Using Data Insights Correctly and What To Avoid
As a sales and marketing agency, it’s natural that we work with businesses wanting to grow. Therefore we have a huge responsibility to create strategies that are underpinned by the most effective methodologies and approaches, as well as encouraging our clients to join us in a shared way of thinking. Most companies understand the importance of data but not all have yet woken up to the positive and negative implications of critically analysing such information.
To clear up some of the myths and explain how we get things done here at OSBOS, in this post we talk about using data insights correctly; its dos and don’ts, and our preferred methods of execution!
It’s True, There Are Plenty More Fish in the Sea
Finding new business, whether widening your horizons within your current serviced sectors or taking your product to a whole new, promising marketplace, is critical to growth. However, many a successful, well-run business makes the mistake of relying too much on insights from current customers. And why is this a mistake? Well, because although taking care of your active customer base will increase retention and reduce attrition, by doing so in isolation will cause you to miss new opportunities.
Some businesses we’ve met have even invested significant cash in active customer base programmes that were working perfectly well, resulting in limited capital to drive new business. This often leads to smaller or newer competitors gaining market share as the big player leans toward irrelevance. To encourage continued growth, we recommend defining strategy, product journeys and communications around wider market insights, upcoming trends and course, listening to what the world wants.
Not All Data Is Good Data
As with anything, if your decisions arise from incorrect information or indeed irrelevant facts, the only way you’ll get the desired outcome is from pure luck. Luck can put a smile on our faces but there’s no place for it in a sound business strategy. When researching your next move, proceed with caution if citing online sources entirely or when studying whitepapers or opinions making it big in the mainstream.
Keep in mind these two words; Personal. Agendas. When a business or indeed an author has a strong personal agenda, it can often (consciously or subconsciously) override or undermine solid fact, company values or product positioning. A skilled writer will make it feel as if a meeting of minds has occurred. But, always remember – you can’t trust everything you read and therefore desktop research must be supplemented with accurate data gathered with diligence and critical awareness.
Another destination where data can be dodgy is social media. We’re sure we don’t need to detail controversies surrounding powerful social media organisations, some of which are accused of being hotbeds of fake news, breeding grounds for manipulation and extremist and tools for buying influence. To what extent this is rife, we will not debate. However, falsified data is very much part of social media and therefore relying on what is known as “social listening” – observing and analysing social media communications – may produce inauthentic information that’s of little value to your growth strategy.
Hard data such as behavioural data, Google Analytics, search data and real-time trends along with comprehensive, context-focused demographic, psychographic and decision-making research, you’ll be on to a winner.
Stand Up To Misconception and Communicate!
It’s really important to constantly learn, embrace change and never assume you’ve mastered your art or learnt all there is to know about your target markets. If there are people within your organisation – anybody from social media executives to business development managers – who aren’t privy to the best, most up-to-date information that’ll be powering growth campaigns, you’re going to have a problem! Work hard to overcome any ideological differences, break down stubborn opinions and foster an open mind approach to new or changing data.
The easiest way to achieve this is through sharing and communicating. Not dictator style (you don’t want to alienate along the way) but in an open roundtable fashion where everybody has an opportunity to ask questions, get to grips with developments and be introduced to a bigger picture – rather than having it forced on them without explanation.
Does your business want to grow but is unsure how to use its existing data, or where to look and what to do with new data? Then OSBOS would love to hear from you. We specialise in B2B sales, businesses development, strategy and marketing for SMEs and have a proven track record of supporting our clients with entering new markets and growing their market share through insight-driven data strategies. Just call + 44 (0) 1606 822606 or email to get in touch.
We service clients across locations including Cheshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire and Birmingham from our Gadbrook Park, Northwich offices with low-risk, scalable outsourced sales and outsourced marketing. Our strategy, research and data management services allow businesses to plug us in exactly when additional skill and resource is required, helping to power your growth goals.