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In today’s world, data is one of the most precious resources. The more information you collect about your customers or business partners, the better services you can offer them. But, how exactly do you go about collecting data? Do you just ask them? Perhaps, for some basic info. But the best and easiest way to collect digital marketing data is to make the most out of the Internet! Related: Why data is the world’s most valuable resource today1. Establish the goal behind the data collectionBefore you even begin collecting data, determine what kind of data you want and for what purpose. What are your goals and what do you wish to accomplish after you accumulate the data? Answering these questions will, in turn, help you to decide what data you should focus on collecting. For example, if your business is an online store dedicated to selling products for women, you’ll want to know just which of these products sell well in a given age group and which do not. This info will be helpful while planning sales and predicting future gains. It will also help you analyze what sort of products your customers are looking for and what types you should perhaps ultimately stop selling. Another example — if you are looking for a particular type of audience to market your product to, you’ll need to collect information about the average person who has been regularly buying that product. Remember that establishing a clear goal behind the data collection leads to satisfactory results.2. Data collection should have a set timeframe When setting early plans for your data collection project, always remember to establish a clear timeframe. Whether that timeframe will be short or long should depend on what types of data you wish to collect. For example, it would be best to set up a lengthy time frame (the same is also valid for web page visitors’ data) where you would collect the data continuously or over a few separate timeframes. If you need more data for a specific marketing campaign, it will be better to opt for a shorter time frame over a defined time. Remember to carefully schedule when the data collecting period starts and when it ends. The time frame of data collection is critical, so always think twice before finally opting for one.3. Pick a data collection methodNow that you’ve decided on the basics, it’s time to choose a collection method. To do this, consider the choices you’ve made so far and the established intent of data collection. You have many options to choose from here; surveys, for example, allow you to ask your customer for info straight away. Some of the most important and widely chosen alternatives are, in turn, online tracking and transactional data analysis. It is best to use the former when gathering primary data on what sort of people usually visit your webpage, how long they stay, what they find interesting, etc. Your hosting provider can collect this data, which you can then request for them to share it with you. Transactional data analysis will be a better choice if you’re managing a web store, for instance. It will give you info on how many of your products sell, which ones are most popular and who buys them. 4. Collect the dataIf you’ve completed the previous steps, we can safely say that you have fully finalized the plan. Now it’s time to implement it and see how it works. Once you have crafted the plan, make sure to stick to it no matter what. You can store and analyze your data in the DMP. In addition, you can create a schedule, which will allow you to check at any moment how things are proceeding and whether everything is going according to the plan. This would be extremely useful if you opted for a continuous method of data collection.And, remember — just because you shouldn’t abandon your plan altogether doesn’t mean that you can’t make changes and update it as the conditions change. This is highly recommended!5. Analyze the data and learn from itAfter a while, you should collect enough data to make good use of your findings. In that case, it’s time to analyze and organize them! This part of the process is crucial, as it will allow you to turn raw data into valuable insights. You’ll also be able to enhance the marketing strategies you’ve used thus far and change the direction of your business. Thanks to those insights, you will improve the quality of your services and offer even better products to your customers. Plus, you’ll have a higher chance of attracting important clients that will help to make your company grow. Feel free to use the analytics tool built into your DMP. Once you’ve figured out the patterns of what makes a product stand out from all the other ones, implement your findings as soon as you can to make your business stronger!Related: How to Use Real-Time Data to Fine-Tune Your Business DecisionsWhat types of data collection methods are there?There are various types of data collection methods you can choose from. Following are the most important ones. Remember, each pick has its pros and cons, so choose wisely.Surveys — great for acquiring data from the customers themselves. It consists of a list of queries, and the respondents can either choose from a variety of options or answer using their own words. One of the cheapest and easiest methods of data collection.Online tracking — this method can be a good choice if you wish to analyze the behavior of the users regularly visiting your webpage. By placing pixels, you can follow them all over their journey on your platform. This method allows you to access data about your visitors, as well as track their preferences.Transactional Data Tracking — want to know which of your products are popular among your customers? Then this method is the right one for you. You’ll get the info on which products sell well, which do not and how often people purchase from you.Online Marketing Analysis — This data collection method is excellent if you wish to analyze your marketing campaign. You can manage the software you used to place ads to tell you all about the users who clicked them, when they did it, what device they used, how long they stayed on your page, etc.Collecting Subscription Data — activating the Newsletter might be one of the best methods of data collection. You can also request additional information from the people who wish to join the partner program you offer. Not only is this method one of the more basic ones, but it also creates high-quality leads!Related: The Insane Amounts of Data We’re Using Every Minute (Infographic)ConclusionThere are various methods of data collection available for you to choose from. Though guides like these can be beneficial, the road to successful data collection should be uniquely yours to discover and specific to your business needs and goals.