Chief Marketing Officer

How to Use Data to Drive Business Decision-Making

3 Aug, 2018

Data is readily available to businesses around the world, yet few companies understand exactly what it takes to get the most out of this information. Terry Singla, Senior Vice President of Strategic Analysis at ShopKo Stores, examined the use of data in retail during his keynote presentation to Argyle’s CMO membership at the 2018 Retail & Consumer Goods Forum: Marketing to the Modern Consumer in Chicago on May 1. In his presentation, “Leveraging Data to Drive Business Decision-Making and Profitability,” Singla offered insights to help marketers use data to make the best-possible decisions, faster than ever before.

Companies devote significant time and resources to collect data. However, companies may struggle to generate actionable business insights that they can use to make informed decisions. Fortunately, business intelligence (BI) software is available to companies. This software empowers companies – regardless of size or industry – to quickly retrieve data from a wide range of sources. Then, companies can leverage BI software to transform massive amounts of data into meaningful business insights.

“There is a ton of business intelligence software options out there,” Singla said. “From a business intelligence standpoint, the data is there, and you’re able to drill down into it and determine where the insights are.”

How a company leverages BI software can have long-lasting effects on the business and its customers. If a company deploys BI software but fails to review business insights regularly, for example, this business may miss out on opportunities to differentiate itself from its rivals or connect with customers. On the other hand, a company that integrates BI software into all aspects of its operations can gain real-time business insights and make fast, informed decisions.

Benefits of BI Software

BI software gives a company the ability to make accurate predictions. As a result, the software can simultaneously help a company reduce its operating costs and boost its revenues. In addition, BI software enables a company to identify growth opportunities. Because the software ensures a company can analyze both consumer and business data, it allows a company to identify market patterns and trends. Therefore, a business can use BI software to keep pace with client expectations and stay ahead of its rivals.

“Business analytics lets you narrow done into where the opportunities might be,” Singla indicated. “And from a business intelligence perspective, you can correlate why something is happening and what can be done about it.”

BI software also allows a business to evaluate its current prices and predict how price changes may impact its short- and long-term earnings. As such, the software helps a company update its prices so it can maximize its profitability.  “The customer is the nucleus now … and pricing works around [the customer],” Singla stated.

Taking Personalization to the Next Level

BI software empowers a business to target the right customers, at the right time, every time, too. If a company uses BI software, it can find out why customers may choose its products and services over rivals’. This helps the business tailor its marketing efforts to engage its target audience like never before.

“You need to understand personalization and how you interact [with customers],” Singla pointed out. “You need to search for ways to give customers a better experience and provide them with relevant content.”

To learn about a target audience, it may be beneficial to offer promotions and coupons. That way, a company can establish a baseline for customer engagement and tailor its marketing efforts accordingly.  “Give someone an insane deal online,” Singla said. “If I can’t get a 20 percent redemption rate on free money, that’s a concern.”

When a company understands its target audience, it can more effectively use its time and resources to foster long-term customer partnerships. “You want to make sure that where you invest your time can actually lead to substantial opportunities if you are successful,” Singla indicated.

Visit Argyle Executive Forum's 2019 CMO Forum: B2B Marketing in the Digital Era in San Francisco, CA on Jan 31, 2019

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