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How to Be a Data Driven Company

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Show Notes

Brian:

Being data-driven means that you allow data to impact the decisions you make. What we find here about data is that data is like an onion. The more that you uncover, the more you actually want to dive deeper and there's always something to improve.

Austin:

Welcome to the Growth Made Simple podcast where we believe friction in your organization slows your growth, but simplicity will build momentum. This podcast is designed to educate you, challenge you, and inspire you - all in under 20 minutes. That's five minutes shorter than the average commute to work. So you'll still have plenty of time to belt out a song or two before you put the car in park.

Brian:

Welcome back to another episode of the Growth Made Simple podcast where we believe friction in your organization slows your growth, but simplicity builds momentum. The Growth Made Simple podcast is for entrepreneurs, business owners, and marketing managers alike. If you're passionate about helping your organization grow, then we welcome you to join us on this journey. I'm your host Brian, and I'm joined by my co-host today, Mary. So Mary, what's your favorite kind of food?

Mary:

Well, Brian, it's getting around to summertime. My favorite food is anything that I can cook outside on my grill.

Brian:

That's cool. Grills are definitely in season right now. I grilled some burgers over the weekend!

Mary:

We did too, actually. Great minds think alike.

Brian:

Definitely! Well, my favorite food is chicken parmesan. Most specifically from Carrabas. A lot of people would argue that the ‘other Italian place’ has the best chicken parm, but I can't even mention them on the podcast because Carrabas is definitely the best, but a close second for me is definitely, as we mentioned, a good ol’ cheeseburger fresh off the grill.

Mary:

So what do chicken parm and burgers have to do with our topic today?

Brian:

That's a great question, Mary. Chicken parm has literally nothing to do with today's topic, but burger's actually do. Before we jump into today's topic and figure out why we've made you hungry, can you remind me a little bit about what we talked about in our last episode?

Mary:

Yeah. So in our last episode, we talked about how to align your sales and marketing groups and why that's important. I think traditionally we talked about how sales and marketing have always been kind of at odds with one another and never really worked together. And how it's really important to bring those two sides together. We get them looking at the same goals, having that common goal of working for the client and meeting those clients' goals and how 'you should lock them in a room together' I think was the point you made.

Brian:

Yes, that was my last point. So that's from episode two about how to align sales and marketing and what the benefits come from that. Today on the podcast we are asking the question, 'what does being data-driven mean and why it should matter to your business.' At the end of the podcast, I'm going to share four things that will be improved in your business when you become data-driven. So you're definitely gonna want to stick around. A recent study said that data-driven marketing leaders are six times more likely to gain a competitive advantage and be profitable.

Mary:

That's not a small number. Six times more likely!

Brian:

I would definitely say that this is something that we need to pay attention to. So, earlier Mary I teased you as well as our audience asking about their favorite food and our favorite food. And we landed on talking about burgers. You know, until recently, most online marketing was handled like any other good old marketing. If it sounded like a good idea, someone was going to probably give it a try and take, for example, a recent design trend that should have never seen the light of day: the 'Burger Menu' on the desktop website.

Mary:

Oh man, I'm still seeing burger menus on websites, especially mobile sites. What is the Burger Menu essentially, and how did that ever become a thing?

Brian:

The Burger Menu, you see, began as a good idea. When mobile responsive websites became important, web designers began to think about what would be best for the user on the mobile phone. Someone came up with a great idea to convert the navigation menu that was long and big to three little lines that everyone now knows represents a menu on your mobile phone. And in the world of designers, we call it the Burger Menu. It's called the Burger Menu because you've got three layers, the buns, the burger - you get it. The mistake happened when web designers wanted to hyper-simplify websites and keep them super minimalistic. And so they decided there's it would be smart to take away the standard navigation on your laptop or desktop that everyone understands and replace it with a super clean, sleek burger menu. The result - users did not know where to click.

Mary:

That's a huge problem because the last thing you want to do is make things difficult for your visitors to find things on your website.

Brian:

Yeah, just a little, I mean, how did they figure out that they didn't know where to click? The data told them. Both the traffic and revenue on these websites plummeted.

Mary:

Okay, so Brian, we've talked about being data-driven a few times. Can you talk about what that means exactly?

Brian:

If you went to Google right now you'd see three different phrases that essentially mean the same thing. There's data-driven, there’s data-informed, and there’s data-driven marketing. All of these phrases mean essentially the same thing. Being data-driven means that you allow data to impact the decisions you make. So, in the case of the Burger menu situation, someone's opinion, someone's preference, someone wanting something to look good actually became more important than what was best for the user. The data proved it.

Mary:

And that's not something we want.

Brian:

Definitely not. You know, designers need marketers and marketers need designers and it's this dance between that creates the balance that they create that allows data to inform design. That's the real power in what your website can do for your business.

Mary:

Now that we've got a good understanding of what being data-driven actually means, let's dive into those tips you talked about. Where do we start?

Brian:

Good question. So the first step is we want to set your goals. 78% of organizations say data-driven marketing increases lead conversion. Let's start with a goal to increase your lead conversion. We don't want to just create a goal, we actually want to create a SMART goal. If you don't know what SMART goals are, they're Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Sensitive. The challenge is at this point in the podcast, we don't know enough to be able to set a SMART goal. For the time being, we're just going to say 'increase lead conversions on your website.'

Mary:

Okay, so that's a great goal to start out with. What's the next step?

