This is a follow-up on big data, specifically related to the tools for big data that small businesses can rely on to document and analyze information, in order to build better marketing strategies.
Our first post on big data covered basic information, like its definition: a collection of data from traditional and digital sources, inside and outside of the company, that represent a source for ongoing discovery and analysis. The mainstream media has adopted a definition of big data that’s broadly synonymous with “analytics”.
We also mentioned briefly what focusing on big data could mean for small businesses in terms of decision-making.
We’ll continue developing topics around big data because knowledge is being developed and tested all over the world. The tools for big data we’ll explore today are: Google Analytics, SumAll and Hubspot.
GA relates to marketing through the business side: it gathers information in such detail, that managers in both areas can make clear strategic decisions after analyzing it. This information relates to customer data: what visitors did on your website, the content they liked, when they visited, where they are located geographically, how they found your site…
If you merge that data to actual operational or accounting information, you’ll have a full workflow as to where a client came from, if a purchase was made, how much was spent… all the way to knowing how much effort in marketing needs to be made in order to get a specific amount of revenue.
GA is free and can be integrated to multiple sites; all you need is a Google ID.
Here’s what GA usually looks like:
A common insight after going through GA is:
“Alright, if a client bought XYZ amount, while we invested ABC in marketing, I can easily come up with ROIs from here.”
SumAll is a tool which relates to marketing, in the social side. It monitors and provides analytics for all your social media efforts out there: tweets, Facebook posts, Facebook ads, Instagram; it even has some relation to Google Analytics.
Here’s what the SumAll dashboard looks like:
SumAll is also free, and really easy to use. It’s a great resource to review all the stream of data in one place, and very useful during our exploration phase to build strategies around it.
HubSpot has a very interesting and in-depth option for social monitoring and page performance, and is a paid service.
It focuses on access to integrated metrics that span contacts database, marketing content and website traffic.
Here’s a HubSpot screenshot:
Noteworthy: HubSpot focuses on people by giving context on your contacts with data-rich, individual profiles, and complete database reporting. It also includes a report to find out which marketing activities lead to revenue for your company.
Though we recommend using any of these tools, using them all at the same time, we do not; things will get confusing.
In fact, thinking of the big picture is recommended: what are the answers you want to get with these tools? Can you link marketing data to your operations data?
If you don’t know, a consultant can help you understand what you’re looking for.
Examples include: knowing how to read data, knowing how a site is performing, if your social marketing is doing well or not…
Once you figure out the answers you’re looking for, you can pick the tool and start paying attention. Record information to share with a consultant, or to analyze alone later, to decide how this information can be used to give you more insight on your business.
Partnering with a consulting team brings the added result of better control on information, a better understanding on how your business really works, and to making decisions not based in assumptions.