A funny thought hit me as I sat down to work today. Almost every article I read in some of the journals and scanned though in my email account talked about small business yet they talked as if small business had all the elements of a large business. It was frightening to think on how they were trying to talk to small business. By that I mean the articles assumed that (even as a small business) I had a marketing director, a sales director, and IT director, a financial director, a purchasing director, a comptroller . . . should I go on?
I assume that when I am talking to small businesses even the ones with sales up to 2 million, you the owner or sales manager wear 2, 3 or more different hats.
That being said what really is the difference between Metrics and Analytics. We hear these words bantered around all the time but what the heck at they and what do they mean to MY business.
Marketing Metrics are all the descriptive measurements such as number of leads, number of sales, and number of prospects in the sales pipeline
Marketing analytics is the data to see patterns that allow you to predict outcomes and to create a marketing strategy. It is not about the sheer numbers but how you use the numbers or could use the numbers so you can take the “proper” action.
Now just so you don’t think I’m going “Egghead” on you. I still believe that Marketing is an Art and not a science. But there is nothing wrong with knowing the numbers to you can devise the best marketing and sales attack you can. Also calm yourself into thinking everyone is doing Analytics. They aren’t and if they are I personally think most of them don’t know want to do with the data anyway. In an ITSMS member survey only half the companies are doing any kind of formal analytics and we are talking some major companies in this group. The ones with layers of management.
Now the Big Dogs seem to want you to think that to be effective here you need to have a sophisticated management team in place and statistical analysis skills. I say no! The writes of all these articles and studies work for the likes of IBM, Microsoft, Cisco and have layers or management that take them so far away from the pulse of the customer that they are immune by what is really coming down on the street. They make good products but as a small business I don't know how much hands-on marketing advice I would be taking from them.
So what can analytics do for you?
1) Help you to develop new promotions
2) Have a new way to look at target customers and patters
3) Help to predict how well your promotion should do
4) Help predict future buying patterns
5) Let you see possible new markets
Larson Notes & Satire: Been reading a few things on the art of selling to woman and the art of selling to men. Have started to put thoughts down for a couple of blogs in this direction.
I love being in the trenches with my associates. Yes I work in my ivory tower and sit in the famed ebony throne but don’t think that I am not down there working my butt of keeping a solid feeling for my customers and what my associates are facing every day.
This last week I went to a networking group, a seminar, got a short video taken and still had time to get down and dirty with some work. That is why I am so angry when I was going though reading about what all the big Muckety Mucks though I as a small business should be doing. What does a $100,000,000 dollar company really know about me? Case in point, I got a phone call from a certain Social Media company wanting to set up a phone appointment to get Uncle Howie to spend some money on them. I initially said ok. I mean I love Social Media Marketing and think it is great for promotion. They then went and forwarded me information to set the stage of the meeting. It was a whole big spiel about what they had done for American Express. My company has nothing in common with AE. And there they were telling, no trying to show me how they could do the same wonderful things they did for AE for my company? I did the only thing a nice person like me could do. I stopped that appointment and told them I did not want to waste their time. I was really thinking about my time, but I am a nice person.
What does this have to do with Metrics or Analytics? Know your numbers, but also know how to feel your numbers so you can make an educated guess on what to do next. Yes I said guess. I am still a Right Brain kind of person. I still do things by gut feeling more than by fact, but knowing what the Left Brainers are doing never hurts. Marketing is still an art more than a science. Still there is nothing wrong with practicing a little alchemy.
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