Even in the absence of a huge marketing budget, SME’s can use the data they have available to make smart marketing decisions for each part of the customer journey. For businesses who trade or have a presence online, data-driven marketing should be your modus operandi.

Data-driven marketing is essentially creating and executing a marketing strategy based on the insights you uncover from the analysis of customer data.

Marketing without using data is a bit like driving with your eyes shut! It’s reckless, an accident waiting to happen!

With more and more pressure on marketing budgets, SME business owners cannot afford to just throw caution to the wind and chuck money at the newest marketing fad in a bid to attract more customers online.

Studying and analyzing the data available to you will boost your chances of a significant return on your marketing investment.

According to a recent Forbes insight study, 91% of senior executives agreed that data-driven marketing is vitally important to the success of their business.

Furthermore, over 50% of respondents said they plan to invest heavily in data analytics over the next few years.

Now if big brands are investing and prioritizing data-driven marketing, SME’s should definitely be following suit.

Even in the absence of a huge marketing budget, SME’s can use the data they have available to make smart marketing decisions for each part of the customer journey.

Website Behavioral Data (Google Analytics) 

Website analytics can help you to uncover most of the insights you need to put together a comprehensive marketing strategy for the next few months.

If you have a Google Analytics Account I recommend making a note of the following details looking at the past few months

Acquisition by channel- which channels are driving traffic?

Is organic search, referral, direct and social, paid search, paid social)

Referrals-which websites are

  • referring traffic to your website
  • delivering better quality traffic (lower bounce rates)
  • assisting transactions

Social Traffic- which social networks is

  • delivering traffic
  • delivering the highest quality of traffic (session duration, page views)
  • delivering sales

Site Search

  • How are visitors using your on-site search
  • What are the most popular on-site search terms being used

Site behavior analysis:

  • Where are visitors dropping off and leaving your website.
  • What is the average bounce rate?
  • What is the average time spent on the site?
  • What content is hitting the mark?
  • Which content is failing?

Devices used:

  • What devices are your audience using to navigate on your website.

E-Commerce Conversion Rate

  • What is the percentage of visits that resulted in paid on-site transaction

Average Order Value

  • On average how much do your customers spend.

Once you have delved into the data, you should start to uncover insights into your marketing activity that should shape your strategy moving forward.

Is the distribution of your traffic in line with the average?

Has a previously reliable source of referral traffic has dried up recently?

Reconnecting with partner sites or identifying new partners could be a way to address this problem.

Is a particular social network delivering quality traffic? Part of your strategy moving forward could be to spend more time building a community there.

Are visitors dropping off at key points during the customer journey?  Perhaps the creative, images and offering is failing to hit the mark

Is your average order value unsatisfactory?

Has your e-commerce conversion rate dropped off in the last three months? Do you need to tighten up the processes to follow up abandoned baskets?

Are the majority of your visitor’s mobile users? If so, how mobile optimized is your website and marketing strategy?

By delving into the data, you can uncover your strengths, your weaknesses and create a bespoke strategy to build and address respectively.

Customer Feedback Data

First party data obtained from customers can provide invaluable insights.  Well crafted customer surveys can provide data on customer satisfaction and uncover potential areas of growth and product development.

While website analytics data can tell you what people do on your website, customer feedback data can tell you why people search, browse, click and engage with your website or social channels.

Surveys also present an opportunity to obtain a deeper understanding of your audience’s background. Although usually anonymous, a well thought-out survey should allow you to collect the following information:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Preferences
  • Life stage
  • Shopping habits

Of course, the quality of the data you are able to collect will be dependent on the number of respondents.  A small sample size will not only skew your results, it will make your data redundant.  Therefore, think about ways to incentivize respondents.

A prize draw, gift vouchers or loyalty points are all tactics brands have used to increase the number of survey respondents.

Additionally, timely requests immediately following an action on your website or online purchase will elicit a better response.

There are some great online survey tools out there. Why not cease the moment to start collecting this rich first party data right away.

Social listening tools like Hootsuite or Radian 6 can also help you pick up on conversations about your brand or market. This in turn can help you to shape your marketing strategy moving forward.

Analyse the data in your customer database

Your customer database has a wealth of juicy data just waiting to be leveraged!

Most E-commerce databases contain the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of last purchase
  • Previous purchases
  • Value of purchases
  • Order item
  • Referral behavior
  • Dispatch address
  • Town
  • City
  • Postcode

You can use the data stored in your customer database to uncover the:

  • Most frequent customers
  • Most recent customers
  • Most valuable customers

Uncovering these insights will allow you to target the hottest segments of your customer base via email.

For example, you may find that there is a direct correlation with location, frequency, value and product type of a particular type of customer.  Therefore, you may decide to draw up a new targeted campaign, tailoring the messaging and creative to suit this new segment.

Or you may conclude after analyzing the data that a special offer for your most frequent customers would deepen customer loyalty and advocacy. A dedicated campaign to all customers who have made a purchase over three times in the last year may fit the bill here.

Conclusion

Even though analyzing the wealth of available data on your prospects and customers takes time and effort, the results that can be delivered will make it well worth your while.

Understanding how visitors are interacting with your website, why they visit and purchase as well as what and how frequently they purchased will allow you to make confident marketing decisions and grow online sales.

Do you need a hand with your visual branding, marketing strategy or online advertising.  Get in touch with us to schedule a free no obligation consultation

Gareth Greenidge

Author Gareth Greenidge

My specialities include: identifying digital customer experience opportunities, managing CX and UX projects, marketing physical and online products, creating digital marketing strategies for start-ups and SME's, execution of paid advertising, CRO, managing social media campaigns, copywriting, content creation and analytics management.

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