When it comes to understanding analytics, of any kind, it’s a common reaction to feel intimidated by the overwhelming amount of information. In fact, big data is almost always flawed and not representative of the market.
Analytical data can tell marketers more than just how many people clicked on their links or opened an email. With a little bit of problem solving, analytics provide comprehensive insights in relation to engagement levels, conversion susceptibility, which areas need improvement, and much, much more.
Companies that ignore or do not measure analytics are quite literally throwing away valuable information that could help them become more successful. Knowing how to count the numbers is one thing. But, to understand how to reach your customer base effectively, you need to actually read between the lines and let your findings guide your approach. Here are several key points to consider.
Understand customers' online habits
One of the best insights analytical data can detect, and essentially predict, is the habits of your customers. Understanding information like items your target audience typically buys and patterns in web behavior is valuable knowledge for keeping customers interested and engaged. By simply studying the behaviors of your customers, you can create more personalized content, which in turn creates higher engagement levels and ultimately, increased revenue.
The best way to truly understand the patterns and habits of your customers is by creating individual profiles to track how they shop and what they buy – and buy more of the same! When you invite customers to create accounts on your website for an easier check out experience, your ecommerce platform – Shopify, for instance – lets you add a “reorder” option based on estimates of what they will need in the near future.
You can then use the information from these accounts to see purchasing habits, buying frequency, and other relevant information that can help you determine the best strategy for their preferences.
Delve deeper into demographics
It is impossible to accurately define your target market without determining the demographics that make up your audience. While demographics include information like age, ethnicity, sex, and income, these descriptions can help you understand the why behind the what.
Doorstat offers a program that collects and analyzes customer data and compiles demographic reports for a highly-focused target market. This information is great for helping marketers to narrow in on the makeup of their customer base so they can reach them on a personal level.
Focusing on lifestyle information can help you get into the mindset of your customers and see why they purchase the items they do. By understanding their values, interests, and motivations, you can gear your approach to be highly targeted and specific, and therefore, more successful.
Experiment and track
Another powerful tool that analytics provide is the ability to track data-driven results for every marketing campaign in order to find the most productive strategies. By recording the relationship between marketing and revenue, analytical tracking enables marketers to see granular outcomes of every email, social media post, or any other content they distribute.
In order to find the best marketing tactics, you need to conduct some experimentation. Start by testing multiple content variations simultaneously and compare the results (a strategy known as multi-armed bandit testing). This will help to understand the finer details of what makes your customer base tick.
Experimenting with various marketing tactics requires strategy, planning, and outside-the-box thinking. Knowing how to use the proper software for these purposes is critical. Google Analytics Experiments lets you instantly compare engagement and conversion levels by tracking embedded links in your emails, posts, or ads.
Experimentation will give you a better idea of how to formulate customer-focused strategies that consistently bring your business the best results.
Continuously educate yourself
Big data is growing and refining itself at an exponential rate. In fact, IDC predicts that the worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics will balloon to more than $203 billion by 2020. The methods and theories that worked like magic one day may very well be obsolete the next. For businesses to use customer analytics to their advantage, they need to stay updated on a consistent basis.
Developing a deeper knowledge of analytics can offer your business major competitive advantages when it comes to building a more effective marketing strategy. Thankfully, you don’t have to head back to college to score a degree in analytics. Instead, you can head to an online training platform that offers in-person professional courses.
The Business Intelligence and Analytics classes from Zeolearn, for example, teach you how to use various software systems for better data collection and interpretation. Rather than just using boring videos or PowerPoints to learn, Zeolearn offers virtual tutoring and mentoring programs for a more hands-on learning experience that delivers results.
Customer analytics have the potential to provide all the information a business needs to produce the perfect marketing, sales, and support strategies to attract ideal customers. Yet, most are missing out simply because they do not know what to seek out. Delving into the numbers and statistics is not as frightening or complicated as it seems, especially when you have the right tools at your disposal.
Josh Spilker is a writer and author living in Nashville, Tenn. He is the content manager and strategist for Workzone, a top project management software company. He also blogs regularly about the creative process at Create Make Write.