Big data is a buzz word you are probably hearing all the time if you are reading up on the latest marketing trends to help your small business grow. But it’s one thing to read about it and another to implement it. Most small biz owners don’t know what to focus on, where to start and how to do it. So don’t worry if I just described you. You are not alone – you are actually in the majority.

One goal we know we all have (or all should have) when it comes to marketing – spend less to get more. Right? If you are deciding between 2 marketing activities and one costs you $1 to get a new customer into the door, and the other costs you $100 to get a new customer in the door you are going to choose option #1 every time. So here’s where big data comes in – instead of trying out new things and succeeding and failing at every turn you can actually take data from your business and customer behavior and make better decisions from the beginning. You might still go through some trial and error, but you will get that marketing cost down much sooner if you pay attention to the data analysis right in front of you.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, here are 3 reasons you need big data analysis to build more profit for your small business:

More Precise Targeting

Data driven by customer behavior is gold for more precise targeting. Once you run an analysis on what your current customers are doing you can make better decisions on where to go next with marketing. Here’s an example straight from FreshLime. In our first year of business we took over 1,000 small business owners in the service industry (plumbers, carpet cleaners, gardeners, etc.). These businesses really thrive when they have loyal customers that come back to them more than once. We asked these small business owners how many of their customers had come back more than one time. They said approx 70-90%. So we ran the numbers to see if what they thought were actually true. Using their own customer data we found that the % of their customers that had come back more than once was only 20-25%!!! They were WAY OFF! Big data is here to help you be much more precise in your predictions. Given that outcome, the money they were spending to get new customers in the door would be much better spent re-marketing to the customers that had already done business with them once but had never come back. We reduced the cost of marketing significantly for these customers. Ask us more about these specific examples and book a free demo with Sarah.

Understanding Your Customer

Data will help you build a customer persona that will help determine how you should market to them. Depending on where you live and the type of customer you are attracting, you want to cater your messaging to attract them. Along with the buyer persona you need to understand, you have to know that their behavior may change, and you want to be aware of that change and change your messaging accordingly.

You also want to make sure that your message is actually reaching your target customer where they are. You may be spending all of your time buying ads on Facebook when your town has a community-focused buy-sell website that everyone is visiting frequently. If that’s the case, that’s where you should look to do some form of marketing/advertising.

Reviewing your data in a way that makes sense to you is a key in hitting this bullet point dead on. You have ample data but if you aren’t a numbers or analysis person it won’t make sense until you can visualize it – technology is here to do that in new ways that make it much easier for you to move on these decisions.

Choosing the Right Method of Advertising/Marketing

Once you understand your customer and where to target them you will learn what to do and what not to do. Canvassing neighborhoods and leaving flyers might be a waste or time or it might not – let the science of data tell you what’s more profitable between that, and an ad in the local newspaper. The results may surprise you and here’s the kicker – it’s going to be different for different areas. So just because a friend of yours with a similar plumbing/HVAC operation is having great success 5 towns over with a billboard, doesn’t mean that you will.

If you don’t think you have a place to start with your data then you are wrong! We have even taken paper company records and digitized them for some of our customers that have always done things in a more traditional route. There is always data there, especially if you have a book of business built up over time. If you are new to the game then big data will work for you too – you just need to look at historical data in your area to determine a course of action and get your books set up properly from the beginning to collect the information you need to stay on top of your game from Day 1.

As always we are here to help! Follow FreshLime on Facebook, give us a shout on Twitter, and reach out with any questions to – we are here for you!