Understanding your customer base is one of the key elements of running a successful business; but that can be a much more difficult prospect than it sounds at first brush. How do you gather quantitative data about potential customers? How can you analyze it for actionable information? How do you deploy those suggestions in your business framework?
All of these questions are big ones for businesses which are trying to be more data forward. But fortunately, there are plenty of systematic ways to answer these questions. For our purposes, we’ll be elaborating on some of the best ways to collect actionable data for your business. This can be data which defines customer behavior, can be used to build more-accurate customer profiles, and other significant information which you can use to target your customers more accurately and with less work.
Data that Segments Your Customers
Your customers likely belong to one easily-identifiable segment of the population, to which you hone in your marketing and advertising. But within your strongest segments, there are probably internal groups of customers: some better than others. One of the most worthwhile types of data to gather about your customers is more demographic information. Analyzing this information can yield valuable data about high-value consumer sub-groups. And one of the best parts about this sort of data is that it’s value is immediately applicable in marketing programs.
On-Site Behavior Data
Businesses which don’t collect and analyze the data for on-site behaviors of consumer are very likely leaving a good amount of money on the table. Some business owners who are intimidated by the idea of looking at so much information often lean on surveys to gain similar information about habits: but more direct and accurate collection methods often yield more accurate and more actionable data. For example, heatmap programs can see what content visitors lean on, identify weak elements and anticipate the needs of your visitors. The more quickly and effectively you can cater to the needs of visitors and get them where they’re most likely to go, the more likely your business will be able to capture a larger percentage of possible sales.
Of course, this sort of data can be difficult to interpret and hard to implement, and requires a strong split-testing capability. Because changing website layouts can cause new and unique problems to interrupt old modes of customer-generation, it’s important to have a strong process in place to monitor differences.
Collecting Social Data
If your business isn’t using pixels to connect social traffic to website visits, you’re behind. And that’s not the only big issue; millennials and other younger generations are purportedly on social media outlets on average for more than 5 hours a day. That’s a wealth of information about your visitors and clients which can be used to streamline and improve your business. Where possible, solicit consumers to connect with you on social outlets, and use the data you gather on your social users to create non-ad, authentic social campaigns.
Another significant item to track is exit data. Why do consumers leave? Are there key points where you could recommend related products or encourage potential consumers to purchase up? What can you do to encourage visitors to stay longer or complete purchases? Though this is another example of data which should always be acted on with split-testing, when studied and enacted carefully it can have significant effects on your business conversion rate.
In an age of Big Data, more and more companies are jumping on the data bandwagon. Unfortunately, for most, that’s where the buck stops: many business owners don’t know how to collect data properly to yield actionable improvements in their business, or to analyze it. So that you don’t waste time trying a dozen data solutions aimlessly until something sticks, we’ve highlighted a number of ways to gather useful, actionable data for your business that cover everything from creating more customer segments to social data, and more.