Creating a data-led strategy to achieve growth
Knowledge is power, so the saying goes. The more insight you have into your market, industry, customers, competitors and target audience, the better the outcome you will achieve. Creating a data-led strategy involves time and effort but get it right and you’ll reap the rewards.
Many businesses struggle because their strategy is based on assumptions or targets “everyone”. However, by targeting everyone, you’re actually targeting no one. For this reason, it’s critical to develop a data-led strategy that will inform every decision you make and justify those decisions to board members and other stakeholders.
Data could just be the key to unlocking your next level of growth.
Understanding your competitors
Keeping an eye on your competitors is a critical step in your data-led strategy, as otherwise, you’re entering the market blindly. Knowing who they are, what their offering is, and how they’re pricing their products or services can help you stand out in a crowded market.
Further, understanding your competitors can allow you to react quickly to changes in the industry or a move that the competition has made. For example, if a competitor has launched a sales and marketing campaign that undercuts you or steals some of your customers, you can react with your own campaign or proactively move to nullify the threat.
Knowing your competitors will help you understand what your competitive advantages are, too, as well as which areas of the market hold opportunities.
Researching your target audience
Researching your target audience is perhaps the biggest challenge you’ll face when creating a data-driven strategy but also the most worthwhile. You have to know where to look, what questions to ask, and what insights to look for.
Ideally, you should be following your buyer’s journey and asking them:
- What brought them to the solution they currently use
- Why they needed that solution
- Where they went to find that solution
- And what made them choose that solution over any other
You can also gain insights from product or service reviews – both yours and your competitors’ – and from social media. In both of these places, you should be looking for your customers’ biggest pain points and questions, trending topics, and working out how you can help them.
By gaining all of these insights, you can really begin to understand how your product or service can help your audience – and where to target them.
Choose the right metrics and data analytics
Choosing the correct data to analyse is crucial for informing decisions. Be careful to use data that is in date, relevant to the decision-making process, and easily accessible.
Remember that there are multiple touchpoints for every prospect before becoming a customer. As a result, the data at each stage will differ, so ensure you’re looking at the right data for the right stage of the funnel.
For more significant business decisions, there are new competitors on the market every day – so make sure your competitor research is up-to-date and in line with the industry. It’s the same with your audience. New trends pop up in a heartbeat, so keep your ear to the ground for new metrics or changing data.
It’s also prudent to segment your data in a way that’s useful to you and your team. For example, break it down by competitor size, customer profile, demographic or whichever segment makes sense for the decision you’re trying to make. This will allow you to be as granular as possible.
Implement changes just in time – be scalable
When you’re creating your data-driven strategy, it’s wise to remember to keep it scaleable so you can operate in the same way as you could when you were smaller. As you grow, you’ll inevitably rely on the data more, so having a robust system in place is crucial for remaining scaleable.
Implementing changes just in time allows you to do this, planning them in advance. You can react to events as they happen, informed by the data you have collected.
Using data for growth
With insights gleaned from your competitor and audience research, and by using the analytics in the right way to react as close to the event as possible, growth is certainly achievable.
Data should always inform your strategy to avoid making decisions that will cost you in both the short and long term. Equally, using the data to make the right decisions can be the difference between growth and plateauing.
If you need data-driven insights to propel your business, contact our Digital Director, Paul Betteridge.