Many small business owners that I work with ask me about Big Data. They hear this buzzword throughout the industry and how many different business verticals are making huge profit gains by analyzing Big Data.
So what is Big Data?
R Stokes defines big data as follows:‘Big data’ is the term used to describe truly massive data sets – the ones that are so big and unwieldy that they require specialized software and massive computers
So how can a small business use it?
You already have lots of data you just don't know it yet! If you are using Google Analytics, then you have information about visitors to your website. If you have a Facebook page, then you can use their tools to see where your followers live, what their ages are, their gender, if they have children, and more! You can use online tools such as SurveyMonkey to conduct client surveys, and us their feedback to improve your business offering.
So no that I have data what can I learn from it?
First, is your website data. If you sell online, properly interpreting your Google Analytics account can be the difference between a 5% growth trajectory and a 500% growth trajectory. The learning process can be a large task, and will take some time, but once you understand it, you can unlock a world of valuable knowledge.
Which of your customers buying?
Where did they come from?
How many times did they visit your site before buying?
How much did they spend?
The answers to these types of questions can help to determine which of your marketing is being effective by translating into real world sales, and which of your marketing spend is wasted. The data can also tell you if you should bring in more products to an existing product line, focus on a different area, or stay the course.
But what if my business does not sell online? Can website analytics still help me?
The simple answer is, absolutely!
You can see what topics your visitors are being drawn to on your website. What information they deem to be valuable, sharable, and reference-able, If a customer returns to a piece of content, say a how to guide about gardening then you know that they have an interest in that category. You can use this knowledge to target an ad to this person about a gardening product that they can come to your store to purchase.
How can my Facebook Fans/Followers help me?
Knowing who follows you on Facebook organically can let you know what customers are naturally drawn to your brand. These are the people that you want to find more of, in order to drive more sales. Uses the Audience Insights you can see this information, and when you are running your next Facebook Ad campaign you can target to people who have similar interests to your existing followers. This will lead to a lower cost of acquisition, and a higher conversion rate.
Another great tool that Facebook offers is called lookalike audiences.
Facebook defines it as follows: Lookalike Audiences are a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they're similar to customers you care about.
There are many free, and easy to use tools at your disposal that will completely revolutionize the way your business operates, the products/services that they offer, and the profit that you can make.
Contact me today if you want to learn more about how we want work together to harness the power of Big Data for your small business!
Facebook Help Center. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2016, from https://www.facebook.com/business/help/164749007013531
Stokes, R. (2013). EMarketing: The essential guide to marketing in a digital world (5th ed.). Cape Town: Quirk eMarketing.