For solopreneurs, the business to-do list never ends. You’re constantly juggling tasks, one of which is marketing. Research shows nearly half (47%) of all small business owners manage their own marketing, according to a survey conducted by LeadPages.
A DIY marketing strategy is tough. From social media and email campaigns to in-store promotions, how do you create messages that customers respond to?
To succeed, every business – no matter what its size – must collect customer data. By learning everything you can about your customers, you can create targeted, relevant messages that compel customers to act.
You’re probably thinking, “How on earth can I find time to collect and implement customer data?” You’re not alone. Campaign Monitor and Ascend2 asked businesses about the biggest data challenges they face and showcased the results in the infographic below.
While collecting data is a challenge, it has clear-cut rewards too. Time invested in data collection and implantation can lead to more sales, and who doesn’t want that?
Here’s a look at five clever ways you can use data to generate more money for your small business:
1. Create customer personas
Use the data you collect to create customer personas, or a representation of the different kinds of customer segments you cater to.
There are tools that can help you create a customer persona. Xensio, for example, offers a free tool for small businesses or you can use a customer persona template like this one from Content Harmony.
Customer personas can help you understand your audience, which means you’ll create better campaigns for each group.
2. Identify your best customers
As you collect data, you’ll be able to see which customer groups are the most profitable. Being able to identify your VIP customers gives you a roadmap for success. You know what a loyal customer searches for, buys and researches. Knowing this, you can look for similar customers to bring on board.
3. Segment your email campaigns
With detailed personas, you can segment your email contacts. You can separate contacts by past purchases, location, age or job title – just to name a few.
Once segmented, you can send each group an email that’s relevant. For instance, your “Male VIP customers” might receive a 10% off coupon for their loyalty.
Segmenting contacts gives you the ability to personalize campaigns that customers actually respond to.
4. Win back lost customers
Customer stray. It happens. But, you’re more likely to sell to customers who are already familiar with your brand and product than you are to sell to a new customer.
Identify subscribers that haven’t made a purchase in three to six months and create a campaign to bring these lost customers back into your sales fold. Maybe you offer this segment a coupon as an incentive to return or insider access to a new product.
5. Find new customers on Facebook
Facebook helps brands get the most out of their data. By uploading your customer information, Facebook can use it to create Lookalike Audiences. In other words, Facebook targets customers that look and act just like your existing ones.
It’s yet another reason why collecting customer information is so helpful.
Finding time to market your business isn’t easy, but the ROI on data collection is clear. Getting to know your customers is an effective way to increase sales. It takes time and legwork, but solopreneurs can see a worthy ROI by investing in data collection.
Andrea Robbins is a Content Marketing Manager at Campaign Monitor. She loves a good cup of coffee and spending time outdoors. Keep up with her on Twitter @andirobz