In an age where the competition for customer attention is only getting more crowded, companies, especially startups, should not only work harder but smarter to push past other businesses vying for customers’ attention and money. Data should be an integral part of your decision-making and planning so you can make the most of your startup’s resources. The volume of available data coming from both internal company records and external sources can seem like a lot to wade through, but startups nowadays are in a great position to be able to efficiently collect and process data to help them. Thanks to modern technological advancements such as cloud computing that allows large amounts of data to be stored without driving up operational costs, simple and effective tools like automated Google dashboards that allow you to transform data into easily digestible visual reports, and numerous other helpful tools, startups can create a data-driven approach for all business facets, including marketing.
Marketing is an essential part of a company’s success. Having a great product is not enough to translate into sales when you do not have a marketing strategy in place. You should have a marketing plan in place to effectively communicate why customers should choose your product. You can have e-mail marketing, social media content, ads, or a combination of different strategies. Your company’s marketing team can benefit greatly from having relevant customer insights that data can provide.
Improve reach in the right marketing channels
To engage with customers, you must be present on all the appropriate channels. In order to do this, you need data to have a better understanding of your target customers’ behavior. Having accurate data can help you effectively select which channels you should promote. Knowing the touchpoints that your target customer frequents allows you to better allocate your marketing efforts and resources. For example, your company may be spending a majority of your marketing budget on TV and print ads for your new product, but customer data may show you that your potential market is actually online. To generate more buzz for your newly launched product, you may need to repurpose your budget for content marketing and work on spicing up your social media presence. Data analytics helps improve brand awareness and gives your brand a higher chance of being selected at the point of purchase. It also provides a more cost-effective way to spend your startup’s budget.
Create a customized marketing approach
When data analytics has helped you identify where to reach your target customers, you then need to figure out what you will communicate and how. An effective strategy should include different approaches for the different parts of the customer journey and various customer experiences. Having access to accurate customer insights helps your marketing team take on a personalized marketing approach that will increase customer engagement. Data can give you valuable information about your customers and how to build a strong relationship with them. Data allows a better understanding of customers’ pain points. For example, studies show that a segment of your target customers find your competitor’s product that they’re using expensive and not worth it. Here, you can tweak your messaging to address the financial pain point. Instead of putting your product’s features or sleek style as the highlights, you can instead emphasize the cost-saving benefit of your product versus your competitor’s and the advantage of having different payment options. Understanding your customer and their pain points through data helps you to better position your products through targeted communications that address a certain issue or need that a specific customer is experiencing.
Keep competition in check
Not only does data give you a competitive edge over others with data-driven marketing, it also allows you to know your competitors better. Through competitor analytics, you are able to identify businesses that offer the same products or services as you and evaluate your own performance in relation to theirs. You can keep up with their best marketing practices, identify their weaknesses, and learn more about how they are perceived by your target audience. When you know your competition, you are better equipped to find new opportunities and stay a step ahead.
On the other hand, startups should also be wary of the threat of competitors or other parties trying to get a hold of both the company’s and customers’ information by unlawful means. Your company must also ensure that preventive measures and data security protocols are in place to protect the data that you will rely on to help you succeed.
Data can also provide a better way to set and track your marketing KPIs. Having a data-driven approach to measure performance helps you refine your marketing strategies to further optimize your budget and maximize your brand’s potential. While the usual performance indicators like sales revenue or the total number of leads can be a straightforward way to track success, data allows you to be more specific in your evaluation of your marketing programs. With data analytics, you can track which specific marketing channels are the best to tap into depending on the customer journey you’re trying to market to. Website analytics have also come a long way from just generating the number of site visits. You can analyze your website traffic even further with a heatmap tool or track your traffic-to-lead ratio to see what parts of your website you can enhance to improve performance. Employing an effective marketing performance evaluation means that your marketing strategies are continually learning and improving as your startup continues to grow.
Technology gives startups a much-needed boost, so they can collect and process data just like big corporations. Information is now easily accessible, and startups who want to have an edge over their competitors should effectively harness the power of data. This competitive edge will not only make sure that the brand is present in the right channels, but that the right marketing strategies are being executed.