The Power of Collecting Customer Data

In recent years, the ability to learn more about who your customers are, find out their likes, habits and what they do in their leisure time, including how to target your marketing has advanced beyond what many people would have ever thought possible. Advertising platforms such Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, and many more now allow you to create highly targeted ads that are shown only to your ideal customer, letting you directly pinpoint your market without wasting your budget on reaching demographics that don’t fit the profile of someone who would be interested in your business.

While the ability to target ads in this way is certainly excellent news for businesses everywhere, it does present a challenge, unless you are able to create an accurate profile of your ideal customer, highly targeted advertising is unlikely to do you any good. How, then, does a business get started figuring out who (and where) their ideal customers are?

The Value of Data

If the rapid advances in targeted advertising have done anything, they’ve made customer data more valuable than ever before. Sure, you can create a decent customer profile using a little intuition about your business and looking at it from the perspective of your customer. Identifying factors such as why someone would want to use your product or service, what income they must have or where they must be located to make your product or service feasible, and so on can allow you to gain a pretty good insight into what your ideal customer looks like before you ever even make a sale. Still, all of this pales in comparison to real data coming in from real customers.

Collecting customer data allows you to put together a portrait of your market that is based on cold, hard facts rather than educated guesses and intuition. This portrait can then be used to target ads towards others who fit the profile of your ideal customer, quickly growing your reach within your business’s market.

As you can imagine, though, collecting customer data isn’t all that easy. After all, few customers are going to jump at the chance to fill out a survey telling you all their personal information. Fortunately, a lot of information about customers can be gained from just one piece of data – their postal code.

Location, Location, Location

When it comes to information on your ideal customer, no piece of data is more important than their location ie: postal code and city/town. Knowing a customer’s location not only tells you how far away they are from your business (which, depending on what you are offering, can be quite important to know) it also tells you quite a bit about the customer themselves. Income levels, education levels, hobbies, and much, much more can often be determined with a high degree of accuracy just by knowing where your customer lives and comparing them against the average person that lives in the same area.

Best of all, data about a customer’s location is one of the easiest pieces of information to collect. After all, anytime you ship an item to someone they will have to provide you with their postal code. Even if you aren’t shipping items out, asking a customer for their postal code is far less intrusive than asking them their income level or hobbies.

Therefore, if you are looking for a way to gain valuable insight about your customers, get started collecting postal codes from them including their city/town aligned with the code. In the coming months, Central Counties Tourism will be launching a Data Program to help you put together a profile of your ideal customer.  If you are not already doing so – start now to collect customer postal codes and the city/town. This will be an important first step in learning more about your customer. When it comes time to target your marketing, this is sure to pay dividends for your business.


Central Counties is located North of Toronto


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Chuck Thibeault

Executive Director, Chuck Thibeault