Will data save the enterprise world? Everything seems to indicate so, but the last thing business owners and operations managers should expect are that data will magically intervene and increase their bottom lines without some sort of action or strategy.
We live in an era of massive data collection. All the information being captured today has always been produced; over the last few years, however, we have been able to gather very large data sets for analysis, extrapolation, strategic planning, and conversions of prospects into clients and customers. In other words, modern data collection provides optimal business intelligence that can be used to improve conversion rates and increase sales. Here are a few data-driven methods to gain new customers:
Website Analytics and Behavioral Marketing
Companies that depend on their websites to make sales should make the most out of analytics. Once a business gets started with the data collection process, executives and managers must not make the mistake of sitting on their data sets without taking action. A conscious and proactive decision to act upon data must be made; otherwise, a company would be better off directing their efforts into marketing and advertising.
With tools as simple as Google Analytics, a business can gain insight about the browsing patterns of website visitors. Furthermore, analytics reports also offer a glimpse into what visitors are interested in, how long they consider certain products and services, and what they end up purchasing. Armed with this data, business owners can make snap decisions such as adding call-to-action messages on product and service pages that visitors are browsing the longest.
Sales Forecasts and Projections
Interactive dashboards are vital data tools for companies that seek to increase their competitive profile. Data dashboards have been around since IBM introduced PC workstations into the enterprise world; unfortunately, many of these dashboards have been stuck on displaying static data.
With the right executive dashboard solution, business managers can interact with data sets and create forecasts based on business intelligence. For example, the sales manager of a small chain of deli cafes can gather local market intelligence about the households and businesses located within a mile of each store. Once this information is entered into the interactive dashboard, three sales projections can be formulated: one should be realistic, another should be positive and the last one negative.
Generating Marketing Databases
Marketing is a traditional method of customer conversion that can be augmented through the use of data sets, specifically using databases that can be used for marketing purposes.
Database marketing is at its most effective at the point of sale. An individual who makes a purchase shortly after his or her initial visit to a website should be treated as a golden opportunity. This customer should be presented with surveys and questionnaires to gather more information and to augment a database. This information can then be used as part of a focused email marketing campaign enticing customers to return for special sales, discounts, gifts, or even meaningful content.
Search Engine Optimization
There was a time when bookmarking pages was an essential part of web browsing. These days, favorite pages are being replaced by Google searches, which means that business owners should be using analytics to optimize their websites for potential search queries.
Let’s say a lover of Chinese American cuisine living in Dayton travels to Cleveland and looks for restaurants on her smartphone. She decides to try a place called “Great Wall” and loves her experience. The next time she visits Cleveland, she will not revisit a bookmark or pull up her browsing history; she will likely search for Great Wall Cleveland, which means that it is up to the restaurant owner to apply the right SEO so that the business can be easily found.
In the end, the smart use of data sets can go a long way in terms of converting prospects into customers; the key is to apply the right strategies.