Data Driven Marketing
It may come as a surprise to you that although everyone considers we marketers as the right brain, uber creative type, truly effective marketing is data driven and thus the left brain analytic type is the driver in that activity.
In our experience many businesses or organizations make marketing decisions based on what they believe is right or a good strategy, or they may depend on a historic perspective, or anecdotal information, without taking the time to consider what the actual data is telling them regarding their business.
Where to get Data?
To properly drive your marketing strategy, the first order of business is to get as much data as possible on your current and target customer, as well as the landscape within which your business will function. One way to begin to collect data on your customer may come as a surprise to you. Look to your accounting software or program. Most accounting software offers a treasure trove of data, such as customer buying patterns or frequency, geographic locations of your customers, volume of purchases, and customer longevity. In addition, the software will show you who your best customers are by percentage to total sales. What your accounting software won’t tell you however, is what your customer is thinking. This is where market research comes in.
The best way to learn more about your customers or potential customers is by engaging in research. If this is unfamiliar to you, we recommend reaching out to professionals. Locally, we have relationships with Dynamic Insights in Neenah Wisconsin as well as the Business Success Center located on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus. Both offer systematic market research based upon your needs and desired outcomes. The scope of services or research type can vary from customer loyalty, market feasibility, concept testing, or business positioning.
How the research is conducted can also vary, and may depend upon the outcomes you are looking for and your budget. The process would include customized surveys via phone, web, mail, face-to-face, focus groups, or in-depth interviews.
When someone walks in our doors, and they already have data collected and want to use it to drive their marketing, we shout a collective “Yippee!” We much prefer this to making educated guesses with their marketing decisions, as the stakes are too high, and the dollar amounts often too great to make mistakes. Unfortunately, all too often the opposite is true, and customers want to skip the all-too-important research component to their marketing.
To truly insure your marketing dollars are being well spent and directed appropriately, rely on the data.