It’s no question that data plays a vital role in today’s business landscape. There are plenty of multi-billion dollar companies that focus on collecting and selling data to gain key insights on consumers. These are the Googles, Facebooks, and Dunnhumbys of the world. Naturally, there are even more businesses interested in acquiring customer data to improve their own selling tactics. So the question now is, why does your business need to take data seriously and what can the analytics uncover in your business?
Article Breakdown with Quick Links
- What is digital analytics
- How it relates to my business segment
What is digital analytics?
We’ll leave the formal definition of digital analytics to Avinash Kaushik, a renowned author and advisor in the world of digital analytics, who states:
“Digital analytics is the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your business and the competition to drive a continual improvement of the online experience that your customers and potential customers have, which translates to your desired outcomes (both online and offline)” (Avinash Kaushik. Digital Analytics. The importance of this and the concept behind it).
Simply put, digital analytics collects measurable and definable data that shows an audience’s behavior and trends. Based on said data, users can manipulate adverts, actions, and content to better persuade a specified audience into acting upon your business goals.
Let data guide your business
If your business were a ship sailing the open seas then data is the compass that points you in the right direction. Similar to the earth’s magnetic field, no single data point will influence your compass to point here or there. It takes countless points from every possible source to influence the needle to point in the right direction. When we finally get a heading, it’s important to remember that even if the compass points west, it’s the captain’s – your – responsibility to steer the ship. The following case studies breakdown how business segments utilize data to influence their direction.
Retail: Krogers and 84.51° using loyalty data
Retailers depend on data more than ever and use the information gathered to optimize their brand for specific audiences. Krogers is an excellent example of a retailer that leverages its data to drive sales. They gather this information through various sources including loyalty card programs, digital traffic and purchasing behaviors, coupon return rates, and much more. Due to thier scale, it’s a huge undertaking to manage and analyze this data to paint a picture of various consumer segments.
In a case study performed by its subsidiary data management firm 84.51°, Krogers developed a campaign with Danone to offer a new yogurt flavor option that no other retailer had. The team at 84.51° pinpointed a target market using Kroger’s loyalty purchasing data which consists of demographic, geographical, and habitual shopping data points. Then, through an omnichannel marketing campaign consisting of digital, broadcast, and retail ad placements – along with a sweepstake contest to choose the future flavor – the group hit around 10 million targeted consumers and engaged with ~75,000 through the sweepstake. This resulted in a 3.2% boost in sales penetration for the Kroger’s Danon line, and the creation of a similar campaign for the following year. See the full case study, here.
Services: How Marriott & Buxton target customers using data
Services rely on data just as much as retailers do. Let’s look at Marriott for example. Their team utilizes data collected from loyalty programs, credit card purchases, location tracking via mobile app, digital traffic, and – again – much more.
As the 3rd largest hospitality brand – by properties – in the world, they’re constantly looking for an edge to beat out the competition. So they reached out to Buxton – an analytics firm that focuses on consumer behavior – to find who their most loyal customers are and how they can best serve them. Naturally, they also aimed to unearth future customers and new build sites. Through their partnership, Buxton was able to point out the values of various consumers whether it be personal health, entertainment, cultural centers, and more to direct advertisements that relate to those specific segments. For example, if Jamie left her hotel and went on a run followed by an organic grocer visit. Marriott would be inclined to market its Westin group of hotels – their chain focused heavily on wellness services – the next time she begins travel planning.
Best of all, analytical services like Buxton are able to identify the locations of these segments and where they tend to travel. This helps Marriott better target their ads and see potential areas for future hotel locations. Learn more about how Buxton utilized data points to guide Marriott in their businesses, here.
B-2-B: How Salesforce uses customer input to develop new products & services
Salesforce is well known in the data business for their range of products that help businesses manage and process data assets. The development process for their Lighting products – a business & consumer app development platform – heavily relies on the information they collect through their Idea Exchange, surveys, social media feedback, special events, digital traffic and more. From here the Salesforce PDS [Product Data Science] team uses the various data points gathered to provide valuable insight to the R&D team. The team achieved this by breaking down certain customer needs and wants into what they call Showstoppers and Papercuts. These are features that will either prevent the user from performing their job or will only be a minor inconvenience. The Salesforce team concluded that the best practice for them is to offer as many turnkey functions on launch-date as to satisfy power users. Throughout development, they push updates that offer other utilities that weren’t as polarizing in the purchasing decision. The result is a larger base of users at launch who are able to perform the tasks they need while growing their appeal to new users as the program develops. Check out a deeper dive into their process within their webinar, here.
Takeaway: This is how analytics relates to your business
It goes without saying that you don’t need to be a multi-billion dollar company to utilize data in these ways. Retailers can collect similar data points that identify segments of shoppers, their purchasing habits, and how they make decisions through POS to CRM links and digital insight services. Service providers can discover new customer segments and promote specific services that will best match their needs. While B-2-B segments can learn what service and product options influence their client’s purchasing decisions, and how they can create better strategies to appeal to those users.
Next on Ocean Fig
Our next article will get into the nitty-gritty of what common data points represent, where you can gather these insights, and how we can track a user’s journey through our brand.