Many small business owners find data intimidating, but doing data can be simpler than you might think.
Your data can help you better understand customers and inform your marketing strategies.
Are you nervous and reluctant to get involved with your business’s data? You’re not alone. According to a SCORE Association survey, 51% of small businesses believe analytics is important but only 45% of these respondents use analytics.
One of the common responses we get from clients is that they don’t want to do data because they’re afraid it’ll be too hard for them. Data has a terrible reputation for being difficult to use and understand. Part of this is the language we use to talk about data (i.e. data engineers, data scientists, etc.). It makes it sound like you need to go to MIT before you can even begin to hope to understand data.
But that’s just not the case! You don’t need to be a data engineer or a data scientist to make use of your data. You just need to be a business owner who’s interested in your customers and wants to give them a better experience.
Let’s dive into what data is, how it’s easier to work with than you may think, and one of the challenges to expect with data (that you can easily overcome).
Data in a Nutshell
When we talk about “data”, all we’re talking about is the information your customers share with you by the choices that they make. It’s the data that:
- will help you figure out how to make more people aware of your business
- will help you choose effective marketing tools to capture your customers’ attention
- tells you how well your online and in-store efforts are working
Making Data More Doable
If you’re feeling intimidated by data, this simple exercise will make it less scary and more doable. First, stand in your store and physically count how many people come in the door each day. (That’s data collection!) Next, check your website data to see how many people visited your online store during the same time period you were doing your count. Then compare the two numbers. Was there more traffic in-store or online? (This is data analysis!)
Working with data is not inherently difficult. It’s certainly not any harder than any of a million things you do on a regular basis running your business. And making better data-driven decisions is like any other complex task that you deal with as a business owner — you can always tap into the support of professionals if you need some extra guidance in this area.
The Challenge About Data (That You Can Overcome)
Once you get over your initial fear about data, you’ll find that it’s not “daunting” but “doable”. Like with any other aspect of small business life, though, it does have a challenge: achieving audience clarity. It can be difficult to understand what your data means when you’re not absolutely clear about your audience.
If you’re correct in the assumptions you make about your target audience, your data will show that your customers engage with the content you provide and take desired actions that lead to conversions. (For instance, they’ll watch the videos you share, read product details, or subscribe to your email list.)
But data analysis could reveal a decline in engagement and conversion rates, which could mean that you’re off track with what your audience is interested in. That means you need to tweak your marketing strategy and messaging accordingly.
For example, perhaps you think that your customer is not a discount shopper but rather someone who’s focused on the latest and greatest products. Your customers confirm this assumption when they’re browsing your products in person at your store. But their online behavior indicates that they’re more interested in discounts than they let on — and your data confirms this reality.
Always compare your buyer personas against what your data is saying. Examining the data will reveal places where your understanding of who your customers are and what’s important to them can be improved.
Data Will Help You Know Your Customers
Every time you examine your data, you’ll learn more about your customer. And what we’ve found is that even the most data-daunted business owners rapidly become excited and energized once they realize what their greater level of understanding means.
Most of us are passionate about our customers and want them to be happy. We want them to come back, write positive reviews, and recommend us to their friends. Data’s the key to making that happen!
Need more guidance when it comes to data analysis or defining your audience? Technology Therapy® Group is here to help! Contact us to inquire about coaching sessions for you and your team. And make sure to check out these on-demand trainings below.