Marketing Data – Big, Small – Size Doesn’t Matter

Are you blind to your marketing data? 

What marketing  data, you ask? Marketing Data - Are You Blind?

The data sitting in your computer, cash register, databases, on your website, in your social media accounts – that marketing data!

You’ve heard all the ballyhoo about “big data”.  How armed with hundreds of data points, large retailers, banks, government agencies, political parties and others are able to successfully forecast our next moves and know more about us than we do ourselves.

But every business owner has similar data at their fingertips.  It may be small in scale to what the big companies can gather, but it too can produce valuable insights that can lead to business success.

But many business owners look at me with blank eyes when I ask them a few important, yet basic business questions like:

  • What are your average weekly, monthly sales?  When are the natural peaks and valleys?
  • What is your average profit margin and is it up, down or staying the same?
  • How many customers do you serve in an average week, month? What is the trend?
  • What is the average transaction price per customer?
  • Which are the most valuable customers?
  • Which products are your money makers/losers?
  • How much money did you spend advertising your business in the last week, month, or quarter?
  • What is the ROI of these expenditures?
  • How many times have you posted on your social media accounts in the last week, month?
  • Which posts generated engagement, shares, or mentions?
  • How many visitors to your website a month?
  • How many visitors are using mobile to view your website?

These questions are not tough, at least not for the business person with their eyes wide open.  Many, such as sales, profits, number of customers, should be tracked daily.

The excuses I hear most often for not tracking the numbers are:

I’m too busy to track numbers. 
How would I know if the ad worked?
That’s for my accountant and not something I do.  I’m more creative than that. 

Why bother tracking data?

Data paints the picture of where your business is at a particular point in time.  It tells you if it is healthy, wearing down or if it is about to close down.

It is that picture that guides your next steps.

It can guide you in your product offerings, in your daily operations, and most definitely in your marketing online and off.

Without data, you are flying blind with no idea of what is or isn’t working.

You’re in the dark about what is happening with your customers and inside your four walls.

Perhaps more importantly, you’re in the dark about which of your marketing  efforts make a difference to your bottom line.

Don’t avoid the numbers.  Learn, instead, to love the numbers.

Start tracking the numbers that matter to your business. Track some daily, others weekly or monthly.

See the picture the data is painting for you and your business.

What is the picture telling you?  What are your next steps?

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Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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