We’ve all heard the phrase, “Numbers don’t lie.” You could have great engagement with your social networks’ followers, but at the end of the day, small talk doesn’t usually do too much for your ROI.
In order to improve brand awareness, drive clicks, and increase conversions, businesses need to implement several steps into their data-driven marketing strategy, as well as strategically utilize data to maximize their revenue, and ultimately, their profit.
Set The Right Goals for Success
According to the 4th Annual Staples National Small Business survey, more than 80% of the 300 small business owners surveyed claimed that they do not keep a record of their business goals.
Every business owner, regardless of where they are in the business cycle of life, must have goals in place in order to continue moving forward, as well as maintain the success of that business. While goal setting itself can help a business look at the big picture, it’s also important to make sure that you’re setting the right goals to achieve that big-picture success.
You might want to set expectations lower and then over deliver rather than set them too high and underdeliver. Your sales team will be more likely to hit their goal since the pressure is lower. They may even exceed their goals if you incentivize them to do so, via commissions or bonuses.
It will also be a victory for your public relations team because exceeding your targets is good news, and customers love good news and it is a sign that your company is a strong performer.
Every department in your business should take part in determining what these goals are so that there is input from as many angles as possible, so include them in the meetings that involve the data and how you will use it in your marketing campaign(s).
Cut The Data Fat
Information bombards us on a daily basis both at work and outside of work—it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes, especially at work when one has to be a very competent multitasker. Although you should collect all relevant data to the task at hand, you should really focus on key data that will drive your marketing and sales efforts—the data that will produce actual results.
Some data that will produce results include the number of units sold and revenue. In addition, one should also take the average of those numbers. If you expect to sell 1 million units a year at a revenue of $1 million, for example, it averages to 83,333.33 units a month at $83,333.33, so it also helps with the first step: to set short-term goals, as well as long-term ones.
What numbers you should focus on will depend on the nature of your business—a retailer should especially focus on averages since the numbers are skewed at certain times of the year. Certain holidays throughout different times of the year tend to have different numbers as things are often on sale during special occasions.
Understand Customer Engagement and Behavior
While it can be difficult to make your customers feel a connection between them and your business, it’s important to remember that customers really love it when businesses can relate to them and their needs, situations, and lifestyles. Understanding customers’ purchasing habits will not only endear you to those customers, but attract new ones as well through word of mouth and having a positive experience with your business. That is why you need to understand and engage your customers as much as possible when collecting your data.
Although you may have the numbers, and your business can understand them, not all customers will understand the data in the same way that your business does. Businesses need to share their results clearly, making it easy for customers to understand why your products and services are something they should buy. If you convey these ideas in a clear and concise manner to your customers, they will keep coming back for more.
Use Data Visualization To Facilitate Discovery
For many, a spreadsheet of collected data just looks like numbers, with no clear picture as to what these numbers mean. Most people want to visualize how these numbers work. Creating charts and graphs can help make your collected data easier to understand to those who aren’t crunching the numbers.
If you see that your marketing efforts are leading towards higher sales at a certain time of year and that it is consistent over time, look for a time in the chart or graph where sales are a bit lower and research ways on how to improve sales during those time periods so that you can have a more consistent stream of revenue throughout the year.
Explore the Unknown
Analyzing data is an extremely important aspect of the marketing process. Exploring the unknown is a very daunting task, but when your team comes together to analyze data, it can yield great results for your business and attract more customers to buy your products and services.
Are there other overlooked ways to boost your data-driven marketing? Feel free to leave your thoughts below!
Hilary Smith is an online business writer with experience in media marketing and business communications. In addition to discussing the importance of data analysis in marketing, her writing also also covers social media strategies, entrepreneurship, and business communications technology.