April 8, 2022 | Maria García Limón

Behavioral data: High-quality data for a 360-degree view

Behavioral data

The days when marketing experts relied only on self-reported data in their campaigns are long gone. To have high-quality data, this data is increasingly being replaced by behavioral data.

Find out what this kind of high-quality data is all about and learn how to incorporate it into your research.

 

Behavioral data and its influence on obtaining quality data

The topic of consumer behavior and how it influences purchasing is widely studied in the marketing field. Therefore, behavioral research is increasingly used to determine why, how and when people actually make purchases.

Indeed, collecting behavioral data comes from observing people’s online behavior. To collect high-quality data, data is taken from multiple touchpoints, including visits to websites, individual pages, newsletter subscriptions and any other important actions. 

In essence, this is “passive” high-quality behavioral data because the analyzed individuals do not actively participate in the research, but they go about their online activities normally while the researcher collects valuable data about these activities.

This is how, when implemented, genuine insights about real consumers are reached. In turn, this even allows for going beyond surveys, considering that behavioral data is not susceptible to memory limitations.

 

Types of behavioral data and their contribution to research

There are two methods to collect passive high-quality behavioral data:

  • Site-centric data or registered data: This is obtained specifically through websites and apps visited by consumers.
  • User-centric data or observed data: This kind of data is collected from the browsing devices that individuals use while visiting websites. 

 

How does using behavioral data enrich market research?

In practice, behavioral data is considered highly useful because it can lead to insights based on the consumer’s current activity. Likewise, it enables observing behaviors in real time, meeting two important objectives: measuring reality and discovering opportunities.

 

Measuring reality

Marketing teams can benefit from obtaining and analyzing high-quality data, taking multiple aspects into account. The following are often seen among these:

E-commerce measurement

Any consumer’s online browsing behavior is used to track and analyze their activities. This enables evaluating different factors, providing high-quality data such as:

  • How does an online shopper feel drawn to a particular e-commerce store?
  • What products are they looking for in the store?
  • How does design influence their conversions?
  • What sites attract the most visitors?

Ad effectiveness in target audiences

Based on browsing data, decisions are made about where to place advertisements and how much to invest. In addition, as it is user-centric data, we can learn who the website’s target audience is.

Additionally, the data can be studied by multiple variables, such as socioeconomic group, sex, age, social class and region, among others.

Search terms

Behavioral data can help dramatically improve conversion rates, since it enables identifying the keywords that consumers use to search for products, services and topics of interest.

 

Discovering opportunities

The ability to passively collect high-quality data can be scaled up to the desired degree. This, in turn, creates new forms of analysis in cases such as:

The customer buying journey

Many companies analyze the customer journey based on three aspects, which include studying the integrated signals of mobile data, social media and browsing. 

Even if the purchase is not made through digital channels, behavioral data enables understanding the consumer’s habits and motivations. In many cases, it allows for reconstructing behavior to create a better offer, create products or launch a successful communications campaign. 

We can find an example of this in a global diaper manufacturer. This client, located in Brazil, was able to extract valuable information from Brazilian mothers’ Internet searches. The manufacturer was able to sketch out a four-stage online cycle, ranging from pregnancy to the baby’s growth.

Revealing the “why” behind the “what”

High-quality survey data is excellent for helping us understand the “why,” meaning the context and motivation behind people’s choices. 

However, surveys fall short in delivering the “what.” Most research shows that it is almost impossible for people to correctly remember their specific online behaviors. That is why combining survey and behavioral data provides a much more complete picture.

Behavioral data

Behavioral data: A 360° view of the consumer

A large part of being successful in business is finding out what your customers want and then offering it to them. That is why having a 360-degree view of customers is crucial for today’s businesses.

This view must include information about their past interactions, information about who they are and predictions about what their future behavior might look like. This leads to happier customers and, ultimately, business growth.

 

How can you verify that the obtained behavioral data is high-quality?

Collecting high-quality data depends on many factors. Attribution, personalization and proper analysis are factors that will determine the richness and accuracy of the data collected. Nevertheless, to be able to discuss quality, there are some essential factors that require extra care.

 

Data handling and protection

Ensuring that participants have given their clear and explicit consent to be monitored is mandatory. If we have learned anything from the Facebook and Cambridge Analytics scandal, it is that consent cannot be hidden in the Terms and Conditions.

For this reason, complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an obligation. It is also important that personally identifiable information (PII), such as an email address, is explicitly requested. 

 

Data handling and processing

Big data is not just a buzzword. It is something so big and powerful that even Excel cannot handle it. To analyze big data blocks, advanced data science programming languages are used. Therefore, it is very important to have a provider capable of handling this volume of data.

 

Data handling and deepening

The only way to know what data is actually useful is to explore it in depth. In that context, curiosity is a powerful and valuable tool. It is essential to search for a way to dig deeper, not stopping halfway.

Recall the example of the Brazilian mothers. You can create a complete customer journey if you explore more than one question.

 

Netquest, a partner that helps you integrate behavioral data

Behavioral data has to do with a customer’s actions, and so a customer segment’s set of actions can tell marketing teams a lot.

At Netquest, in this field, it is clear to us that the “why” does not come solely from observation data. A data provider must go further, delivering information that fuels companies to create a market disruption.

 

High-quality data that sets Netquest apart from the competition

Netquest offers a wide range of possibilities when it comes to behavioral data. Among them, you can find:

  • E-commerce penetration by product category
  • Market share by brands, manufacturers and online retailers in each category
  • Prices by product category, brand and retailer
  • Number of web channel and app visits
  • Conversion funnel from traffic to sales
  • User loyalty to the different retailers

 

Other essential data that you should observe and analyze

No other high-quality dataset can provide the knowledge and deep understanding that behavioral data offers. This data is constantly evolving to help the market research industry reach even further. With Netquest as a partner, you can discover:

  • Data from real people: This data is associated with the profile of an individual panelist, who can also be surveyed to obtain more information.

 

  • User-centric data: Based on users’ online behavior.

 

  • Data collected in real time: Due to our passive metering technology, a person’s Internet activity can be completely monitored, no matter what means they use.

 

  • Multi-device data: With this kind of data, it is possible to track the same user’s access from different devices (desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet).

 

  • Sample-based data: Users may be selected to create a panel that truly reflects the online population. To do so, criteria such as sex, age and geographical area are used.



To conclude, you must keep in mind that customers are increasingly aware of technology. Therefore, the ability to influence these customers starts long before they begin visiting you. 

Undoubtedly, behavioral research helps to apply the best methods to discover high-quality data that leads to specific strategies. Thus, leaping into the future and with the perfect partner, you can make the impact of those decisions meaningful.

 

Contact us and discover the potential that behavioral data can unlock for your market research.

Maria García Limón

About the author

Maria García Limón | Head of MKT & Comms Accredited sociologist from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, with experience working for international NGOs, creating and executing fundraising and communication campaigns and events

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