This is a guest post from Elvin Cheung at WittyCookie.
There are numerous elements to running a business. Operations, marketing, finances and accounting, sales and lead generation—and these activities can become overwhelming, especially if you’re not executing them correctly. So how can you ensure that your business is running as painlessly and profitably as possible?
When it comes to marketing, there’s an element of both science and art. Sometimes you have a hunch that a particular campaign will work, or maybe you saw an example in your industry you want to emulate. Before you start your own campaigns, you’ll need to prove these risks are worthwhile.
Thankfully, with analytics, it’s easier to predict how effective your potential campaigns will be. And since competition is fierce when it comes to marketing, you want to be one step ahead.
Read on to learn how.
Apply the Five Forces
Apply Michael Porter’s Five Forces to your marketing operations to help you understand the industry from all perspectives. Strategy is the key to any venture.
Michael Porter’s Five Forces contain the following elements: Threat of New Entrants, Bargaining Power of Buyers, Threat of Substitute Products, Bargaining Power of Suppliers, and Existing Industry Competition.
Considering all these elements will help you develop an industry-wide view, and an industry-wide view will help you to determine the appropriate steps to keep up with the existing market and then expand.
Decide which campaigns were successful
Either create or apply existing marketing industry best practices. Analyze current marketing strategies and determine which ones worked and why they worked. The first step in deciding whether or not your campaigns worked? Find the benchmarks for your industry and compare your metrics.
Additionally, if you want to reverse engineer the campaigns that went awry, it’s helpful to determine what you’re doing wrong, so you can prevent them in future campaigns. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel: You just need to find the strategies that work and implement them for your own stability and then power through for your growth.
Test to see trends
Apply business analytics to help you to monitor business trends over time. It’s important for you to ensure that you’re taking advantage of data, most of which is actually free, thanks to the internet. Your marketing team should be able to tell you what your organizational trends are. (If you don’t have one, there’s a Vancouver Web Design company called WittyCookie that can help.)
As the seasons change, ask if your sales are stable, or if they spike during certain seasons. Once you’re aware of the trends, you can then start predicting how best to apply your marketing strategy to each season. You can then determine when it’s time for you to focus on research and development, and when it’s time for you to focus on your marketing efforts.
And as always, your business should be focusing on analytics: sales numbers, traffic, conversion rates, and much more. And this goes for marketing, too. An important part of your business’ analytics are the marketing analytics.
Marketing analytics explained
The concept of marketing analytics is related to numbers and how they affect the decisions businesses make. Marketing analytics can be applied to marketing operations in one of two ways:
- Analysis of historical performance: Many processes, particularly if they’re new to the market, can’t be predicted until they’re tested. When it comes to marketing efforts, a good way to gather data is through feedback loops, or the process of using customer feedback to improve strategy. It can be helpful to interview customers and identify why they bought your products.
- Prediction of future performance: If you have an understanding of how your business performs, in terms of products or services you’ve previously launched, you can predict how your business will scale in the future as you expand and evolve.
The two methods actually work in tandem with each other, so you can alternate between them to determine the path you should take going forward. Depending on whether the product is new or an upgrade of the existing product, the applied strategy will differ.
In marketing analytics, the data will enable you to measure and analyze your marketing performance. Once you’re able to identify what projects are providing the best results, you can put resources into growing those projects.
How will market analytics help me?
With the appropriate tools, it’s simple to determine how to proceed with current and future campaigns. Digital marketing will enable you to gather the critical information you need.
You can also use Google analytics and SEO tools to research what customers are looking for and how they behave on your site. Additionally, with partnerships with large entities, such as Nielsen and other data analysts, you can access your demographic and create a foundation for your target market.
How can I use marketing analytics?
You can utilize the following elements in your future campaigns:
- Research and development: With this data, you can accurately predict what aspects of your product will be most beneficial to advertise.
- Access to data: Look into relevant data about your customer base, and if you don’t have it, consider creating a survey and publishing original research. If you’re looking to expand, you can gather critical information and determine your strategic path.
Business analytics, with a focus on marketing analytics, can help marketers prepare for the future. Depending on your company’s seasonality, available data, and your personal marketing metrics, you can create a plan of action for your marketing efforts.
Elvin Cheung is the founder of WittyCookie, an international SEO consulting firm that focuses on increasing organic search visibility. He also blogs for influential sites like Search Engine Land, State of Digital, and Moz, does public speaking engagements.