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im too small for big data

Data is the buzzword of every industry at the moment. Data, data, data.

Data-driven marketing, data-driven sales, data-driven product development – everything, it seems, is being drive by data.

Companies such as Qantas Frequent Flyer and Woolworths Rewards show us how ‘big data’ – a term that describes the large volume of data (both structured and unstructured) that inundates a business on a day-to-day basis [1] – is mined to help persuade customer purchasing decisions and increase sales at the big end of town.

This big data is comprised of millions of data points collected from millions of people. With this much data at their disposal, these large companies can build customer personas with a high percentage of accuracy. This enables these companies to accurately predict the sales patterns of their customers – even brand new customers who have just signed up.

Making data work for small businesses

But what if you are not Qantas or Woolworths? What if you are a small business? Surely you are too small to have meaningful data? Well, not really. You’d be surprised at what data you already have in your business.

If you use MYOB, Xero or some other accounting software, you already have a range of data points at your fingertips. After a whizz around the reporting tab, you should be able to run some very simple reports reports on:

  1. What is your biggest revenue earner?
  2. What is your most profitable service or product?
  3. Basic client demographics such as industry and region.

These three data points alone can inform a wide range of marketing and sales activities, such as:

  1. What product or service to market in which region.
  2. What products or services to features on the front page of your website.
  3. What product or service your outbound marketing team should lead with.
  4. Which clients need value-add servicing to ensure they are experiencing value from your business.

Building a bigger data set

But what if we take the conversation further? What other data points could you mine to make meaningful decisions in your business?

If you are a retailer you possibly have a POS system. In the B2B world, that would be your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

With a POS system and a small rewards program, you can build a picture of your client demographics. After all, customers are often willing to give away information when there is something in it for them. And over time, you gather more information from them from various online or in-person opportunities so you can build out these personas.

A great CRM will enable you to build a strong understanding of who your client is, where they come from and what they buy from you. From here, we can gain a strong understanding of why they buy from you.

So far, we have built a strong product strategy from our data and we know the value we bring to our customers. We know who our customers are, what they buy from us and how we can connect with them. But how do we know where to best reach new customers?

Using analytics software to expand your data sets

If you have a website and use analytics software such as Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics, a quick look at your results can help build a customer journey map. This is a map showing where clients can search for you and how many steps it takes for them to contact you, visit you or call you.

Once you include data from your analytics platform, you have formed a fairly complete picture and can build this into a brand, social, content and lead strategy for your business.

There are so many forms of data that exist within your business. The power of this new world is not in the individual data sets. But the integration of the data sets to drive strategy.

The new language is not focused on sales/marketing funnels, but rather on marketing ecosystems. Analysing the customer data in our business enables us to report, review, analyse and strategise against our objectives to create new, more effective marketing activities …and then start the process all over again based on the new customer data we now have.

If you are ready to talk about the data in your business and how you can use it to make meaningful business decisions, contact us today on 1300 138 984