Brian:

The second step is to determine what to measure. If our goal is to increase conversions on your website, we need first gather some data. The first data point we want to look at is to average how many visitors came to your website in the past three months. Second, we need to find out how many leads you received in that same time period. The quickest way to determine this is to see how many people have used your contact form. It gets a little more complicated if you allow people to call you and email you directly, but let's at least use your contact form as a baseline. For example, if you had 10 contacts submissions and you had a thousand website visitors, your conversion rate would be 1% as 10/1,000 = 1%.

Mary:

Okay, so 1% isn't a really big number. What can we do to improve that?

Brian:

That's an excellent question. 1% isn't a good conversion rate, but before we figure out how to improve, we need to gather a little bit more data. The first thing you want to look at is your bounce rate. If you don't know where to get your bounce rate, you can log into your Google Analytics account. If you have a bounce rate higher than around 60%, it means that your website visitors are not sticking around because they don't find what you're offering to be compelling. You're also going to want to find out what an average conversion rate is for your industry. So a quick search on Google shows that the average conversion rate across all industries is around 2.35%. And so if your conversion rate is at 1%, you can see that you can easily double it.

Mary:

That's some great information. So, first, we set the goals and then we decide what we need to measure to achieve those goals. In this example, we needed to gather things like website visitors, leads, and the bounce rate. Before we take a look at the third and final tip we're going to take a quick break and we'll see you in a moment!

Austin:

As a marketer, you probably hear buzzwords and jargon kicked around like a hacky sack day in and day out. How do you turn your numbers and data into digestible, valuable information for people who aren't marketing experts? Not just any non-experts, but your boss? You know, the executives as in the ones who have the ability to make executive decisions regarding your marketing campaigns, budget and staffing decisions? Yeah, those bosses. As a marketer, you have a big job. Sometimes proving the worth of your job can be tricky, but it can be done when you have the right people and resources in your corner. Head on over to nugency.com/vanity to check out our white paper, 3 Marketing Metrics Your Boss Will Appreciate.

Mary:

Welcome back. Now that we've set the goals and determined what we should be measuring with our business, we need to get to our third and final step. So what is that Brian?

Brian:

The third step is to make wise and informed decisions. The top 59% of marketers say that faster decisions are one of the benefits of using data. Time is money. So we want to be able to use the data to make those wise and informed decisions. So even though your lead conversion rate may be low, the good news is now you know, and knowledge is half the battle. Now that you have the data, it means that you can make an informed decision on how to improve the data. So the questions that you want to ask are - first, what single and specific action does your website ask your visitors to take? So if you're asking people to take multiple different steps, that means you've immediately confused them.

Mary:

Confusion is something we don't want. So one action item might be to simplify the steps that you want people to take and make it as few clicks as possible, making it as seamless as possible.

Brian:

Definitely. The second question is, are you helping? Most businesses immediately want to ask people to buy. Buyers today want to do their own research. They've got questions, and your visitors want to know the answers to their questions before they contact you.

Mary:

Absolutely! One common action item for that is to make sure that your website is answering the common questions that your customers have. An easy way to do that is to get somebody outside your organization to come in and look at your website and just browse through it, seeing if they can get the information that they're looking for.

Brian:

The third and final tip and the question that people are asking is 'how much?' The biggest question that your prospect will have when they get to your website is how much is it going to cost? And if you're like our business, everything is custom. This is often the reason why people like us say we can't add pricing. Customers understand that you're going to need to create a proposal based upon their needs. People just want to understand the basic range. By simply adding your starting price, it could dramatically increase the quality of your leads.

Mary:

I think that's also a way to help people self qualify, letting people who can't afford what you offer to go ahead and say, 'Hey, this isn't for me.'

Brian:

Oftentimes people are 'tire kickers'. They're just trying to find the price and they're clogging up your pipeline. If you had the price on the website, they wouldn't clog up your pipeline.

Mary:

Absolutely. And your sales team is going to thank you for that.

Brian:

Definitely. So what we find here about data is that data is like an onion. The more that you uncover, the more you actually want to dive deeper and there's always something to improve. So we talked about three things. First, set your goals. Second, determine what you want to measure. Third, this is going to allow you to make wise and informed decisions.

Mary:

That all sounds awesome. So at the beginning of this episode, you actually mentioned that you would tell us four things that would be improved in your business when you become data-driven. What are those four things?

Brian:

Alright, so here are the four things. If you were paying attention in the beginning, this is where you want to pay attention at the end.

  1. It's going to improve your customer experience.
  2. It's going to improve your lead conversion.
  3. The one that most people in business want to improve - your revenue.
  4. It's going to improve your ROI or 'return on investment'.

Mary:

Those are all great things. I think anybody would want to improve those.

Brian:

So, today's episode was all about data. We're actually going to be doing a mini-series within our podcast about data. Mary, can you tell us a little bit about what we're going to talk about on our next episode?

Mary:

On our next episode, we're going to be continuing with the data theme. We're going to talk about how to be data-driven with your paid ads. Facebook ads, Google ads, any online digital advertising. How to use data and what you should and shouldn't be looking at.

Brian:

Great! Thanks for tuning in to episode three on data. Until next time, remember, friction in your organization slows your growth, but simplicity builds momentum.

Austin:

Thanks for listening to Growth Made Simple. We'll be here on the first and third Wednesday of every month to bring you the freshest, the smartest, and the newest inbound marketing insight on this side of the Mason Dixon line. Now go find your favorite pump up jams before it's time to get out of the car.


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