While some people collect baseball cards, and others collect stamps, businesses have become notorious for collecting data. From voice of the customer surveys and focus groups, to loyalty programs and cross-channel analytics, companies look to capture customer insights at every touchpoint in an effort to improve their strategies. But, with social and mobile channels offering an even deeper look into customer activity, companies are no longer focused on behavior and demographics alone, but sentiment as well.

"Five plus years ago, when targeting new customers, companies would by-and-large use segmentation data based on demographics—age, gender, socio-economic status, and location," says Marchai Bruchey, chief customer officer at Thunderhead.com. But, as companies increasingly collect data from social media and mobile devices, such as geo-location information, marketers have realigned their efforts to focus on the segment of one. "Research has shown that the closer you get to the segment of one, the greater the response to the ad because they are highly personalized and very relevant to where the customer is at that point in time."

Customers have always been at the heart of every organization, and now, as they help guide communication strategies, companies must focus their attention on honing their data collection methods. Many need to reassess their ultimate goals and processes in order to enhance the customer experience and cultivate trust: