Your business is a physical example of your dream coming true, of years of hard work finally coming to fruition. After all that you’ve done to make it possible, seeing happy customers and getting positive feedback is the best possible pat on the back that you can be given. As you expand and business grows, you might be unsure how to grow your clientele; after all, just because you build it, that doesn’t always mean that they will come. Getting to know your customers and what it is that they expect from you can be one of the most valuable sources of information that you can glean — which is what makes data analysis such an imperative tool in customer service.
What Do You Mean, “Data Analysis?”
Marketing is a clever thing: It has the power to convince customers that they not only want a product or a service, but they also NEED it. How do you figure out what people want and need? You collect data.
Data scraping strategy is a 21st-century method to gather data which is part of the data analysis processing. It's information that you want to collect from websites is accumulated and imported into an accessible method like a spreadsheet. Otherwise known as “web scraping,” it can be as elaborate or simple as you like; its capability ranges from free Google plugins to software that can be customized down to the finest details. Many companies are ones that pull data from many different places across the internet. Some examples of real-life businesses using web scraping include:
- Price comparison sites (Amazon, eBay, Wayfair) that show you the best deals on products on different websites.
- Real estate MLS websites, which pull data from many other specific real estate company sites (think Zillow).
- Travel booking websites, like Expedia and Travelocity.
Okay, But How Can it Help My Business?
Everyone knows that SEO is another big tool to use in order to get yourself the right audience and expand the amount of customers you can get, but data analysis has its own way of getting you more audience. To expand your target audience then you need to know your new clients a little better in order to draw them in. You can configure the software any way you like, but as an example say you wanted to try and expand to the 18 to 21 age group. Being able to gather good data means searching for trends, see what the buzzwords are for that specific age group. What are they talking about? What topics are on the rise, what words are trending? This is all valuable information, as small as it might seem.
Time to Reach Out and Draw In New Clientele
Once you’ve collected the data that you’re satisfied with, you can start to market to your new customers. You might consider hiring a marketing manager to help you out for a very large project. These professionals conduct market research of their own. They are quite knowledgeable about how to effectively use things like trending topics and hashtags. Marketing Manager help you with everything from changing your logo to going through a total rebranding. They also help manage status updates on your company’s social media accounts.
If you choose not to hire a marketing manager, be wise in how you decide to use your newfound information; remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Ever seen those awkward marketing campaigns came from where someone tried way too hard to be cool using modern slang? Chances are they noticed a trending word and decided to try it out. This would be the flip side to data mining for marketing purposes, so don’t let a goofy marketing ploy be the only reason that people know the name of your business. Be recognized for being the best at what you do, not for making your audience cringe in marketing gone wrong.
The End Result? Better Customer Service
Beyond finding creative ways to sell your services and products to the world, web scraping is also a hugely effective tool in better customer service. Your clients feel the most comfortable when they feel like they are listened to and understood on a personal level. Also, your employees will feel less stressed with this efficient process. While data mining doesn’t automatically make you an expert on your new clients, it can certainly provide you with more insight and a clearer understanding into what they are interested in and/or find value in. You can even use the data you collect in employee training and to help you shape the culture of your growing company.
Getting to know your expanding audience as your business gets bigger is so much simpler with data mining technology. It’s not always a perfect science, but it can certainly help your small business in so many ways, from marketing to a general understanding of your new clients.