such a major purchase is simply not acceptable. This is where smart data and insight specialists such as MSP [] come into the picture. MSP, who now have an Australian office, are busy building mobile and tablet apps that allow businesses to quickly and accurately capture mission-critical data that converts qualified leads into sales quickly.

A notable example of this is with luxury brand Bentley Motors, where MSP’s iPad app has been used to great effect in capturing data at motor shows and live events around the world. Not only has this made for an engaging consumer touch-point, but it has also helped Bentley measurably increase sales. The data captured at the events can be quickly delivered into their CRM platform, allowing the marketing and sales teams to manage the conversion process. In fact, this initiative has been so successful that the data collected from just five events has generated over three million Australian dollars.

This example illustrates the power of having data collection and utilisation as your platform. The technology may come and go, and the ways that consumers interact with your brand may change, but developing a way to generate value and insight out of rich data has long-term benefits.

There has been a lot of discussion about the utilisation of data in the last year. It is now time to go beyond the rhetoric, to obtain access to the data that you need to achieve your business goals, and use it effectively.

The tools to do so are now able to be up and running in a matter of weeks. Be focused on results and it is possible to obtain a serious competitive advantage.