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Set your data silos free

Every day, businesses create a ton of data across the internet.  Websites, marketing programs, and social media all create little “Data Silos” that represents details of that business and interactions with its customers and audience.  Taken in aggregate, this represents “Big Data.”  But data analytics isn’t solely the domain of large corporations and internet based businesses.

Sometimes I encounter business owners who never look at analytics reports for their marketing efforts. Its always a head-scratcher for me. I can’t figure out why somebody wouldn’t. Invariably, my first question is “Well, do you pay attention to your costs of goods sold in your accounting reports?” For some reason, the answer to this is always yes. So I can eliminate arithmaphobia (fear of numbers).

Most businesses look at the costs of their digital marketing efforts, but don’t get a good grip on the results or even set benchmarks for activity.

If you don’t set benchmarks, how do you measure success or failure? If you don’t look at the analytics produced by your marketing efforts how do you even have the information necessary to measure success or failure.

The answer for many businesses is that “they know success when they see it.” They measure at the cash register or some gut feeling that more people have come in.

But, whether they acknowledge it or not, marketing campaigns generally don’t exist in a vacuum. So without knowing what is going on, can a business truly gut check the effectiveness of their marketing? Are the people at the register asking the necessary questions and recording the data or is the business relying on 3rd party gut checks?

That’s not a good way to run a business.

The first step is really getting to know the statistics that actually matter to your business. What matters to you as a decision maker. These should be measurable drivers of activity. Yes, the dollar matters to everybody. But that is all to often a symptom, not a driver.

Once you know the driving forces behind your business, this becomes the first decision making criteria for your marketing efforts. Can it produce and report on the stats that you are looking for. If it can’t then does it really serve a business purpose.

You will find that having very specific measurables will actually save you time in the long run in your discussions with potential vendors and media. It allows you to set solid criteria for selecting vendor and media opportunities.  The criteria also allows for more results driven A/B testing and decision making for your marketing efforts to optimizing these efforts.

Time and knowledge are usually the reasons that businesses cite for not using the analtyics at their fingertips.  Knowledge of the meaning of the data and how to use it is simply a learning curve.  As “the cloud” continues to develop, a number of Business Intelligence (BI) platforms have  come in to existence that allow businesses to aggregate their data silos into a single data set for analysis and decision making.  Greatly decreasing the time necessary to review and to discover, analyze and act on this data.


 

If you are interested in learning more about analytics and the solutions that are available to help you get control of your data silos, contact Matt Swanson – matt {at} msdigitalsolutions.com or call 260-223-9202.

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