As online businesses use multichannel marketing strategies, they have to invest individually in each channel. With that, marketers often struggle to identify the channels that drive the most revenue. One cannot merely limit the entire marketing system to a couple of channels with random marketing investments.
Big Data helps solve this issue by providing a marketing mix that you can model to understand how your marketing activities affect your business’ ROI, revenue and sales. In this way, you’ll be able to evaluate the efficiency of your marketing campaigns even before you launch them.
According to a study by BARC, more than 52% ecommerce businesses use Big Data to gain a better understanding of their customers. You can collect and analyse customer data with ready-made solutions in the form of programmable interfaces and BI platforms, such as OWOX. With these solutions, you can process large amounts of data via a single platform.
What principles of Big Data are essential for business?
According to the most common definition by IDC (International Data Corporation), Big Data is characterised by the four Vs:
In practical terms, this means that ecommerce projects have to collect as much data about their target audiences as possible, and as quickly as they can. The data should be diverse and coming from different sources, such as browsers, mobile devices and external properties. Next, all these metrics are brought together, processed, and used to build algorithms for predicting further customer behaviour.
Hence, Big Data is not only about the volumes of data. One of the Vs in the 4V model stands for Value, the value of this data for business benefit. The data can be used to discover user behaviour patterns, predict and automate your ad campaigns. In turn, automation helps eliminate the human factor and get the most return on your usual budget investments. For example, Promodo used automation to increase the number of transactions on Pokupon.ua by 193% (see our case study for more details).
Factors influencing sales growth in ecommerce
On the one hand, ecommerce businesses strive to attract as many new customers as possible. However, if your ultimate goal is revenue and revenue alone, then all your strategies will be limited to the top stages of the sales funnel. Such short-sighted strategies leave sales managers drifting in shallow waters.
It’s like buying a car that is limited to 50 km/h. You will reach your destination sooner or later, but with a different car, you could get there much faster. On the contrary, successful salespeople seek to reach the “bottom” of the sales funnel by affecting the speed of guiding customers down the sales funnel.
In order to successfully use this factor, you’ll need to take a personalised, multichannel approach to engaging customers at each stage of their buying journey. This calls for a well-thought-out content marketing strategy (V for Variability) that will enable your business to deliver diverse, informative and relevant content to each customer, whichever stage of the purchase funnel they’re currently at.
In order to leverage your sales funnel at its full capacity, you have to focus on all the four factors. Act carefully and evaluate the behavioural, technical and intra-corporate data to adjust your approach. Let’s take a closer look at each of the factors.
The factor of volume at the upper stages of the funnel is the basis for any marketing strategy. The growth in the number of new sales ensures that the company’s revenue objectives are met. In addition, it provides the amount of data needed to apply advanced analysis methods (such as Big Data and Machine Learning).
At the same time, marketers who are focused on increasing sales, risk channelling all their efforts into achieving the required number of new leads, while ignoring new opportunities and long-term relationships.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should focus solely on velocity or variability of your content. One cannot ignore one factor in favour of the others. Use each of the factors to maintain the scale of your business processes while you’re up to the scale of your business processes, while you’re developing more sophisticated tactics to increase conversions and improve the efficiency of your ecommerce processes.
Velocity-based strategy means that the revenue is generated by increasing the speed of business processes and, as a result, using the opportunities more efficiently. The approach should also be based on the collected user data (data-driven approach), that’s why you should pay close attention to the relevance of the data.
Over time, as you develop your expertise in controlling the velocity factor, the ratio of all the four factors in your marketing mix should also change. The part of the budget your spend on attracting the largest possible number of customers is gradually redistributed (but never disappears completely) in favour of the velocity at which you draw them.
Personalised content reduces the time it takes to attract a potential customer. For more information, see our previous post.
Note that personalisation is not the same thing as demographic targeting and isn’t limited to an individual user. On the contrary, content variability is determined by how different groups of users who have interacted with your brand before. This approach allows creating content that helps brands engage users and drive customers to each next stage of the sales process.
No matter how deep you’ll need to “dive” into the funnel in order to get a valuable customer, you can only achieve this objective with a thoughtful and optimised customer journey.
If you’re already analysing your marketing down to an individual customer, make your objective to improve the quality of your analysis by using new tools and rethinking your customers’ experience on their way to the purchase. Of course, businesses don’t necessarily need this ‘rocket science’ to survive, but in this case, you can’t expect sales growth. Without quality web analytics, all your optimisation efforts won’t bring you the desired results.
Although it takes significant time and effort to analyse large amounts of data and keep your eyes on the competitors, doing so will ultimately improve your sales. The integrated approach to digital marketing will help you identify the channels that generate the most revenue, and therefore optimise your marketing investments.