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Making the right choices is a key part of running a successful business. But how do you know that a certain decision is the right one? In the past, business owners might have relied more heavily on their intuition, gut feeling, and feedback from others when it came to making the right decisions regarding their company. But today, this is mostly regarded as the least reliable strategy to take when making an important business choice.
Relying on your gut feeling might be fine when you’re making simple decisions in life like what to wear or which restaurant to visit for dinner. But even in everyday situations, you might have found yourself increasingly using the data that is available to you to back up and support the decisions that you make in life. For example, you might choose to purchase a certain brand of car over the others due to technical data regarding its performance, or even choose to eat out at a certain restaurant instead of another one due to positive reviews online. If you’re not using data to make decisions of all sizes in your business, then your company is being put at a higher risk.
Big decisions that are more likely to impact on your business’s future performance should always be backed up with data and data-driven. Marketing analytics are one area where you can look at and analyze data to determine if you’d be right to go with your gut or if you need to rethink things and examine the data some more before you decide what to do. Data analytics provides you with a means by which you can measure and monitor the success of your company, learn more about your target audience, and make better decisions based on facts rather than feelings.
Why Does a Business Need Data Analytics?
Emerson College’s Master of Arts in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics (DMDA) online program is an ideal introduction for business owners into why a business needs data analytics, specifically when it comes to marketing the company online. In the past, guesswork was highly prevalent in marketing and business owners often had no choice but to simply take a shot in the dark when it came to putting together a marketing strategy and approaching their leads. Often, business owners would have no idea if a lead came from the radio ad or the poster on the high street, unless they straight up asked the customer where they found out about them. This was often the only way to determine which marketing strategies were working better than others, and the information available was often quite basic.
However, things are very different today, with even the smallest of businesses gathering massive amounts of data. Digital marketing has become the new normal for businesses in every industry and every size, and the internet is going to be the first place to find your company for most of your customers and clients. It has quickly become the first port of call for anybody who is looking for information, products, or services, which is why a strong online presence and good digital marketing strategies have become so important over time. So, how can using data analysis help you as a business owner to make better decisions regarding these important areas of your business?
Improving Your Website
Most business owners today understand the importance of having a modern and high-quality website and how it represents their company. Since your website might often be the first impression that customers have of your brand, and the performance of your website is crucial to the success that you experience selling online, it has never been more important to gather and use data that you can consider when making future website improvement decisions. Using a variety of tools, you can find out more about how your website impacts the customer journey, such as which areas of your site are the most likely to generate leads, or on the other hand, the site areas where visitors tend to bounce off the most often.
Creating Better Content
Content is still king when it comes to business success, and today we are delivering and consuming content in more ways than ever before. Businesses are not only using written content in the form of blog posts, articles and news, but it has become more and more important to engage with customers using a wide range of content mediums, particularly videos and live videos. Each piece of content that your business creates and posts will generate some data that will help you understand how it is performing.
Viewer numbers, the average length of time that viewers spend consuming the comments, and other metrics such as likes and shares of the content on social media can help you determine which type of content tends to be preferred over the others when it comes to your customer base, enabling you to make better decisions in the future regarding the type of content you create. In addition, you can also track conversion rates from certain posts and videos, helping you understand more about the types of content or style that is most likely to generate conversions and sales.
More Successful Marketing Campaigns
You can use data from the previous marketing campaigns in your business to determine which strategies work better than others, enabling you to make more strategic and data-driven decisions in future marketing campaigns. For example, you can use your past efforts to find out more about the marketing materials that were ultimately more successful for driving sales and conversions, and dig deeper into aspects such as landing page design to find out more about how it impacts the response. You can also use data to figure out which advertising platforms such as email marketing, social media marketing, and paid ads are working the best. As a result, businesses are in a better position for wise investments in the future, faced with the information that they need to make the right decisions based on what’s proven to work.
What are the Main Benefits of Using Data Analytics for Your Business?
