October 16, 2016

Data Yields Results for Small/Medium Sized Business

Small/Medium Sized Business Data provides actionable intel. The use of data to create more targeted advertising continues to grow and become more sophisticated. Big-name companies have been utilizing it for years, but there is an uptick in small to medium sized businesses that are embracing the concept and see the undeniable benefits.

Many small to medium sized businesses think that they simply can’t afford to invest in data about their customers. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. As a small to medium sized business, you can’t afford not to invest in data. Without solid information about customers, their purchasing patterns and potential to purchase, any investment in marketing is like shooting an arrow in the dark and hoping it gets somewhere near the target. Utilizing data is essential to growing your business. Here are several reasons why:

  • Data is a good predictor of future buying habits: Utilizing data can provide a specific customer profile that not only defines demographics but also psychographics. It can paint a picture that enables you as a business owner to develop promotions based upon past successes and not mere assumptions.
  • Data increases profitability: The use of data can provide an overview of a companies busiest times or highest volume of sales. This information can be used when scheduling employees so that payroll is not being wasted.
  • Data provides the competitive edge needed: As a small to medium sized business, understanding competition is crucial to success.
  • Data can provide the competitive edge needed to survive as a small to medium sized business. It enables businesses to be able to view the effectiveness of particular marketing efforts and provides information for future promotions. Data enables businesses to offer personalized solutions for consumers.
  • Data enables you to really understand your customer: It’s not enough today to know basic demographics of your customer in order to stay ahead. Understanding why customers make their buying choices is essential. Data pulls together information from multiple sources and tells the story of the customer, their buying habits, likelihood to buy in the future and where to reach similar customers.
  • Data not only maintains current customers, but helps target potential customers: Customer retention is key to success. Remember the old adage: 20% of your customers produce 80% of your business so understanding them and being able to retain them is absolutely essential.
  • Data helps solve problems: Data provides insights as to what a business is doing right as well as what they may be doing wrong and enables them to tailor specific solutions to address these issues head on.

Approximately 23 percent of small to medium sized businesses are utilizing data in some manner. Of that 23 percent, 73 percent report positive outcomes.

Following are benefits that these businesses are reporting:

  • 67% report that it helps them retain existing customers
  • 65% say data helps improve the overall customer experience
  • 44% report the benefit of being able to segment their small marketing lists

This infographic provides great insight into how data provides key information about the customer journey. Businesses learn key information such as understanding what motivates their customer as well as insights into their needs, objections and future intentions. This is how it traces the customer journey:

  • Understand your customer
  • Reducing customer acquisition costs
  • Driving product innovation and revenue

While big businesses have been utilizing data for quite some time, smaller companies have felt restricted by budget and have worked hard to determine the most efficient ways to make the most of their customer data:

  1. Utilize data to improve email marketing- Even utilizing data at the most basic level like inserting the customer’s name increases the efficiency.
  2. Create personalized offers- Customers respond positively to offers that pertain directly to them. Using information such as customer birthdays or anniversaries has been shown to have a significant positive impact.
  3. Identifies problem areas- Careful attention to patterns that surround customer complaints or problems is an extremely efficient use of data.
  4. Improve customer support- Smart use of data includes understanding how to tie your customer support team into the information about the customer in order to understand how to serve them best.
  5. Develop new features and products- Data collected by a customer support team can provide key insights into potential improvements for existing products or suggestions for future new products.
  6. Make strategic business decisions- Data can help businesses in determining geographic for adding additional locations that would be successful.
  7. Winning back lost customers- Data can detect a decline in customer retention and enable businesses to see potential problems before the loss of the customer.

In today’s economy, it’s no longer about just seeing the numbers, but about understanding what those numbers are saying. The mentality of smaller businesses needs to shift from the belief that they can’t afford to utilize data to they can’t afford NOT to utilize data. In the long run, precise data provides an incomparable return on investment and leads to the most successful start-up companies. It’s not about how much data you have but how you utilize it.

At INTELLAM, we understand the need for small to mid-sized businesses to have access to a CRM program that is not only efficient but affordable. With over 60 years of experience helping customers understand their customers better, we have a solution to fit your needs. We will work to understand your business and customize a solution that is just right for your business. Our solutions are accessible from anywhere, enabling you to tap into important data at any given moment.