Try one or more of these growth strategies. All have been successfully used by other businesses and, with some planning and investment, will work for you. When you think about how to grow your business, the first thing that probably comes to mind is getting new customers , but the customers you already have are your best bet for increasing your sales.
So focus on ways to get customers coming back. One of the easiest ways to do it is to ask your current customers for referrals. But notice the verb. During or after every job or sale, ask the satisfied customer if they know anyone else who would be interested in your products or services.
Think petroleum jelly and duct tape—and how few of these would actually be sold if they only had one use! There are several ways of growing your business by making your product or service available to a new pool of customers. The most obvious is to open stores in new locations.
New locations can also be virtual, such as a website with an online store. Another approach is to extend your reach through advertising. If your new market consists of a younger demographic, you may want to use social media for advertising. Trade shows can be a great way to grow, too. Because trade shows draw people who are already interested in the type of product or service you offer, they can powerfully improve your bottom line.
The trick is to select the trade shows you participate in carefully, seeking the right match for your product or service. Remember the analogy of the big fish in the small pond? The niche market is the pond; a narrowly defined group of customers. You might also choose to gather information about the average age of all of the customers who bought a product from your company within the last month.
In the early stages of your planning process, you should establish a timeframe for your data collection. You may want to gather some types of data continuously. When it comes to transactional data and website visitor data, for example, you may want to set up a method for tracking that data over the long term.
At this step, you will choose the data collection method that will make up the core of your data-gathering strategy. Once you have finalized your plan, you can implement your data collection strategy and start collecting data. You can store and organize your data in your DMP. Be sure to stick to your plan and check on its progress regularly.
It may be useful to create a schedule for when you will check in with how your data collection is proceeding, especially if you are collecting data continuously. You may want to make updates to your plan as conditions change and you get new information. The analysis phase is crucial because it turns raw data into valuable insights that you can use to enhance your marketing strategies, products and business decisions.
So, how do you go about collecting the data you need to meet your goals? There are various methods of collecting primary, quantitative data. Here are some of the most common types of data collection used today.
Surveys are one way in which you can directly ask customers for information. You can use them to collect either quantitative or qualitative data or both. A survey consists of a list of queries respondents can answer in just one or two words and often gives participants a list of responses to choose from. You can conduct surveys online, over email, over the phone or in person.
One of the easiest methods is to create an online survey you host on your website or with a third party. You can then share a link to that survey on social media, over email and in pop-ups on your site. Accessing this data allows you to see how many people visited your site, how long they were on it, what they clicked on and more. Your website hosting provider may collect this kind of information, and you can also use analytics software. Lotame can help you with this online data collection process.
Whether you sell goods in-store, online or both, your transactional data can give you valuable insights about your customers and your business. You may store transactional records in a customer relationship management system. That data may come from your web store, a third party you contract with for e-commerce or your in-store point-of-sale system.
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This information can give you insights about how many products you sell, what types of products are most popular, how often people typically purchase from you and more. You can also collect valuable data through your marketing campaigns, whether you run them on search, webpages, email or elsewhere. You can even import information from offline marketing campaigns that you run. The software you use to place your ads will likely give you data about who clicked on your ads, what times they clicked, what device they used and more. If you track the performance of offline ads by, for example, asking customers how they heard about your brand, you can import that data into your DMP.
Social media is another excellent source of customer data.
You can look through your follower list to see who follows you and what characteristics they have in common to enhance your understanding of who your target audience should be. Many social media sites will also provide you with analytics about how your posts perform. Third-party tools may be able to offer you even more in-depth insights. Offering customers something in return for providing information about themselves can help you gather valuable customer data.
You can do this by requiring some basic information from customers or site visitors who want to sign up for your email list, rewards program or another similar program. One benefit of this method is that the leads you get are likely to convert because they have actively demonstrated an interest in your brand. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you can also gather insights from monitoring the foot traffic there. The most straightforward way to do this is with a traffic counter on the door to help you keep track of how many people come into your store throughout the day.
This data will reveal what your busiest days and hours are. It may also help give you an idea about what is drawing customers to your store at certain times. Collecting data is valuable because you can use it to make informed decisions. The more relevant, high-quality data you have, the more likely you are to make good choices when it comes to marketing, sales, customer service, product development and many other areas of your business.
It can be difficult or impossible to get to know every one of your customers personally, especially if you run a large business or an online business. The better you understand your customers, though, the easier it will be for you to meet their expectations. Data collection enables you to improve your understanding of who your audience is and disseminate that information throughout your organization. Collecting and analyzing data helps you see where your company is doing well and where there is room for improvement.
It can also reveal opportunities for expanding your business. Looking at transactional data, for example, can show you which of your products are the most popular and which ones do not sell as well.
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This information might lead you to focus more on your bestsellers, and develop other similar products. You could also look at customer complaints about a product to see which aspects are causing problems.
Data is also useful for identifying opportunities for expansion. For example, say you run an e-commerce business and are considering opening a brick-and-mortar store. If you look at your customer data, you can see where your customers are and launch your first store in an area with a high concentration of existing customers.