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Turning Data Into Gold – New Strategies For Revenue Growth

Data-Driven Marketing Gold

Ancient alchemists sought to turn ordinary metals into precious gold. Today, marketers on the leading edge of data-driven strategies are doing almost exactly that – turning data into gold and unprecedented business growth.

Data is “the new gold of our economy,” according to the Direct Marketing Association. Indeed your data assets – and the secrets within – are virtually a license to print money.

Take for example STIHL, the world’s number 1 manufacturer of chain saws and other outdoor power equipment. With that kind of market dominance, clearly the company is doing something right. And the company recently went deeper into its data and found this: $200 million in annual revenue opportunity.

STIHL has increasingly focused on turning its marketing into science, rather than art. Its highly effective marketing is based on hard numbers rather than gut feelings. As we’ll see below, this has allowed the company to continuously discover new opportunities, increase customer value, and make more money.

That’s because STIHL is employing new applications of data driven marketing. This allows the company to deeply understand its customers, and why and how they buy, and continuously fine-tune its spend to optimize return on marketing investment.

The company recently adopted new marketing technology that enabled it to analyze its marketing and sales efforts with unprecedented precision. Among many valuable finds, STIHL discovered that by shifting its demographic focus, it discovered new annual revenue opportunity worth more than $200 million.

How can you replicate STIHL’s success? Here’s how:

Data Dream Team
The first step is to forge a greater partnership with IT, and clarify who’s on your team. How is data being captured, and who’s in charge? Clarify exactly who’s in charge of data, and who will execute the steps outlined below.

Systems and Processes
Next, review and where necessary improve your data systems and processes. You need to capture, analyze, and act on your data. That’s the key to delivering the most effective message in the most effective manner, at the ideal time.

Get All Data
Ensure that marketing is able to access data across all silos. In particular, you’ll need to ensure you’re fully connected with sales and finance. That will ensure you get all the numbers you need – from units sold to sales price – to make truly data-driven decisions.

Clean Up Your Act
Garbage in, garbage out. Data is only as valuable as it’s accurate. It’s essential to build a process for data hygiene, to correct invalid records and complete missing fields.

Fill in the Blanks
No business is able to collect all the data. As you review your processes, you’ll likely discover you’re only collecting a small percentage of data on sales, leads and inquiries. Find out how to fill in the gaps – unless you’re collecting 100% of data, you can always improve.

Explore and Discover
After ensuring that you’re maximizing the quantity and quality of your data, you’re ready to move on to the more rewarding aspects. The real value in data-driven marketing is analytics: think of yourself as an explorer discovering new worlds.

Who Are You?
What would you like to know about your customers? Then look into your data, to see how you can find those answers. Note that your customers can also include distributors, dealers and more.

Customer Personas
Next group your customers into different segments or personas. As you get a clearer picture of your customers, patterns will emerge. Analytics is a powerful tool for finely segmenting customers, to create the highly effective targeted messaging.

Repeat and Repeat Again
It’s essential that marketing analytics is incorporated into your marketing operations from here on out. It’s not a one-off process, but rather a new facet of your standard operating procedure.

Conclusion: Do you want to find $200 million? Then be like STIHL. Continuously look at the numbers to find new business opportunities. Relentlessly find new tools and techniques to take your data-driven marketing to the next level. And you too could lead your market and drive your business to #1.

By Jeff Winsper

Jeff is the President of Black Ink and offers more than 20 years of leadership experience in marketing, serving companies ranging from Fortune 500 to start ups.

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