The business landscape is constantly changing. We reach customers in new ways, and provide an increasingly large amount of virtual services. In addition, business owners now need to rely more heavily on computer-generated metrics to make informed decisions about many facets of their business in order to survive and grow. This information is known as data analytics, and you should be using it to make informed decisions about your customers marketing campaigns, and overall operations. But what exactly is data analytics, and how can small businesses use it to their advantage? Find out how with these tips from the Laurinburg/Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce.
What Is Data Analytics?
Data analytics is the process by which you collect, clean, and analyze data to glean insights that can be used to make better business decisions. It can be used for a wide range of purposes, including customer acquisition and retention, marketing campaigns, website enhancement, risk management, and operational efficiency.
Improve Customer Retention
Businesses frequently use data analytics for customer acquisition and retention. By collecting data on your target audience—such as demographics, interests, and behavior patterns—you can develop marketing campaigns that will resonate with your ideal customer. Even if you feel like you know your target audience, understand that who they are may have shifted since you opened your business. It’s best to regularly investigate their profiles to ensure you are communicating to them in the best way possible.
You can also use data analytics to track customer engagement and loyalty so you can identify customers that you’re on the verge of losing and take steps to keep them from defecting to a competitor. There are many ways you can pivot your business based on customer demographics. Adverity suggests using machine learning to learn more about their buying preferences so you can target specific products and marketing to them in order to encourage customers to stay.
Better Marketing Campaigns
Data analytics can also be used to improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. By analyzing data on past campaigns—such as which channels generated the most leads or sales, what type of content was most popular, etc.—you can fine-tune your future campaigns for greater results. You can also use data analytics to track the ROI of your marketing spend so you can see which activities are worth investing in and which ones aren't providing a good return on investment.
A More Polished Website
Another common implementation of data analytics is to enhance business websites. By tracking website traffic data—such as page views, time on site, bounce rate, etc.—you can identify which pages are performing well and which ones need improvement. You can also use website visitor data to create targeted landing pages that increase the likelihood of conversion. Once you have a better idea of what needs to be changed, you can connect with your web team to make changes.
When sharing files, PDFs are most common; however, PDFs can be difficult to work with, as they are not easily edited or resized. For this reason, many web designers prefer to work with JPGs, which can be easily inserted into a website design, and they can be quickly edited or resized as needed. If you need to share a document with your web team, you can convert your PDF into a JPG to make it easier for them to work with.
Mitigate Risk Sooner
By analyzing historical data—such as sales figures, customer complaints, etc.—businesses can identify trends that could indicate potential risks down the road. This information can then be used to develop strategies for mitigating those risks before they have a chance to materialize. For example, if you notice a spike in customer complaints during a certain period each year, you might implement a quality control measure to address the issue before it gets out of hand. Doing so could save your business a lot of money—and headaches—down the line.
Increased Operational Efficiency
Last but not least, data analytics can also be used to streamline your business operations. TechWave notes that, by identifying inefficiencies and bottlenecks in your processes, you can make changes that result in significant time and cost savings. For example, if you notice that a particular department consistently struggles to meet its deadlines, you might implement new processes or technologies that help them work more efficiently.
Increased Operational Efficiency
There are many ways small businesses can benefit from data analytics. If you haven’t started using data analytics to improve your business decision-making, now is a good time to start. Doing so could give you the insights you need to take your business to the next level. You don’t have to tackle everything at once, though. Focus on one or two key areas, like using graphics to appeal to customers and targeted landing pages to keep customers on your website longer, and then move on from there. You’ll be impressed with the progress you see with your first application of data analytics.
If you’re ready to grow your business with the help of great local resources and partnerships, join the Laurinburg/Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce.