Me? I see Heart. Allow me to explain…
If you’re anything like me, you LOVE infographics. They look cool, and often have amazing color and graphics, and make me feel better informed than I was before ingesting them.
And you know what is behind infographics, right?
It’s true! Where do you think all that information came from? Yes, asking your customers what they think and how they feel about your products or services, actively creating and promoting surveys, and simply being aware of what’s going on in your industry – these are all very important to building your business.
Yet the single All Important activity is for you to search out and use the “big data” resources to understand what your target audience wants.
Collecting data isn’t the hard part…data is being created and collected all around us. In the demographic information that’s always being asked for, in point-of-sale transactions, event registrations and in all of the digital fingerprints that we leave in our wake, like opens, clicks, views, likes, shares, and comments.
The reality is that the more digital touchpoints you have with a consumer or prospect, the more data you receive on them. Websites, email and social media are all tracking actions like opens, clicks, links referred to and from, intersections of known data with recognized behaviors…it’s all out there.
You’re using these reports to get to know your audience better, so keep track of what’s getting the most attention in your emails. Segment your audience into different lists, and target them with relevant content based on what you know is working!
HERE, THERE, and EVERYWHERE…
Data is available everywhere – from Google Analytics, email statistics including open rates and clicks once opened, and purchases made within the email itself, and so much more. In fact, every social media platform has backend insights.
Remember that data isn’t important for data’s sake (there are people out there who feel that way – it’s just not us and our customers!) – it’s important for helping to ask better questions and for making better decisions.
There are two key aspects to the data that will lead to these happy results:
Data accuracy, and appropriate data usage.
Customer data deteriorates so rapidly that if you fail to maintain it, much of it could be useless within three years!
Given how often people move, experience a life-changing event (birth, death, divorce), or change their preferences (Starbucks v. Seattle’s Best Coffee), you could be promoting something they don’t even want any more (or perhaps never did). Such a waste of an Open Click!
The key is to use accurate, current data so that you’re not selling last year’s socks to this year’s shoes-without-socks marketplace. This means querying your customers with fun surveys, contests, etc. and making sure that data is updated in your records. Which leads us to…
So we see that the data must be accurate and current, however just as important is the way you use that data in your communications with your customers. Just like a goal is not truly a goal without a time frame and a measurable result attached, the way you use information about your customers in your communications with them must be Actionable – in other words, something about which they can TAKE ACTION.
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At the beginning of this post, I promised to explain why I see hearts and flowers when I think about Big Data or see an especially insightful infographic.
You see – big data, with its generic, numbers-driven soul, is at its heart a “softie.”
This is because the more you know about someone – their habits, their likes and dislikes – the more you can do the little (and big!) things that show that you’ve listened to those preferences. This is the way to show friendship and caring. This is the way to please them.
And when you consistently delight your customers and prospects, they become Customers For Life.
You know this – the way you got close to your best friend was to learn about them over time – the type of coffee they like, whether or not they’re a morning person, their favorite flower, color, song, their dream job, dream dessert, and favorite types of movies.
The Marketing equivalent is knowing which mobile device they prefer to read your posts on – and delivering it in a “responsive” format that looks GREAT on that device and takes advantage of its special capabilities like sound or graphics.
It means “remembering” that they loved the fuzzy pink sweater instead of the corporate navy blazer and offering them similar choices in a “You May Also Like” list.
And it means caring enough to offer them an option to only receive emails twice each month, instead of every day.
So…love means never having to say you’re sorry for ignoring your customers’ preferences. Collect, speak to, and act upon what they love, and they will be more likely to love you and your product or service.
- Segment “super fans”. The majority of email opens come from a very small group of readers. Usually, the same group of people will be opening your emails, with slight variations every time. This is an argument for smart segmentation – don’t simply send everything to everyone, but recognize that there is a core set of “superfans” who contribute the lion’s share of your opens. You should consider sending the most valuable emails to them first as an exclusive ‘sneak preview’ – make them feel special.
- Format your links so they stand out when your readers open your email. Use buttons or put white space around them. Make sure the links are spaced out for mobile readers – if they’re too close, it’s really easy to click on the wrong link with your finger.
- DO MORE OF WHAT WORKS!! Sometimes the numbers may confuse the issue, no matter how much you try to justify them or find connections. If you’ve seen something working, keep doing it. Pull other levers around that tactic and see what happens.
Here’s what you can do today
- Determine what #’s really matter for your business. What numbers will reflect the actions that drive business results.
- Don’t just look at a snapshot…look at those numbers over a long period of time (12 months)…determine what the cycles or seasons are for your business are and how you might think differently about your efforts around those cycles.
- Finally, based on those important numbers and their performance over time, choose just one thing in your approach to start adjusting. Start small…and track those results…
- Use the data that matters for your business.
- Find the numbers that reflect actions.
My take on Big Data is that all responsible twenty-first century businesses must consider and use it by making sure it is accurate and actionable.
And remember that it may appear to be impersonal, but the personalizing possibilities – the Heart – is very personal indeed.
With a heart full of big, beautiful data,
About LynAnn King, KingSings PR
Certified Solution Provider with Constant Contact
Yext Certified Partner
Marketing Visionary, Strategist, Publicist & Entertainer
Phone: (650) 550-0090 | www.KingSingsPR.com
LynAnn King of KingSings PR, partners with successful small businesses and empowers entrepreneurs to deliver compelling marketing communications, special events promotions and media campaigns. She brings her visionary leadership in rolling out creative marketing campaigns that create visibility and media coverage. Her clients partner with KingSings PR as their marketing and publicity expert.