How Data Can Shape your Business

What do you do with information in your business? Information has never been so easy to get at any time in history as it is now. You never underestimate the power of information in our world today. I remember a time in my sales career that I lost out in a potentially life changing business opportunity. I lost out because I was slow to harness information. How did it happen? There was this antimalarial molecule we were marketing back then in 2012-2013, a memo was released and sent through our e-mail addresses to all field salesmen. In this memo was an information about a price discount with a good commission on sales for the antimalarial we were selling. Those of my colleagues who had timely access to the information earlier through their smart phones acted quickly and communicated this discount to our companies big distributors in the market and closed sales worth tens of millions of naira. Because I was yet to renew my mobile phone’s subscription, I received this mail late. When I came to the market, all I saw were smiling faces of my distributors who had signed up for the discounted sales. I was heartbroken and learned a bitter lesson on how fast information can change a man’s fortune and how important it is to stay sharp on happenings around you.

The relationship between business growth and

information use

Making better marketing decisions

Marketing allows a business to generate great value for the consumer, hence contributing to business growth. Most small businesses are unstructured and have a poor understanding of marketing, the consequence is the marketing intelligence needed to make informed decisions that will affect the growth of the business is lacking. Information related to the business’ opportunities, threats, customers and market dynamics is lost on the alters of a business’ poor orientation to marketing and neglect of the instrumentality of market intelligence.

Solving problems

When your business performance indices such as a marketing campaign, sales revenue etc go south. How do you as a business owner pinpoint what went wrong?

Tracking, reviewing and analysing business data from business processes and operations will help you uncover breakdowns so that you can better understand each part of the process and know which steps need to be fixed and which are performing well.

Understanding customers

Data helps small businesses to understand their customers’ better. Such information like:

  • repeat purchase customers
  • sales per customer
  • frequency of purchase

are all market information that will help a business make informed decisions on a lot of scale.

Let’s take them one by one to understand how it works.

  • Repeat purchase customers

 This as the name implies is a measure of  the number of customers that have purchased a specific product of yours at least twice within a given time (it can be calculated).A proper analysis of these class of customers will help you segment your customers into: those with a high repeat purchase and those with a low repeat purchase rate. With this information, a business owner would be able to design a strategy that would for example reward those with high purchase rate with incentives or fashion out strategies to encourage those with low purchase rate to increase their purchase (maybe through sales promotion).

  • Sales volume per customer

This is usually represented in two forms namely sales value or sales volume. Sales value in financial times indicates the cumulative turnover generated by a specific customer. While sales volume consists of the cumulative number of units purchased by a customer segment within a specific time. An analysis of these data will help a business know sales per customer and we can get an idea of the usage of a company’s product under the form of overall consumption of a specific customer group.

  • Frequency of purchase

This data helps businesses to understand how often a specific product is purchased. It also compares usage across different target segments or across different product lines that a business supplies. For example a look at the frequency of purchase data will help a business to identify its heavy consumers or spot the difference in usage across a customer segment or geographical location and be able to come up with strategies to drive more sales across segments.

In a nutshell guys! These are the few ways data affects your business. So pay attention to the information around you. Harness them and use them to reposition your business for greatness.

Cheers!

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