Every brand has one endgame: to grow and turn a profit. If you’ve ever set out to achieve a sizable goal in your own life without a plan, you can probably imagine what it’s like to try to create a successful business without one.
So why do so many business owners fear pulling back the curtain to look at their data? There are plenty of answers– misinformation, jargon, and math are chief amongst them. When these factors are removed, it’s actually easy to use data to streamline your business and improve profitability.
Using a data strategy to streamline any business process centers around a basic five-step approach:
- Decide what your business wants to achieve first (rather than thinking about what data could or should be accessed); determine the business area that the goal or goals fall into (customer, finance, business, etc.)
- Identify unanswered questions that concern how you will reach your goals
- Determine which data will help answer those questions; identify which data you already have access to, determine whether the cost and effort to gather new data will be justified
- If the new data is worth collecting, go find it!
- Analyze the data, present and consider any insights from it, and then incorporate the learning into your brand
Three Ways to Use Data to Streamline Your Business
Improve Order Fulfillment
Order fulfillment plays a critical role in today’s world. When we order something, many of us expect it within days. Not every brand can live up to that demand, but most businesses have an opportunity to leverage data and improve their order fulfillment practices.
The freedom to analyze supplier performance, inventory and sales data, and more is invaluable. Businesses have easy means to determine which supplier partnerships create the highest chance of success. Metrics that could boost these efforts include:
- Receiving speed and accuracy, which help track when and how quickly inventory is received and stored
- Inventory accuracy
- Order tracking availability
- Order accuracy
Maximize Customer Value
It can be difficult to see the forest through the trees, but remember that actual customers may not be the most crucial component of your business. In many cases, a customer’s individual value has a higher influence on their value to your brand.
Data and metrics offer an inside view into which customers want the products or services you’re selling. From here, it’s easy to optimize marketing investments and cut down on wasted funds. Businesses who serve customers with higher lifetime values also tend to enjoy more long-term relationships and large, repeat purchases.
Improve and Personalize Advertising
It’s easier than you’d imagine to use data as a tool for improving marketing. More effective marketing should, in theory, lead to increased patronage and reduced spending on advertising materials.
Loads of metrics that are easy to access and understand can help show brands who they should advertise to and how they should go about it. Some of these are obvious. If you pay for any of your advertisements, for example, you should track Return on Ad Spend (or ROAS) to determine which advertising costs are worth it and which should be reconsidered.
Other data can be used to personalize and fine-tune advertising, too:
- Cost Per Acquisition/Conversion/Action all help brands determine how much they spend to achieve one thing (in this case an acquisition, conversion, or other action); this quickly highlights practices that waste funds
- Conversion data allows business owners to determine what percentage of their audience “converts” and performs an action (like adding an item to a cart, making a purchase, or filling out a form)
- Engagement is a good metric to track if you want to improve advertising; it helps brands see when their audience grows and adjust their content accordingly
Helios Helps Brands Leverage Data to Streamline Business
Brands need to recognize every opportunity for improvement and simplification– and data is one of the largest. If you’re interested in learning more about how your brand could be using data to improve efficiency, contact our team today. We offer a range of services and free resources designed to help our clients grow.