Aside from being able to make better decisions in terms of marketing, content and your online presence, there are any benefits of making use of data analytics when making decisions in every aspect of running your company. Data analytics and marketing analytics in particular can have several huge benefits for your company, including the following:
Make More Accurate Predictions
Although it’s impossible to absolutely predict what might happen in the future, using data analytics can help you get as close as possible. Predictive analytics is a type of data analytics that is often used by savvy business owners and marketers who want to get a better understanding of consumer behavior to be able to more accurately anticipate how their customer base or target audience might react to a certain strategy based on past trends and actions. For example, web analytics software can help you figure out where lots of users are leaving your website, allowing you to anticipate that it’s only going to happen again if no chances are made. On the other hand, web analytics can also help you figure out which areas of your website tend to lead to the most conversions, enabling you to make the necessary changes to improve the results that you are getting based on what you know already works.
Learn the ‘Why’
Data analytics for your business allows you to make better sense of the results that you are getting and understand why things are happening. Often, the customer journey today is so complex from start to finish, with various areas that can have an impact on the user’s likelihood to convert to a customer. The ability to analyze and use data in this way can be incredibly useful in a wide range of different business situations, particularly if you are dealing with a marketing campaign or content strategy that went very differently to how you expected, for example. It provides you and your marketing team with data that you can use to make a more informed decision in the future based on what went well and what went wrong this time around.
Track Your Success
Today, it’s often difficult to get the full picture when taking a glance at the overall results. In some cases, certain campaigns or strategies might appear to be more or less successful than they actually are when you’re not examining the data surrounding them. Data analysis gives you the opportunity to determine exactly how successful you have been and gain a clearer understanding in terms of what’s going on with your current marketing strategies. Getting access to this information from as early on as possible will put your business at a clear advantage, by allowing you to make the necessary changes and adjustments based on the data, rather than waiting for something to go horribly wrong before anything is done.
Have a Bigger Marketing Impact
The use of data analytics when it comes to marketing gives you the opportunity to make more impactful decisions and really target your target audience based on everything that you have learned about them from the data you have gathered. Analyzing and making sense of the data that your business has gathered on your customers and target audience allows you to get a better idea of various factors, such as which customers are likely going to be the most profitable to target and provide the highest return on investment. When used together with market research, data analytics can go a whole lot further than simply learning more about your sales metrics and lead generation. It can help you get a much deeper understanding of your customers, allowing you to make more informed and strategic decisions in your relationship-building.
Top Tips for Using Data to Drive Your Business and Marketing Decisions
Using data to drive your business and marketing decisions requires you to shift into a data-driven mindset and make analyzing the data a main priority before you make any choices for your business. You’ll need to put your business in a position where you are collecting the data that you need to make these decisions in the future and select the right tools for the best results. Some tips to keep in mind include:
- Set Clear Goals:
It’s important to know what you want to achieve through a data-driven decision-making process and marketing strategy. It’s especially important with marketing, since your goals will help you determine how the data is analyzed based on whether you are looking to gain leads, conversions and sales, or simply improve brand awareness.
- Use the Right Tools:
The tools that you use for data gathering and analysis can make all the difference to your success, and the good news is that there is a huge selection to choose from when it comes to deciding on the right tools for your business. Spend some time researching the most essential data gathering and analysis tools available such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, which allow you to track the movements of your customers throughout their journey from the moment that they get in touch with your business or place an order all the way through to completion.
- Learn from Your Competitors:
Your competitors can be one of the best places to learn more about your target audience. Bear in mind that if you are not analyzing data to use for making more strategic decisions and your competitors are, they will already have a clear advantage over you. Carrying out an analysis of your competitors can help you learn more about what they are doing successfully to attract the customers that you are targeting.
Today, business decisions are often seriously putting the company at risk if they are not made with the support of data analysis. Gathering and analyzing data to inform all decisions you make regarding marketing and other aspects of your business can help you make more strategic choices with a higher chance of success.