Whatever question you might have, the answer will most likely be found in data.
In this post, I will jump back to the basics a bit. What is data-driven growth? Why do some companies succeed better than others with it, and how can you take the first step towards becoming one of the successful data-driven companies?
So, what is data-driven growth?
There is a reason for Brexit, Trump became the US president, why we spend hours every day on Social media.
Anyone who has seen” Brexit: The Uncivil War” knows that behind the final result of Brexit played very data-driven marketing and decision making. Audiences were identified based on data, and fine-tuned messages were personalized. They had a deep understanding of how people and the algorithms worked.
Data-driven growth is to develop in the desired direction with the help of data.
Having a data-driven approach is about making strategic decisions based on data analysis and interpretation. By letting the data lead you towards the right choices so that your company becomes more customer-centric, products are becoming better, and the sales rate goes up, customers are getting more satisfied, and so on.
It’s nothing new. We have always been able to make our decisions based on data.
There is a reason why we can find a McDonalds exactly is where it is, and why Listerine turned into the go-to brand back in 1921 when they coined the term “halitosis.”
The difference now is that we have a lot more data. It’s right in front of us on our screens, and very easy to access and use for the purposes we wish.
We can use this data to understand the customer better to increase revenue and loyalty, Identify new markets, predict future changes to our industry, Improve the sales processes, develop our products, find the right pricing model, or make our marketing more efficient effective.
Working data-driven helps prioritize what to focus on and find where to get the best possible return investment, whether it’s about time or money or something else.
And those that don’t? Well, the answer is simple. They will lose in the long run.
Sign me up – Make me more data-driven!
To truly become data-driven, it’s not just about making decisions based on data. It’s neither just a one-person show. Hiring a data scientist is not going to be the solution.
To get the most out of the data, you will need a company culture and way of working that allows data-driven development and a will to improve performance so that growth can happen.
It would help if you wanted to break the status quo, try something different, and let the data lead the way.
You need a process to store the data and extract facts to make decisions based on the data.
In its entirety, you want to find value in data, identify opportunities, streamline operations based on these opportunities, and the way you work.
But it does not mean that you only do things based on data. There must always be a balance.
If you look at creativity within a marketing team, there must be room to try new things, and not always let the data limit the imagination. Instead, use the data to develop or lead creative ideas to even better ideas.
Get a brief – let your creativity flow!
If you only let the data control, there is a risk that you get stuck, digging yourself a rabbit hole. Unique things are unique because they have never existed before.
Get the culture and process in place
As mentioned, culture and processes are needed to achieve efficient data-driven growth.
It is not enough that one person in your organization is data-driven. But the entire team needs to be on the same page and accept making decisions based on data.
We do this by developing our culture in the company or team. A person can be data-driven, but the organization’s processes and culture need to be formed to be data-driven in their decisions and let data guide development, to benefit from this lone data-driven hero.
How do you get the team onboard?
The development of company culture is complex, and many theories and things to take into consideration.
But what I can often see works well and is relatively simple. If you want to take a step towards being more data-driven, let the team know its value.
They need to understand that their role is vital in reaching the growth goal. What people do can be measured, and if looking at that measured metric, we can see that they impact the end goal.
For example, and to be honest, I usually do not write that many articles. But I know that if I write this post about data-driven growth and get 100 readers, 10% of those are likely to contact me for some more information. These leads bring me maybe two new companies as customers in the long run. Now you see the value of putting 2 hours into writing.
I also choose this keyword “data-driven” for a reason. But back to the culture.
If they all first understand that their work matters for the company or project’s result, their role is essential in reaching the growth goal and how they are crucial. Then a process for data-driven decision making becomes more important to them and more comfortable to implement.
The team must be onboard. An example: It’s not a good idea to start working with, for example, inbound marketing, unless sales can see the value of getting more leads, and are involved in taking care of the leads that are generated and at the same time help to develop the marketing towards driving higher quality on these leads that come in.
What are good data-driven decisions for growth?
Right data-driven decisions can be many. Most decisions are based on data, and that leads to growth are good. Also, failures teach us lessons about what not to do in the future. These can be even more valuable than a modest success.
Sometimes the answer to Why is missing, and then it may not be a good decision behind it.
So it is perhaps easier to describe what are not so good data-driven decisions.
If you make a decision and fail with the result, and you do not know why.
There was no process to identify what worked and what did not work.
You have then not learned anything from the test.
Or another example in marketing.
Sometimes you see these big advertising concepts, which get pushed in all channels.
Many messages get sent out with big budgets, which were never really tested for relevance to the target group. It can turn into nice-looking ads, but nothing more.
First, they did not test the message or concept, and then they did not learn from the results.
For some good cases, check these ones out.
How do you start to become more data-driven?
Start by looking at the culture and making sure you have a process to begin measuring, monitoring, and saving data. Start to plan and execute tests on how to improve the KPIs, and draw conclusions based on the data making sure you let the data guide your development in the right direction towards your goal(s).
If you question what kind of data to look for and use, start by identifying questions you need answers to for finding the right path towards your goals.
Look at your goals and vision. What do you need to measure to know if your efforts and development are going in the right direction?
Which KPIs affect your most important goals?
Then check if you can measure these KPIs. Do you know your leads’ quality, how many of your customers are satisfied, which channels drive you leads or sales, etc.?
Look at the results and start identifying where you should develop. “Where is the funnel leaking.” Where should you improve and what obstacles can you see to achieving your growth goals.
Then try to find ideas for solutions to these obstacles. Why is our leads’ quality terrible? Is it due to the expectations, the communication, time to contact?
Start mapping hypotheses on why it’s not performing well enough and what happens if you do it in another way. Then start testing.
Want help to achieve your goals or more information about how our model looks to start implementing data-driven growth?