Monday, November 27, 2017

Data is the most expensive currency

building an audience

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.

By the year 2020, estimations show that 1.7 megabytes of data per second will be created for every person on earth. On top of this, investment on big data technology is predicted to reach the $57 billion mark (with a "b") this year. With such a wealth of data out there available for businesses, if used to its full potential, data can help businesses and brands gain valuable insights on their target audience and as a result enhance their marketing efforts to optimise engagement and increase sales and conversions.

So if it’s still unclear why you should invest on data… here are some specific aspects that will benefit from data gathering:

1. Insight
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.

2. Google Analytics
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!

3. Facebook Insight
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.

4. Cookies
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 PPC agency is 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.

The idea of utilising data for business decision making has been around for many years. Most companies now understand that if they capture and process all the data that streams into and through their businesses, they can apply this into decision making and actually get significant value from it. But even decades ago, before anyone even thought of the term “big data", firms were using basic analytics (simply numbers in a spreadsheet that were manually examined) in order to uncover patterns, insights and trends. The benefits that modern big data brings to the table are essentially efficiency and speed. A few years ago a company would have gathered information, run a manual analysis and eventually unearthed insights that could be utilised for future business decisions, however nowadays that firm can identify trends for an immediate decision making. The capability to act faster gives businesses a competitive edge they didn’t have in the past.

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!

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