Running a business involves a lot of decisions that can make or break your company. Is it a good time to hire a new team member? Would it be beneficial to consider entering a new market? What is the best way to maximize the exposure of a new product line? Should you ramp up your marketing in response to new competition in your region? The list goes on.
Simply put, business owners must be decisive. There is no room for leaders who waste time by flip-flopping between solutions on a whim. Yet, when the fate of your company is on the line, it can feel intimidating to make a big decision.
Smart decision-makers rely on data to back their choices. They do not rely solely on gut feelings, feedback from others, or what’s written on social media. The only concrete way to confirm a decision is through data.
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Data is everywhere. It’s the percent increase in your booking rate after a free webinar series. It’s the time visitors spend on each of your blog posts. It’s the clickthrough rate from your social media posts. It’s the number of tastings you booked after a busy trade show.
So, what does this mean for you and your business? How can YOU harness the power of data to optimize your outreach, enhance the customer experience, and grow your brand reach?
Focus on your most profitable streams of revenue.
Many business owners have multiple service offerings, menu options, and add-ons. However, that’s not to say that each source of income is performing at its best. Running a profitable business sometimes means cutting underperforming marketing streams and focusing only on the efforts that make the most money.
Say you run a leading catering business, a highly-trafficked blog with affiliate links, a new-but-growing podcast, and you sometimes moonlight as a private chef for a local public figure. You might be highly profitable, but it’s possible you’re overstretching in some areas for little return. When you assess your income statements, you may find that your blog, while attracting traffic, isn’t actually converting to affiliate revenue. Or, perhaps the time you spend as a private chef would be better allocated to building a podcast that draws in sponsorship.
Everyone should aim to diversify their revenue streams, but only data will show you the precise way to maximize your efforts through the most profit-driven channels.
Make your marketing approach effective and effortless.
In a similar fashion, many business owners have a tendency to spread themselves too thin when marketing their company. There’s a common misconception that a brand needs to be everywhere all the time in order to gain recognition and succeed.
However, that is not the case. Instead, it’s more effective to be in fewer, more-targeted spaces that position you in front of your ideal client with the right material. If your dream client isn’t spending their time on Twitter, you don’t need to be on Twitter. If your dream client loves learning about cocktails but could care less about staging and presentation, you don’t need to write about staging and presentation.
Deciding where and how your brand shows up is, of course, a matter of data evaluation. That’s why the savviest marketers (and decision-makers) live and breathe by Google Analytics. As simple of a platform as it is to use, it’s just as comprehensive in gathering and presenting data to influence your actions. If you’re deciding on new blog topics, look at the traffic and conversion rates for past blog posts and identify the topics that are most appealing. If you’re having trouble deciding between ads, try split testing them on a small budget to determine which performs best.
No matter the need, data is always available if you know where to look. If you’re looking to boost the client experience, start gathering post-event surveys that provide valuable feedback to optimize your current workflow. If you’re in the process of rebranding, keep a careful eye on your website and social media analytics to track comparative data from before and after. When you rely on cold, hard data to guide your business, you cannot go wrong. After all, numbers don’t lie.