Small business marketing in the digital age

The way that consumers interact with companies and their brands is rapidly evolving. No longer is it enough for a small business to bring out a new product or service then book some advertising airtime to promote their offering and sit back as the sales come in. As the channels through which potential customers consume information change and fragment, it is those small businesses that base their business marketing decisions on research and data and are able to integrate, analyse and redefine that will thrive.

Implementing a data-driven marketing strategy is essential for small businesses today. Business owners and managers need to properly understand not just data-driven marketing benefits fully, but also the key steps to successful implementation. So what are some key considerations of an actionable, data-driven marketing strategy?

Consider what motivates your decision making

Before collecting data or undertaking any analysis, small businesses need to decide what the key driving factors for making decisions and what the projects KPIs are – revenue or income? Are you interested in creating an exceptional customer experience for your current customers, attracting new customers, or re-engaging with old ones?

Understand what data needs to be collected

Another key step prior to actually collecting data involves considering what data is actually important to your business. To do this you should divide your search criteria into quantitative (number of site visits, number of downloads) and qualitative (why it happened? – customised landing page, customer-specific offers). Also decide if you want information on a person’s buying habits, what pages they like to visit, what they interact with most, or personal info such as email, address, age. Deciding on the right information makes decision making in the future easier.

Data collection

It is important for the business to consider how to get the information needed in the least intrusive manner possible, to avoid irritating customers. Will you use contact information forms on your website, instore surveys, or other means to gather data? Buying habits differ with seasons, trends, technology advances, and peoples’ moods. Don’t miss out on opportunities to learn about your customers.

Build buyer personas out of data analysis

Analyse your data from many angles to develop buyer personas. Look at who they are, what they search for, what they buy, what interests them, what influences them. The more accurate and individualised these personas are, the more accurate and individualised the content.

Target your customers

After right data has been collected and accurate buyer personas built, it is time build tailored content and put this information in front of customers. Small businesses should aim to impress their customers with how well you know them, and delight them with fantastic “personal” offers.

Use the right technology

Integrated marketing solutions on the market today help collect all the data required, and personalise content to ensure the right message gets to the right person at the right time. Making a customer feel special, providing them with personal treatment and showing them the better things in life means a business is more likely to make a favourable impression and enhance selling opportunities with a potential customer.

The world we live in is constantly changing. A successful data-driven marketing strategy must be flexible and enable you learn, adapt and improve your decision making by collecting new data, to ensure that your business is reaching the right potential customer with the right message.

Wayne Jasek, Director of APAC Operations for Kentico

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