Making good business decisions is not easy, but it can be made a little easier by leveraging data analytics. In the past, business decisions relied on leaders and stakeholders using their own past experiences or briefly considering the surface-level decisions of their competitors. This meant possibly basing a very important decision merely on what did or didn’t work for your competitor without knowing a lot about the smaller choices and circumstances that led to that particular success.
Before we had the ability to analyze large amounts of data, it was much harder to reduce or eliminate unhealthy bias in the decision-making process. Reducing bias makes it easier to make a decision that is truly the most likely to meet the defined goals of a company.
To develop the best marketing plans, businesses need to break down their target demographic into subgroups to get a better understanding of each group’s concerns, goals, needs, and overall living situation. Statistics that are most useful to know are each subgroup’s occupations, locations, and demographics, such as income.
Knowing as much as you can about each sub-group you are targeting allows for highly tailored marketing that has a better chance of making a lasting connection with people. The better the connection, the greater the odds that you will gain a lifetime customer.
Real-time decision making
In any business, there are times when you need to make fast decisions. When these decisions are made without enough past knowledge, they are not always the best. With data analytics, you can use past data and information to make a prediction on what to do right now.
Past data can be used by computer programs used in many industries to make better automatic decisions that save time, money, and lives.
Optimizing marketing channels
No matter what your marketing budget might be, you are going to want to make decisions that bring the highest returns to your business. The first step is to define each marketing channel that you are utilizing and a list of those that you are not. For many businesses, their marketing channels may be company websites, Facebook, Twitter, Static ads on websites, and Google Ads. Other marketing channels may be television, print media, YouTube, and influencers.
While some of the above channels can be categorized more broadly, it is important to look at each unique channel to get the full scale of what is working and what is not. For example, you can find out if you are getting more business and traffic to your website through Facebook or Twitter. If an ad you are paying for on another company’s website is pulling in more than Google ads, then you may consider reducing your advertising on Google ads or at least setting different audience parameters.
Personalization at scale
A marketable-sized company needs the ability to communicate with a lot of customers and offer them personalized customer service and shopping experiences. In the past, this was not possible, and only larger customers or the most loyal ones received this type of marketing approach.
With software and analytics, it is possible to create thousands of customized emails and tailor communications to suit the needs of each individual customer. An example of this is emails that have the customer’s name in the greeting. Yet another is allowing the customer to choose how often and what types of information they receive from your company. When the customer has control over this, they are more likely to continue receiving your marketing materials rather than unsubscribe.
Personalization at scale also involves tailoring marketing materials to the demographic. You may not send out the same emails to one group as another, or you may market a specific product or service more heavily to another.
Predictive analytics for forecasting
Long-term business planning requires as much foresight as possible. This means the more you know in advance, the more tailored and realistic a plan you can create.
When creating a long-term forecast, it is much better to set smaller realistic goals that can be achieved faster but ultimately lead to achieving your larger goals. A series of small steps allows for easier corrections.
Forecasting prevents businesses from investing time and money into projects that are not likely to pay off. This is made possible by analyzing past trends and cycles and the decisions made by the target demographics.
Consider how much money, time, and talent it takes to bring a product from the idea phase to market. Designing, sourcing, materials, building and testing prototypes, and getting approval from various agencies all take a lot of financial resources – not to mention the time and ingenuity that cannot be retrieved if a product is not successful. With predictive analytics, businesses can use data to decide where to concentrate their efforts and increase the odds of bringing the most innovative and useful products and services to market.
Predictive analytics can set a business ahead of the competition, too. By being the first to fill a need, especially in a niche market, a company can enjoy immense profits – and even more so if they hold the patent on a groundbreaking product. It can also prevent your company from repeating the mistakes they have made in the past.
It is important to know the journey that a customer took that led them to the initial purchase. Attribution modeling shows the chain of events that led to a purchase. This might mean that a customer saw an ad on Facebook and then visited your website, and then made a purchase using a coupon code from a pop-up you created for new site visitors. You may see a trend that this is how a lot of people are becoming customers. Other pathways can be modeled, and your company can then compare the most successful pathways to draw in new customers.
Dynamic content optimization
If you have ever wondered how the ads you see are determined, then dynamic content optimization can help explain this. This technology allows ads to be displayed that are relevant to the user’s real-time data. By using websites or clicking the “accept terms” button on sites, you are sharing relevant data that is then used to show you ads that are likely to be relevant to you. Does this work perfectly? No. There are times when a customer has already purchased an item, and they continue to see advertisements for the same thing they bought. However, the technology does generate a lot of revenue for companies that have data that shows the type of person that tends to visit a specific site. Data analysts can help improve the use of dynamic content optimization so you can get as many hits as possible for ads displayed.
