Data is so big today that they literally call it “Big Data”. Given the numerous advanced analytics tools available, companies can extract all kinds of information about their customers. This is great! But data alone won’t help you reach your business or marketing goals. We’re having many conversations about data now, but many forget to mention the most important thing: turning your data into insights that matter. Or, to use that marketing buzzword of late—actionable insights.
Actionable insights are just what they sound like—meaningful information you can act on. These insights don’t just give you raw marketing data such as numbers and percentages. They provide relevant information points that shed light on your customers’ problems, needs, and wants. They reveal trends and provide context. And, most importantly, they lead to action (letting you better serve your target audience).
“Actionable insights provide relevant information points that shed light on your customers’ problems, needs, and wants.”
And how can you do the same? Let’s take a look…
A whole heap of data is useless if you can’t derive the right marketing insights from it. “The right” marketing insights depend entirely on your goals. In other words, what are you trying to learn about your customer or their shopping behaviors? What are the typical problems your customers have? How exactly can your products ease or even eliminate their burden?
The most useful goals are SMART goals—Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Imagine SMART goals from the perspective of a shoe seller:
Consider your customer and what they do in their day-to-day life. Examine how and why your consumer purchases certain products. By stepping into their shoes, you can identify the ideal times they purchase a product, highlight the common challenges that they face, and on which channels they are the most receptive. This is where market segmentation strategies may come in handy.
You know your goal and you have plenty of data that can help you reach it. One key to extracting meaningful insights from raw data is to analyze. Look for trends behind the data points. Look at time ranges and how people’s habits have changed. Get different perspectives. Let other employees in your organization try and spot something you may have missed. To top it off, sprinkle these with a healthy dose of skepticism.
These first basic steps can really help you go from simple insights to actionable insights.
You already know that you are selling to humans. But don’t forget that you also have humans working in your organization. While some people may be math wizards, most people don’t like hard numbers. It’s far easier to gain actionable insights that your marketing team can use if you put your data into a more visual format. Most people relate to images more easily than to numbers or words.
So, do your team a favor and ditch the spreadsheets! We often use pie charts, bubble charts, line graphs, and more to make data more accessible.
Need more advice on turning data into valuable, actionable insights? Contact the Voccii® team today!