When you get down to it, data onboarding can be summed up by the challenge of bringing together online and offline data.
Online data is any data that has been generated from online activity or that has been stored in an online environment, such as a CRM. This can include everything from web chat data to social media activity to web interaction data.
As you can imagine, offline data is everything else that’s not online. This most commonly includes contact lists that are bought, generated from marketing events, or scrubbed from LinkedIn profiles and other sources, but can also be any customer information collected manually from an in-person interaction, such as phone numbers, purchase history, customer surveys, and more.
Marketers know that their customers are primarily searching and shopping online, which makes online data the most valuable information that they can use. However, offline data allows marketers to better understand how online and offline actions are inextricably linked, enabling marketers to ask questions such as:
- What online search of the brand led a customer to purchase an item at the store?
- What in-store experience, either good or bad, led them to open a customer support chat, write about the brand on their social media channels, or send an email?
- How much time is a customer spending online researching a product before entering a physical store?