Making sense of your data

On the one hand, the ability to collect customer data is one of the greatest tools marketers have. On the other hand, the enormous leap forward in how much data we can gather, and how quickly, can suddenly seem overwhelming – especially for many small or medium-sized business owners who don’t have vast marketing or IT departments to sort through it all.

If this sounds familiar to you, there is good news. By doing some strategic planning and targeting your marketing efforts, you can begin to make data work for you, rather than you working to keep up with your data.

A number of recent surveys and articles have shown that the majority of marketers are feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data now available to them, some to the point where they’re not even using it. But don’t make this mistake. Interpreting your data efficiently gives you the chance to see how your marketing is working, what your return on investment is and – more importantly – the opportunity to make adjustments to make it all work even better.

Remember, even if you’re not fully optimising your data to gather marketing insights, some of your competitors will be – so it’s really important to develop a plan.

The first step – bearing in mind it’s about quality over quantity – is determining what you want your data to do. That is – what kind of information are you looking for, and what will you do with it once you have it? This of course calls for having a marketing strategy before you even start looking at the data. You should have a good sense of:

  • Who your ideal customer is;
  • Which products or services you want them to know about;
  • The best ways to reach them and customise your message to them;
  • How to improve their customer journey and create loyalty to your brand.

Put your customer hat on and think about marketing strategies that have worked for you. Loyalty cards, email newsletters, offers on products or services you already use or may be interested in, vouchers at the till, competitions on social media… the one thing the best targeted campaigns have in common is they feel personal (but not intrusive – most people don’t like to feel they’re being watched).

Ultimately, your data should be helping you to engage with the right customers, in the right ways, at the right times. And leveraged wisely, it could result in major breakthroughs for your marketing efforts.

If you have any questions about how to make your data work smarter, call Sixothree on 0161 694 9619. In addition to offering a full array of marketing and strategic planning services, we can also help you with your data management and help you make sense of your customer data.