It's a time of 'analytics for everything' - there is data capturing behaviour online, instore, or even just on the street. What do you do with that data, and how do you translate that into useful initiatives?

Start with objectives – what are the outcomes you want for your business?

“More sales” is probably the most obvious outcome, but is it just more sales, or more highly profitable sales? Having a “lower cost of sale” may be another objective that makes sense for your business.

Let’s say you want to focus on getting more of the most profitable sales in your business while also reducing the cost of those sales (thus increasing your profit even further). What data do you need to work with?

Data set 1: What are your most profitable products or services?

Review your sales information via production costs vs. sales results. Do you already have this information on hand, or do you need to do some more digging to work out the highest profit products?

Data set 2: Who are the customers who are buying those highly profitable products or services?

Where are they based? What other information are you collecting about them? Are they repeat/loyal customers or mostly new business? Are there any patterns in terms of demographics? Age, gender, socio-economic groups?

Data set 3: What is the opportunity to further grow this market?

Do you have direct competitors? What are they doing well? What are they doing badly? Are there more potential customers like your existing group that you could reach out to?

Data set 4: Which are the most effective channels for connecting with those customers?

Is it through your website? In-store? Social media interactions? Print advertising? TV or radio ads? Paid search ads (AdWords), social media advertising (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram) or display ads on other sites? Your Google Analytics accounts should be set up to show conversions (to sales, enquiries, free trials, downloads etc), which will give you a clear idea of which source of traffic provides the most conversions. Tip: for the majority of our clients, it is still organic search.

Developing a clear view

You can of course keep digging for more data, but these four data sets are a great starting point.

Based on the information you’ve gathered, you should be able to create a plan to access more of those wonderful premium customers, and decide how much is realistic to invest in increasing your sales.

Try to detach from the assumptions you already have about where your sales are coming from – the reality may well be different.

Also keep in mind that customers may have connected with you across a number of different channels and in person before they buy from you.

Working out how to get a clear view of those customers and all their connection points is perhaps the biggest challenge for any business, but there are an increasing number of tools available that will help deliver that customer-centric , “all of customer” or omnichannel view.

To find out more about the available tools and how to develop a marketing plan that taps into all of your data, get in touch with our team.