Pre-internet, business owners either adopted a ‘throw everything at the wall and see what sticks’ approach to find out what their customers wanted and/or liked about their brand, or they got amongst them, carrying out survey after survey.
Back then, further down the sales process, sales reports were manna from the gods; they showed what items were good sellers and which trends were hitting the spot with consumers – as well as highlighting anything that wasn’t quite ‘doing it for them’.
Asking new leads or clients where they learned of their brand wasn’t a sophisticated process, as there weren’t really a multitude of ways to choose from anyway. Most likely, new customers were directed to a new brand via word of mouth or the trusty Yellow Pages. Unless a company was an established household name, the majority of a business’s sales were to locals.
Then the digital age took hold.
Today, even the smallest of businesses can have a good number of customer ‘touch-points’. There are hundreds of ways a company can become known by potential clients. Any business can sell anything to anyone, anywhere in the world (loosely speaking – there are laws and regulations around some products, of course).
How can a small business keep track of all these new, digital leads? How do they hone what they’re doing well and find out what’s not working for them? How can they understand their audience better and begin to learn what drives a consumer to buy their product? Has anything changed since the birth of the internet?
You’ve been living under a rock for the past ten years if you can’t answer that question. Of course things have changed.
The currency of today’s marketplaces is data. Data is big business. Technology surrounding data capture can tell a business so much about itself and its past, present and future customers. All this valuable information can be at your fingertips in minutes, driving decisions about: your next product line; where to place marketing and advertising spend and where customers find you; customers’ profiles; gaps in the market and opportunities; which pages/information on your website is most likely to convert a lead into a sale; the search engine terms potential clients use to find you; obstacles and pain points in your sales process – and much more. This is information you need to strategically steer your business to success. It’s the antithesis of throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks.
At Novus, the websites we produce for our clients tap into all this lovely data. Your website becomes less like a brochure and more like the tool it’s destined to be: an online employee reporting back about everything to do with your business. And don’t think data and its capture has no impact on offline enquiries and sales; when a new customer learns about you the first thing they do is check you out online. Word of mouth happens just as much – if not more so – on social media platforms as it does in small talk at the bus stop.
If you watch ‘The Great Hack’ or the film ‘The Circle’, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, you may even come to the conclusion that data is so precious, it can overhaul the way the world is run. It can be a weapon. Data’s true power is yet to be fully understood.
But, for Bill and his dry-cleaning shop down the road, data is no less powerful. Every business has to continually feed their sales funnel - because clients naturally move away or die off. Without any marketing or promotion, a business’s client base WILL organically shrink.
Today, savvy marketing involves analytics. If you think your business is too small to be concerned with data, you could be shooting yourself in the foot. Analytics makes marketing so much easier, it’s almost like laying everything down for you on a plate. Why wouldn’t you try and understand the data tells you?!
Have a chat with us about data, analytics, your website and your marketing objectives. Complete the contact form on our website and we’ll arrange a free marketing consultation concerning you and your business. Grow, grow, grow!