Data can be one of your business’s most effective marketing weapons, but it’s like one of those ‘magic-eye’ posters – you’ve got to look at it the right way to see the hidden picture. Of course, not everyone has the knack of Michael Laps, Business Rewards member and co-founder of Yoghurt DigitalOpens external site.
Yoghurt Digital is a small, boutique digital agency that’s into data in a big way. In fact, their company culture is built on it.
“A love affair with data, not opinions” is the business motto – and it’s this new, digital-age thinking, combined with some old-school marketing charm, that underpins its success and rewards clients with real, bottom-line boosting results. Because this is an agency that counts conversions, not clicks.
“People pay us to drive a result, not to give them fluffy conversion metrics like ‘eyeballs on an ad’ or sending people to your website with no tangible outcome for your business,” Laps says. “I could grow your site visits with a whole bunch of irrelevant traffic, but that’s not going to grow your business. We want to make that traffic impact your bottom line.”
While in theory all marketing these days should be data-driven, in practice it isn’t Laps says. Or maybe it is, but it isn’t. Confused?
“The funny thing about data is that where you get it from, how it was acquired, how clean it is and how it’s been interpreted can all make a huge difference to the quality of your insights and thus your strategy,” Laps says.
With that in mind, here are some of his top tips for SMEs who want to be smarter with data.
What are your end customer’s pain points, motivations to purchase, and perceptions of your brand? What experience do they expect, and what is their decision-making process?
“Being “customer-centric” is the new buzzword around town, but the premise is spot-on,” Laps says. “The better you understand your customer, the faster you’ll grow.”
“Whatever you do, try to tie a few data sources as a reference point to validate your thoughts,” Laps says. “Otherwise you could end up unnecessarily spending money and time – your most valuable resource – on initiatives that will ultimately fail.”
As a business owner, you might be in charge of sales, customer service, finance, HR and operations, but you’re unlikely to be strong in all of those areas, Laps points out.
“Understand your strengths and weaknesses, and surround yourself with people and technology that can help you focus on the areas where you can have the most impact,” he says.
One of Yoghurt Digital’s core values is “find a better way”, which means they’re constantly striving to improve their processes and work smarter. As a small, independent agency, that goes for their money-management style too.
“For us, wherever we can be more efficient and effective financially, we want to be, so I’m a huge believer in Qantas Business Rewards” Laps says. “You’re spending the money anyway, so getting a return on it that you can then reinvest into your business and leverage in different ways seems obvious – whether it’s flights to a conference, a laptop from the Qantas store, or some noise-cancelling headphones for team members working in an open-plan office. As far as I’m concerned there’s no downside.”