Women In Business

Are you using your data effectively?

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Your customers are leaving valuable data all over your website; data that can provide valuable business insights. Are you capturing data properly and using it maximum effect? Your marketing is only as good as your data and the insight that you can get from it. Businesses of all scales create data, which when utilized effectively can be used to improve their performance. So, what should you be doing in order to make better use of your data?

Make sure you’re compliant

As you prepare to increase your data gathering and utilization, consider how important it is to comply with legal and industry standards. This will help you ensure that the business value you’ve created from your data usage will remain and have a positive impact.

For example, the recent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) lays out strict terms for the collection and use of personal data belonging to EU citizens. If you’re collecting data from EU customers, you need to make sure it is stored and used in a way that meets this new standard.

But every industry is different, of course. It’s important to find out what kind of rules govern the use of data in yours before you start collecting and using data. There can be legal consequences in some cases if you don’t follow the proper standards. Of course, it’s always important and professional to protect and respect any data provided by a customer — even if there aren’t any industry guidelines saying that you should.

Set up your web analytics correctly

Did you know that 88% of businesses don’t have their web analytics set up correctly? This stops them being able to identify where customers are coming from, where they’re going, what they’re doing and whether that’s providing you value.

Setting up your Google Analytics may seem daunting. But, to overcome this, a holistic approach is key. You want to develop a strong understanding of your objectives and the KPIs that will develop your business. There’s no need to track everything, you only need to know the things that affect your business objectives.

Let’s say you want to understand more about the most effective ways to attract visitors to your content. To discover this, you need to analyse how referred traffic arrives to your site.

By using the Google’s URL Builder Tool, you can add “Parameters” to your campaign URLs that lets Analytics identify where your visitor came from.

For example…

You’re running an advert campaign on LinkedIn. To track visitors specific to this campaign in Analytics, you would do the following:

  • Go to the URL Builder Tool
  • Add your unique URL
  • Add “source” “medium” and “name” (These are required)
  • Add additional parameters “content” and “term” if you wish to further identify the campaign.
  • Hit “Submit” you’ll then receive your custom campaign URL to use in your LinkedIn Advert.

This unique URL will appear in Analytics, allowing you to measure the success of that traffic channel. Once all your channels have unique URLs, you can compare the most effective ones.

Your analytics are the foundation of your campaign and if you aren’t keeping score you won’t know if you’re winning.

Using a CRM system

Excel is a phenomenal and highly adaptable tool, but it has its fair share of drawbacks when it comes to advanced functionality and intuitive use. Too many businesses cling on to it longer than it is useful and it begins to hold them back. A CRM (customer relationship management) system, links up your marketing, sales, finances and operations in to one easy to use tool. Like Google Analytics, it serves as a central hub for valuable consumer insights.

For example…

If you run an ecommerce store, you can identify your most valuable customers through frequency and monetary value analysis. This allows you to create campaigns targeted to specific parts of your customer base and helps you to create personalized messages for each of your customers.

If you struggle to keep up with your customers and manage their journeys a CRM will help you. It will not only make your life easier allowing you to keep track of all your customers’ interactions, but it will allow you to create scalable journeys. You can enrich these journeys with a connected, cross-channel experience that leaves your customers wanting more.

Mapping customer insights and trends

Location, location, location. It’s something you hear all the time in business. But in an age where everything happens online, is location still important? Of course it is.

From localised marketing campaign to demographic analysis and location targeting, knowing where your audience is can be just as important as who they are and what they want.

Geo targeting is a powerful tool that has expanded rapidly thanks to smartphones. To give you the best possible service, Google needs to know where you are, and marketers can also benefit from this information.

Harnessing location data allows you to create detailed maps showing any form of geospatial data, allowing for easy analysis. It has helped businesses create streamlined global supply chains, analyse risk and understand the state of their market.

For marketers using the latest technologies it’s an excellent tool for improving the precision of your campaign’s performance. Where logistics uses maps to view and plan the best routes, you can use them to see where your best customers live, work or travel; letting you target them when and where they are most susceptible to your message.

For example…

Let’s say you’re organising a promotion across several regional outlets. Geo targeting data allows you to refine your campaign. Analysing the usage of promotional codes by location can reveal your hotspots and dead-spots. Identifying where your advertising is working and where it isn’t.

Ultimately, this allows you to draw relevant hypotheses about your customer’s habits and continue to improve your business’s performance.

The cloud and big data

64% of businesses find that big data is changing traditional boundaries and enabling non-traditional providers to move into their industry. Cloud tools can enable you to reverse engineer your competitor’s strategies; identify challenges and identify new market opportunities.

You can also gain a more insightful understanding of your customers. By understanding more about how people engage with a business, you are able to make much more impactful business decisions.

For example…

Take the big players, like Amazon. By carefully evaluating the browsing behavior of their users, Amazon has better understand its shoppers, their habits, and their needs. This information is then put to good use to ensure the business maximizes its profits. This data is how they are able to send you adverts that relate to your buying habits, showing you the perfect product at the perfect time.

Collecting, measuring and analysing your data, is critical to improving the effectiveness of your marketing and gaining a strong competitive advantage. By improving both the quantity and quality of your data, you are able to gain broader insight and new perspectives that might challenge your existing assumptions and lead to higher profits.

About Jade Dawson

Jade Dawson is SEO Executive and specialist in on-page optimisation and analysis. After completing her education at Brighton University, she honed her SEO skills in a number of distinguished agencies. Today, working with the SEO team at MRS Digital, she helps businesses further their digital marketing goals. She loves keywords and riding horses.

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