Data is king isn't it? And there's a ton of great hype around Big Data these days, you know gobs of data so large that you need many computer programs to sift through it and make sense of it all?
But small data can really help drive a huge potential of business for us small and mid-size guys. Sifting through available data today can be a marketer's dream with the data they have at their fingertips. Finding out simply who is following you on social media and tracking them through to a sale is possible with most free tools. Digging into a CRM or contact manager and running a few reports to see the types of people who buy a product can give more insight into who to target salespeople on.
I actually worked with someone who was in charge of a really great team. I'd ask her for report after report to get an idea of how her part of the business was doing as far as tracking metrics. It always amazed me that she took that as a "chore", that she wasn't curious about her numbers and how her part of the business was doing in relation to the oveall business growth.
I'm a numbers hound, probably why I'm a co-founder and CMO at Dasheroo. We started Dasheroo as a kpi dashboard to track all of our own performance indicators and now thousands of businesses benefit from using it to track theirs! And we built it for the people who are scared of data or don't know where to begin or don't want to waste time digging around for all those reports from the dozens of apps they use to run their business.
Even small data can be a pantload of fun!
Know What You Have Access to - Do a Small Data Audit!
If you're using social media you've got access to tons of data at your fingertips. Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, Instagram analytics, Pinterest analytics and YouTube analytics, they're all free and they all will give you insights into what's working and more importantly what isn't.
Are you tracking website visits? If you're not you need to be. It's as easy as setting up a Google Analytics account and giving some code snippets to your webmaster. Now you'll see how many people are visiting your website and if they're new or returning visitors.
Are you tracking what keywords you're being found for in Google? Go to Google Webmaster Tools or SEM Rush and find out what you're being found for and even better, what your competition is being found for. We absolutely love these tools!
Do you know what your customer service KPIs are? Track how long it takes for a customer service representative in Zendesk or Zoho to respond to any email inquiries or live chats and how many you get on a weekly or monthly basis.
It's easy to think about what is driving people to your business, now it's time to start tracking the data points that got them there.
Start Small - Define Your KPIs
Now it's time to set your benchmarks for all of this small data. Once you've established your benchmarks you can make changes to your site or your sales and marketing to see if anything positively or negatively affects your performance.
For instance, if you know that you usually get 10 new Facebook fans a day, try boosting a post and see if your message gets amplified to other people who will Like your Page. On Twitter if you know you usually get a few ReTweets, try including images or increasing the number of Tweets you post per day and track if your follower count increases. And if you see there is a dreary pattern to your website visits during the weekend, why not try sending an "email-only" special out to your previous customers. You might find that by simply "looking" at your small data and acting on it you can increase sales ten-fold.
Roll in More Data!
So now that you're measuring against your small data benchmarks take it up a level and dig a level deeper. You can easily find out what gender you're attracting on social media, then cross reference that with your website visitors and customers. You might be getting in front of an entirely new group of potential customers that you need to target different messages to.
For instance, if you see that men usually buy your products but you're attracting more women on social media, why not target specific deals to women with different products on Facebook?
You can also set up Goals in Google Analytics so you can track if people are signing up to your service, or better yet buying from you. Now you can start to look at specific websites that are referring you traffic and track if those specific people are buying from you. Then advertise or partner with that site owner to get more traffic and sales!
Small data is available to you right at your fingertips. Just start small by simply tracking your important KPIs and watch your company turn big...just by looking at data.