Customer retention strategies
Gaining a one-time customer is one thing, but getting them to come back may be more challenging than you think. There is a lot of competition in practically any industry. Some customers may just go with whatever brand is offering the best financial incentive at the time. You need to find ways to show customers that your brand has more to offer and deserves their loyalty over a lifetime.
In some cases, merely offering a higher-quality version of a product or service is enough as long as you make sure that your marketing shows people this. Reviews are relied on by a lot of people for making decisions.
Financial incentives that encourage customer loyalty may include rewards programs where customers receive free products or discounts based on the amount they spend. Offering extra points for each purchase around holidays or birthdays is a popular incentive.
Rewards for referring other customers can put your customers to work for you. For example, Instacart offers a $10 reward for each customer that enters your referral code – plus, customers get $10 off their order as well. The monetary amount varies based on the product or service a company is promoting, but it is very effective when it comes to gaining new customers.
Business analytic services are in demand
The number of businesses and start-ups is growing every day. If businesses want to compete in the modern world, they need to use analytics to take them to the top. Even smaller businesses utilize data analysis companies to get answers to the questions they need to take their business to the next level.
Many computer scientists find themselves working in data analysis a lot because there is such a strong demand.
It is easy to see how data analytics help businesses. If you want to work in business and have a love for data and computers, you should consider an online Master of Science degree in Business Analytics from a university such as St. Bonaventure University. There has never been a better time to get started on a new and exciting career that will continue to be in demand for decades to come. St. Bonaventure’s program can be completed in just two years on a schedule that meets your needs as a working professional. You will learn prescriptive and predictive data analysis techniques, as well as how to create data visualizations. Data warehousing and analytical programming are also thoroughly covered.
A great marketing team starts with good data
Marketing teams need good data and information to do their job well. Knowing a lot about each subgroup of the target demographic is important.
Fresh and relevant ads and content are a must. The same ads all the time will start to make customers block content from your company or have a poor impression of your brand. Great analytics allows marketing teams to have a lot of insight that can be used to make a lot of unique campaigns.
Establish their vision and goals
While it may seem simple to see the vision and goals that a company might have, that is not always the case. Regardless of how much it seems like everyone is on the same page, a mission statement and outline of values, along with short- and long-term goals, are important for getting the most out of any time spent expanding and growing a company. Marketing teams, in particular, need to be sure that their ad campaigns and content are presenting the image that stakeholders want customers to think of when they see your company logo or product.
Data analytics can maximize efficiency
Time is money. If your business needs to keep costs low or it seems like costs are rising too rapidly, then there may be areas in which you can make improvements that allow your operations to be more streamlined and efficient. Analyzing performance data from different areas of your operations can show you where there are problems.
Maximizing efficiency is especially important during times when it is hard to staff any business fully. Companies are having to learn how to accomplish more with less workforce regardless of the ability to pay employees a good wage. For example, finding ways to improve processing time for orders or reduce the need for warehouse space can help, but it can be hard to see the whole picture without good data analysis.
Regular feedback from customers and potential customers
Surveys and feedback are important. Some businesses conduct surveys through survey platforms to get an impression of what customers might think of some marketing before they launch it entirely. This is also a good way to learn what customers and potential customers really want and need.
Feedback on products and services is important. Surveys via email or text message are usually the best way to go about this. Offering some incentive to fill out the survey or write a review is also helpful. For example, a brand might offer you reward points for writing an honest review of their product.
Responding to customer reviews and interacting with them is important to show customers that you value their opinions even if they express something negative. Often, a negative experience can be turned into a positive one with just a little interaction.
Data analysis allows companies to balance risk
There is some risk when any business decision is made. In fact, some great successes have happened because people and companies were willing to take a chance. Of course, one must be careful when it comes to risk and not take on too much. Data analysis can help predict future trends but also offer ideas of what might happen if things do not go as you would like them to.
Ideally, your company will one day be in a position to be able to absorb some losses when they occur, but in the beginning, taking on too much risk is likely something you do not want to do.
Analyzing data can unveil untapped potential
The ability to analyze huge amounts of data means that trends that would otherwise be impossible to see may emerge. Finding an unseen need and filling it can lead to great success. This results in staying ahead of your competitors and staying relevant in a highly competitive business environment.
Remember that companies have to compete on a global level, thanks to inexpensive shipping and overseas competitors. This means finding a way to stand out and be memorable no matter what industry you are in.
Data analytics are vital to businesses
Data analysis can make all the difference in whether a company succeeds or not. To remain competitive, businesses have to be savvier when it comes to making short- and long-term decisions. Data analytics help businesses learn as much as they can about their customers so they can meet their needs better and encourage greater customer loyalty.
Now is a great time to consider a career in business analytics and be at the forefront of helping businesses grow into the future.