3 Ways Your Small Business Can Use “Big” Data

Data has been around for years. Stored meaninglessly in account books, reports, and client sheets, useful data has only in the last few decades started to become the focus of informing business decisions. It makes sense though, doesn’t it? Every step we can take to eliminate the human element from business -- our propensity to err, to hold biases, to play favorites -- is a net positive. If small businesses, focusing on their product and emphasizing their customer’s needs, can begin to let data dictate how they approach the marketplace, growth is just one of the many benefits that can be reaped.

But what can I use data for?

Better understanding your customers, that’s what. The data that can be scraped from social media campaigns, website analytics, purchase histories, and third party platforms can and should be utilized to start building a profile of your key customers. More so, this data can begin to drive the design of your product, making the goods and services you offer more appealing and more optimized to your key audience. We have a saying here at Blastcap that goes “data driven design”, and it perfectly embodies the ethos of the data age.

When we say that data can drive business, we mean it. In part because the usefulness behind data goes beyond just helping drive decisions pertaining to your customers. Data can, and will, begin to shape decisions on how your business and product is structured internally. Companies use data to ask the hard questions. Is our product optimized for our biggest buyer group? Should our marketing focus change to meet our buyers where they reside online? Do we have an issue with branding? The more we can understand about our business, the better our decisions can be, and the better we’ll perform in the marketplace.

Let your data insights pave the way

As previously mentioned, it’s not just difficult to figure out how you’re supposed to get ahold of all this useful data, it’s difficult to know what to do with it. At Blastcap, we use our data for three very important facets of decisionmaking. When applied to any small business, these groups can certainly have an effect on your bottom line, and can find a home with any sized team.

First, is getting to know our clients better. When we can begin to see what our clients prefer from our service offering, which marketing skills we provide that offers them the most utility, it allows us to better shape and prioritize our services. Blastcap started as a simple video production company, and through data we have pivoted, and pivoted, and pivoted, using our client’s data to change the way we approach marketing. We wouldn’t be in the place we are now without the numbers to help us change ourselves.

Secondly, data is the guiding hand of your marketing campaigns. The data scraped from your customer’s preferences and buying habits will not only help you get to know them better, it will help prepare you for how to approach them from a marketing perspective. Your marketing plans -- everything from the copy on your website, to advertising campaigns, to brand packaging -- can and should be influenced by the data you receive from your customers.

Finally, data helps a business make sense of when it’s mentioned. Starting conversations online, specifically on social media, offers a ton of opportunities to gather insight on what your customers think of you. Ingesting that data, from when your company is ever mentioned, can be valuable in helping you determine where your biggest areas of product improvement might lie. Maybe the message you’re hearing is that there are few design flaws that impact the functionality of your solution. Without the data to see just how many clients share this issue, and more importantly, a real time view into how severe this problem is, your company is left holding the bag when users begin ditching your brand.

There aren’t any downsides to data, which is why its adoption is so critical. What you learn from your company’s data can make your firm leaner, better optimized, and more prepared than ever to meet your customers head-on!

About the Author

Philip Pompetti

Growth and Strategy at Blastcap. Helping form market strategies through data driven design.