So Many Stats! How to Emerge From Your Ocean of Market Research With Valuable Insights and a Renewed Strength
Collecting data is a crucial step toward developing an effective marketing strategy, but many business owners and operators feel overwhelmed by all of the options for data collection. In fact, one survey found that 62% of owners felt overwhelmed by their data, and 85% were so overwhelmed they couldn’t even use the data to its full potential. Another study found that 72% of respondents felt that the data they could get was so fragmented that is was cumbersome to use. While it is easy to get overwhelmed in a wave of information, companies cannot afford to skip it. By using multiple methods and planning research more effectively, companies can plot out smart ways to use data.
Kinds of Data
In research, there are two main types of data. The first type is called primary research. This is the research that you do yourself — think of when a company administers surveys directly to customers. While this research can be more customizable to your needs, it can take a long time and cost money. The second type of data is secondary data. Secondary data is the data that’s already there, like sales records. Obtaining this information is easy, but it can be hard to make the findings specific to your products.
Before You Collect Data
Before you start making extra data, be sure to look at the kinds of data you already have. Doing this can guide you toward the kinds of data you should be collecting. Think about what your goals are for your company and what makes sense for your product. It’s a good idea to focus on getting accurate data that reflects what your intentions are rather than trying to get as much data as possible – quality over quantity in this case.
Make sure to avoid relying too much on one means of measurement. Many companies use multiple platforms such as mobile apps, websites, and physical movement to better understand a consumer. By considering the multiple ways a consumer can use a company, the company can then get a clearer and more specific idea of who their customer is. Using more than one method helps you avoid missing information that could be valuable. Additionally, using multiple methods ensures a more accurate collection of data that can do more for you.
When trying to figure out what data to look at, remember that there can be a lot of different influences on a company’s performance. Anything from what the competition offers to public perception to services provided can impact a company’s performance. Therefore, consider narrowing your research focus to a particular area of your company to avoid the confusion and overwhelming nature of having all of the data at once.
Tools to Help
Cookies are things we hear about all the time, but they may still be mysterious to some. Cookies hold enough data to tell a website’s server that a particular device visited the site. These can be used with other programs to show where visits are coming from.
Data Management Platform (DMP) is a software program that can collect and sort data in an easy-to-follow manner. The DMP gives a company a sort of summary of what your client campaigns have done.
Demand-Side Platform (DSP) does some of the same things that a DMP does in that it stores and organizes data for marketing purposes. The main difference between a DMP and a DSP is a DSP buys ads automatically without having to negotiate with human buyers. This process may be easier to do but it can take away the chance for customization.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) takes information from multiple sources to create a profile for the kinds of customers you encounter. Using this tool allows for a more personalized and targeted approach to marketing, which makes the customer feel as if your company provides more attention to their needs. For example, a hardware store sending deals about aluminum siding to customers who live in apartments feels impersonal. However, those customers may want to buy something else from the store, such as lamps. By collecting information about customers, companies can create a more personal experience, which makes customers want to come back for more.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the idea of trying to sift through all of the data that a company can generate. However, companies cannot ignore this vital tool for marketing. By considering what you already have, creating a specific focus, and using the right tools, you can make it easier than ever to collect, analyze, and use this valuable information.