Ecommerce February 10th, 2017
There’s no doubt about it – data driven marketing is winning more deals and directing more marketing budgets than ever before. No longer must marketing take the form of a guessing game: The digital age has finally revealed a level path leading to quantifiable, easily accessible bits and bytes of pertinent customer information waiting to be analyzed and honed into a master marketing strategy.
From CRMs to ERPs to web analytics to social media and beyond, there are now more tools than ever to deliver direct insight into the customer experience that tells us just about anything we want to know. By using this information, businesses can realistically increase their sales twofold by boosting the number of leads, conversions, repeat business, profit margin, and average transaction value.
But even with a 360-degree view of hard evidence, the fact is that many marketers and business owners don’t know how to use all those spare data parts to build their marketing machine.
Good news for business owners, marketers and sales people everywhere: You don’t have to be a data expert to double your profits. This customer data crash course maps out precisely what you need to look for and how to apply it.
Chances are, you’re sitting on a treasure trove of customer information. All you need to do is pick through the pieces and turn those golden nuggets into profits. But where do you start?
The easiest thing to do is begin with the end result in mind, and work your way backward. Consider the following questions:
With so many questions to ask and answer, and with an overwhelming amount of data to sort through, getting started on the right path is often the hardest part. But asking the right questions and searching in the right places will lead you straight to your Atlantis of customer data. After that, it’s a matter of collecting the treasure, assessing its value, and putting it to work.
Once you have gathered your insight into the customer experience, start sorting through the answers for the most valuable information.
Some of the best – and most reliable – spots for clues are:
These tools can deliver a direct view of how your customers interact with your business, and can often give clues as to what they want and expect from you. Here are some key insights to look for:
Once you complete your fact-finding mission, you can start looking in these and other places to connect the pieces and build a marketing strategy.
All that deep dive research would be for naught if you failed to do anything with it. Once you have collected your data and verified its usefulness, go back to your answers for Question 3 in Step 1 and figure out how you plan to use that information to increase your profits.
Using testimonials and understanding some of their customers greatest buying fears, PayPanther, a company specializing in online invoicing and CRMs, was able to almost double their sales through A/B testing a long and short version of their signup form.
They knew they needed to establish trust and credibility, and they wanted to overcome obstacles in the buying process. Doing a little research, PayPanther generated solid testimonials and learned what triggers or prevents customers from buying, then put that information on their signup form. The result? The longer form, which contained an FAQ section and testimonials (among other things) garnered nearly twice as many signups as the simple one.
Pricecharting.com, who creates price lists for video game values and sells them for a small fee, saw a whopping 620% increase by changing some of their website language to match what customers were seeking. Their initial CTA prompted customers to click “download,” but they discovered their button looked more like a banner ad than a legitimate part of their website. By changing the word “download” to “price guide,” they made a stronger connection with their audience using the language customers were most likely looking for.
Discovering key data pieces can often lead to multiple revelations – and many possible action plans. For example, if you discovered 75% of shoppers who abandoned their shopping cart did so once they discovered the shipping charge, you might rethink your shipping strategy: Would you offer flat rate shipping regardless of order total? Would you offer free shipping to everyone, or just with a minimum purchase? Would you charge for shipping, but at a lower rate?
If you can narrow down the possible solutions, try some A/B testing to see which one(s) give you the best results.
From research to implementation to final analysis, using customer data to drive your marketing machine can be a lengthy process, but it’s one that is worth every second. Getting face to face with black and white data gives you a unique insight into the customer persona, revealing what your buyers like and do not like, what they want and do not want, and most importantly, what makes them buy or not buy.
You do not have to be an expert chart or graph creator, nor do you have to spend hours sifting through spreadsheets and databases or crunching numbers in hopes that some magical insight will simply appear. Answering a few simple questions can lead you directly to the information you need to gain a deeper understanding of your customers and double your sales.
Truth be told, implementing customer data into your marketing strategy is easier than you might think, and with increasing advances in digital technology, there’s really no excuse not to.