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Types of Data: The Breakdown

If you Google Search right now How to Read Marketing Data, you’ll see several articles such as “13 Effective Ways to Interpret Marketing Data” and “The 7 Best Ways to Analyze Digital Marketing Data” or even something called “The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Data Analytics”.

Depending on the author and the audience for the article, you might learn very different things, but lets establish first the fact that all data is important. Nevertheless, because there are layers to the data, you need to equip yourself with the right knowledge and tools to make confident marketing decisions … and ultimately open your time to do cooler things like listening to fun podcasts or learning how to knit.

So, what are the different types of data out there?

Demographic Data. This one is the most common marketing data related to the general population. We’re talking about age, gender, education level, household income, marital status. Basically, this is information you can find on a census report.

Technographic Data. This data refers to the type of technology that an audience might be using. This can be as simple as being a Spotify Music user versus an Apple Music user or someone who wears a Garmin Smartwatch vs someone who wears an Apple Smart Watch.

Behavioral Data. This data refers to the actions that are taken by a user and the patterns these actions create. For example downloading a document from your website or watching a video for a specific amount of time.

Firmographic Data. This data describes a business or organization. In a firmographic report you’ll find information like company size, its location, its revenue, industry, etc.

Performance Data. This data refers to the result. An example of performance data is the number of times an email is open or the number of times a document is downloaded.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Data. This is data provided by a Customer Relationship Management (or CRM) software. A typical CRM will record information about a customer by creating a customer profile or account. An example of CRM data is the number of people who purchase a specific item from once vs. the number of times a specific item is purchased by one person.

Industry Benchmark Data. This data that tells you how other companies in similar fields are performing within the same space. It helps companies understand industry standards. To see a great list of current 2022 industry standards read Business Stats Directory: Your Go-To Source for Business Performance (Hubspot 2022).

Psychographic Data. This data provides you with additional context for a person or group of people who seem similar on paper. For example, you'll get a more qualitative look into personal values, character traits, interests, and attitudes. This data is extremely helpful when two groups seem similar based on demographics.

Intent Data. This isn't so much data as it is a combination of behavioral signals and triggers that collectively help you understand what makes people buy into what you're selling, and when.

This is not a comprehensive list of all different types of data, but if you are looking to expand, scale, or improve your marketing efforts, this is a great place to start. Get empowered, use data to inspire your marketing strategy, and ask more direct questions like "What audience purchases bluetooth technology at higher rates?" or "What audience engages more with video on Twitter vs. LinkedIn?".

Gone are the days of relying on instincts and gut feelings. Now, we have incredibly diverse data pools available at our fingertips, and we should use this data – intelligently and consistently.

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