There is a wealth of information readily available for anyone who is willing to tap into it. It’s not enough to just have an abundance of data; it is how it is used that is of the upmost importance.
So why should you invest in data?
Well first of all…
Having data on your current customer base and your potential customers will give you a huge amount of insight into your business. You will be able to evaluate what works and what doesn’t and it will also allow you to make informed decisions, rather than those based on assumptions.
You need to be building an audience to see growth in brand awareness and increase the number of users who will be exposed to marketing messages.
This gives you insight about your traffic, you can track the number of visitors you get, the amount of time they spend on your site, where they go when they’re on the site and even where they came from. Using this information, you can then decide what ads, promotions and other sales tactics are most likely to get them to convert. Then you can start building your communities of interest and utilising this information effectively to market products.
You can even use Google Analytics to monitor online search trends. The chances are that you will be affected by seasonality in your business. Knowing trends will enable you to strategically leverage a surge in search activity, as well as anticipate future trends.
Google Analytics is sure to give you a competitive advantage and it is completely free!
You can use Facebook insights to access a wealth of data about the habits of your fans. What posts they like, the comments they leave, what hobbies they have and just about any other information they have on their profile. Social media is a powerful tool and if you don’t have the time to monitor all your online outlets get someone else to do it for you.
Privacy invasion issues aside, cookies are little tracking devices that are situated in web browsers and they serve up personalised ads to visitors to remind them to come back to your site for special promotional offers and discounts. Even though your digital consultants are most probably already aware of this, you should know that using cookies can allow you to encourage repeat purchases and keep your site fresh in your consumers mind.
It is important to note that if you want to make data a long term competitive advantage for your company; you should have long term aims for the development of a system and infrastructure that allows for the collection and assimilation of data across your organisation. As your data capture and mining techniques mature, you will find you are in a very different place than where you were when you started. Don’t get frustrated early on; this is a long term strategy that might not be fully operational for some time, but it will be worth it in the end!