Data Driven Marketing for Small Businesses

Data driven marketing for small businesses
Table of Contents

    Data driven marketing used to only be obtainable by larger companies because of the resources needed to collect or purchase and analyze big data. Last time we checked, most small businesses do not employ a data scientist. But times have changed and there are numerous affordable and easy to use data driven marketing tools available for small businesses. Data driven marketing will help your business standout in the crowded online space.

    What is Data Driven Marketing?

    Data driven marketing is when business owners and marketing teams base their marketing strategy on the insights gleaned from both market and customer data. The data provided information about customer preferences and behavior, as well as market trends businesses can take advantage of.

    What are the Benefits of Data Driven Marketing?

    Marketing for small businesses

    Competition in the online space is high. Customers are inundated with marketing messages all day long. A data driven approach to marketing will help you get a message that resonates in front of the right people and increase your chances of people clicking on an ad, reading your content, attending your event, and ultimately purchase your product or service. 


    Improves Customer Experiences

    Data gives you the information to significantly improve the customer experience. Personalized experiences deliver the right message, to the right customer, at the right time. Giving the customer what they need and want. This builds trust, relationships, and brand loyalty. I.e. it’s the key to keeping your customers.

    Less Wasted Marketing Spend

    Data can tell you which campaigns are working and which are not. It also provides you with the first-party data you need to build custom audiences and target the right people in the first place. All around, data makes the marketing dollars you spend more efficient. 

    Increases Relevancy

    Relevancy is the key to good marketing, while irrelevance is a good way to get ignored. What do your customers want from you and your brand? What is relevant to them and their circumstances? Data will tell you what people are connecting with (so you can create more of it) and what they aren’t. Again, this saves you money by telling you where your content dollars are best spent. 

    Why is Data Driven Marketing Challenging for Small Businesses?

    data driven marketing

    At one time, small businesses were the champions of data driven marketing. They intimately knew their customers and their preferences, likes, and dislikes (customer data) because they had personal relationships with them. This started to change as big retailers and companies moved into communities, and changed again as business has shifted online. The farther away you are from the customer, the less you know them. 

    They’re busy

    Small business owners are running their business and if they have a marketer on staff they are often trying to do the work of an entire team by themselves.

    They don’t realize how much data they already have  

    Think about how much data is left behind each time a customer makes a purchase. 

    • What brought them to the website. (Email, AD, Social)
    • The time of day they purchased.
    • What they purchased.
    • If they’re a new or repeat customer.
    • What they browsed on your website before purchasing.
    • Whether the product was on sale or they paid full price. 

    You have a ton of data, using it is easier than you think.

    They’re not sure which tools to use

    Data driven digital marketing tools abound. It can be overwhelming. How do you know which tools are worth investing in and which free tools will be helpful? The best tools can connect data and automate much of the process for you.

    Best Practices of Data Driven Marketing

    Start Small

    You can have too much data and not enough information. Start with a single use case, only collect the data you need for that, measure your results, and then slowly scale. 

    Provide Value

    Data driven marketing will help you increase revenue, but don’t lose sight of the customer in the data. Your goal should be to first provide value to the customer. If customers find value, they will both be ok with you having their data and keep coming back to your company for more. 

    Be Transparent

    Be transparent with customers about collecting data and how it will be used. Your cookie popup on your site should tell people what their data is used for and allow them to opt out. If you’re upfront about data usage and clearly explain the benefits, most people are ok with trading their data for a better experience.  

    Examples of Data Driven Marketing

    Are you thinking this all sounds great, but you want tangible examples of data improving marketing? We hear you! 

    Targeted Advertising

    The current marketing landscape is rough for small businesses as iOS 14.5 has essentially cut the signal between customers and advertisers and third-party tracking cookies are being phased out. Having first-party data allows you to build the targeted audiences you’re used to, while also giving you the information you need to craft the best possible message.

    The Right Time

    Assessing data will tell you when your customers are shopping. This allows you to run campaigns on high traffic shopping days and at high traffic times. Maybe you discover the bulk of your sales come in on the weekends, and you decide to shift more budget to weekend days, or send promotional emails on weekend days instead of weekdays. Each business has different customers with different lives. Instead of googling when the best time to send an email is, let the data tell you when your emails convert at the highest rate. 

    Customer Profiles

    With data, you can create customer profiles and website visitor profiles.  These profiles allow you to truly know who your customers are. You can use this information to find more customers like them through AD networks, but also know what they connect with, so you can craft better messaging, offer better products, and solve their problems.  

    Opens Additional Marketing Channels

    Before iOS 14.5 attribution was pretty accurate. Now it’s a mess. You can’t retarget everyone because of the loss of data, and retargeting through AD networks and social media is expensive. If you have collected first-party data, you can retarget website visitors and your customers through the marketing channel of your choice. Retargeting through email and SMS messaging gives you a direct line to the customer and is often less costly. 

    Where to Start with Data Driven Marketing (It’s Easier than you Think)

    Start with a Single Use Case

    We say this often because too much data can be as much of a problem as too little data. Set a goal, figure out what data you need to reach that goal, and collect only that data. Is your goal to get more visitors to your website? Increase sales of a specific product? Get more reviews? 

    For most businesses, the easiest, most impactful thing you can do is simply start collecting your first-party data and building customer profiles. Customer and website visitor profiles can be easily plugged into any marketing channel and increase the effectiveness of your marketing. Many data driven marketing tools automatically build profiles. 

    Collect and Organize the Data

    Hey, guess what? This sounds like a big task, but it happens automatically with the right digital tool. Collect the data you need and then take a look at it. Is it in a format that gives you information? Is it in a formatted and organized in a way you can easily plug it into your marketing channels? Again, the right tool will do this. 

    Analyze Your Data and Put it to Work

    Analyze the data and put it to work. If you discovered running campaigns at certain times of the day would be more effective for sales, do that and test your theory. If you discover emails send on Saturday mornings convert at a higher rate, start sending emails at that time and test it. If you decided to use first party data to base new advertising audiences on, do that and then compare the results to your campaigns before using customer data.

    Tweak It

    The great thing about data is if you have the right tools, you’ll see results in real-time. You’ll know quickly whether something is working or not. Make needed adjustments before you push it out to a larger audience or move on to using data in another area. 

    Scale It

    If you find a strategy that works for your company, scale it to fit the needs of your business. Once you have one strategy down, pick another use case for data, collect it, and put it to work.

    Wrapping it Up

    Data driven marketing is for businesses of all sizes. Even if your business is small, you can use data to reach more of the right buyers and grow your business.

    Ready to get started? RAEK collects, organizes, and lets you easily use your first-party customer data to improve your marketing and reach more of the right buyers. It’s free to get started and takes less than 5 mins to set up. Click here to start collecting your data. 

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    The RAEK Team

    RAEK was built by a group of digital marketers on a mission to help small businesses grow and easily utilize their first-party customer data.