How to Use Analytics to Grow a Business
If you run a business, growth is likely to be a strong concern. Whether it is a new business or you have been around for a while but have hit a plateau in revenue, growth is likely to be a strong objective of yours. While there are many strategies and tactics for achieving growth, data-based approaches tend to be highly reliable when it comes to marketing. When correctly interpreted, data provides an objective and transparent picture, allowing the marketing teams to home in on a winning formula. The process of interpreting marketing data is known as marketing analytics and is the subject of this article.
What is Marketing Analytics?
Marketing analytics is the art and science of using data to paint an informative picture. Analytics takes raw data on consumer behavior and turns it into information that can help point users in a certain direction with the help of mathematical concepts.
In particular, when it comes to digital marketing, analytics can help provide insights on the effectiveness of a marketing campaign, patterns in user behavior, current and future marketing trends, and so on.
Today’s world is highly data reliant—right from the comfort of your own home; you can access pieces of data that might have been inconceivable even a decade ago. Most of the currently available data actually lies underutilized as most people do not even know what to look for. However, for a skilled marketer, this means unprecedented insight into your customer’s behavior, buying habits, where they hang out online, etc.
There are two main benefits of marketing analytics that apply to almost every potential situation in which marketing analytics might be applied.
1. Quantify your claims
C-suite level management and directors of smaller businesses are notorious for their love of data. Regardless of how excellent your idea sounds, upper management types are not likely to buy into your idea without some form of quantifiable evidence—and they would be right not to, in most cases.
While this approach is useful for securing buy-in prior to launching a particular initiative, it can also be used afterward to justify your marketing expenditure and serve as supporting evidence for future proposals.
2. Uncover Hidden Information
It can be tempting to launch a new promotion because it sounds like an excellent idea or because such an idea may have worked in the past. However, things are not always what they seem, especially in marketing. Consumer behavior may be subject to numerous influences, which may change from time to time, often in ways that are imperceptible to the human eye.
Analytics, though, when correctly set up and analyzed, is extremely effective at capturing and highlighting these trends and influences. If you pay attention, it may save you millions of dollars in misguided marketing initiatives.
If you don’t have any analytics skills, you should either hire someone who does or consider getting an analytics qualification yourself. You can learn more about the opportunities in analytics here.
5 Applications of Analytics to Business Growth
Analytics is more than just a nice shiny new trend I marketing. It provides marketers with the power to make bold statements and the evidence to get decision-makers to approve initiatives fast. This effect cuts across the various areas and functions of business in the following ways:
Uncover Your Ideal Target Market
All marketing should ideally begin with buyer research. You must know who your ideal target customer is and understand their motivations, disposable incomes, habits, hobbies, family size, etc. The best practice is to compile all of this information into a buyer persona that will subsequently guide all your marketing efforts.
Since most of your digital marketing will revolve around your website, Google analytics will be an incredibly useful tool that will help you understand your traffic composition, behavior, and sources, which can be optimized for best results.
If you’re thinking of expanding your business—whether by adding new product lines or by widening your distribution network, this will be a big decision that could have long term effects on the health of the business. Analytics will help you uncover essential factors such as the best geographic location for a new store, the buying behavior of a prospective demographic, and so on.
If you’re just getting started in the business, writing a plan is essential. Your business plan will detail the products you offer, the people you will offer them to, and the channels you will use in marketing terms. These decisions are potentially huge ones and should be made with the aid of data analytics. In addition, if you’re planning to secure funding, your investors will expect that a dependable source backs all financial and numerical projections.
Spying on the Competition
Keeping tabs on what your competition is doing is good business practice. Fortunately, with analytics tools like SproutSocial and SEMrush, you can find out how your competitors get their clients and replicate those results on your own website. Unfortunately, your competitors can do the same for you, so you must ensure that you put your insights to good use.
Social Media Planning
Most social media sites now offer some tools to help marketers understand how their social media outreach works or doesn’t. For many businesses, social media is a major digital marketing channel. If that is true for you, it will make sense to ensure that your social media budget is being used most profitably.
This means, firstly, focusing only on the most relevant social media channels. As there so many of them out there, you cannot possibly hope to target them all effectively—fortunately, analytics will step in and help you identify the ones where you’re most likely to get the most bang for your buck.
Marketing analytics is a tool that is increasingly becoming the center around which marketing campaigns are planned, executed, and reviewed. When used correctly, it helps to quantify and support qualitative assessments and proposals and uncover hidden trends that either lead to new opportunities or prevent expensive mistakes.