Companies have been gathering information on their customers since the first salesmen walked the earth. These days we are swimming in oceans of information about our customers, but it’s not easy to capture and process it all. Data capture technologies continue to improve, however, and they’ll continue to shape sales techniques and customer behaviors in the future.
Thanks to techniques like OCR and ICR, gathering information from physical documents into an electronic format is pretty easy. Those fancy ATMs that let you put in a mix of checks and cash and it automatically counts it all up is an example of these technologies. The machine is able to capture an image of what it took in and understand it in a machine-readable format. This may help businesses who take in customer information in physical forms, like surveys, but most of the information we generate is through electronic means.
The web is one source of electronic data, and it’s the one that CONCURED uses to analyze content marketing trends. Every time you visit a webpage, your browser leaves behind information that can be used for all sorts of purposes, from webpage analytics to remarketing. Sites also leave similar fingerprints when they update their sites. CONCURED examines and processes these kinds of data points from thousands of sources to produce the marketing insights that we deliver to our customers.
But there are newer forms of data capture that are set to revolutionize marketing and some are already going into production. Thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones, most people have an RFID-sensitive device near them. Stores are developing ways to capture your smartphone tracking information much like how your browser leaves behind fingerprints of its own. For instance, you could walk down a particular aisle down your store, pause in front of a shelf, and suddenly get a buzz in your pocket notifying you of a coupon for the item you were just near.
RFID technology is a core part of the Internet of Things, the idea of connecting objects that aren’t naturally computers into the internet. RFID allows these devices to connect. Why is this important? Currently, data capture requires a human to do something in order to record it. IoT-enabled devices can measure and report things about their own states and, by inference, imply things about what a person might want.
A simple example could be a smart fridge. RFID tags on food products could tell the fridge what things you like to buy and help you create a shopping list. It could say when food is about to expire or run out. It could even recommend recipes based on what is in your fridge at the time. Ideas like these will revolutionize not only how we live but also what sorts of information that companies will be able to harvest from our behaviors.
As these technologies become more prevalent, there will likely be debates in the public sphere about how far these technologies can go before they become too invasive. Nevertheless, data capture technologies are all around us, and remain an important aspect of many new content marketing trends. Even the card you use every day to buy coffee in the morning is a form of data capture. Remember when they used to have to run a carbon slip over your credit card?
Are you interested to find out more about how CONCURED can help analyze big data to help you optimize your content strategy? Click on the link below to find out more.