How to make use of your internal data

Internal data is data that is retrieved from within your company and is data that you can access easily. This data belongs to you and is commonly used by businesses to help inform their marketing strategies as well as their business objectives as a whole. There are a variety of different internal data sources and in this post we'll be exploring each.

Website data

Web data, also known as web analytics, is a set of data collected when a user visits or sees your website online. The purpose of web data is to see how users behave online, how your website performs when being used, and to provide you with insights that can help your business moving forward.

There are a tonne of data points that you can make use of to gather data on those who visit your website, and they can go a long way in helping you to understand who your average customer is and what you can do to convert cold leads into hot leads. You can use the data to track your traffic, your bounce rate, where the traffic comes from, and whether they are new users, and so much more.

Web traffic is used to explain the amount of people who visit your site but your bounce rate is used to quantify the amount of people who visit your site but then leave, or bounce, before going on to view other pages.

Knowing your traffic source is helpful because it can help you identify where your customers are coming from and, by extension, letting you know if your marketing or social media campaign is effective. Knowing if a user is new is handy because you will be able to see if you are enjoying a lot of repeat traffic and whether your ad campaign is generating new leads for you.

Web analytics also shape your content and SEO strategy. You can use the analytics to see if the keyword research you have used to form your website’s copy is correct because good SEO should result in you getting more visitors from SERPs (search engine result pages).

You should pick a selection of metrics which best align with your business’s objectives. There is a fine line with this as focussing on too few will provide you with too narrow of an insight while looking at every metric possible will likely confuse you with too much data that will likely come without much context.

Use the data you’ve gathered to inform the decisions you make. If you have selected the metrics that are most useful to the business, you should be able to use that data to inform the decisions you make moving forward. You might notice that customers are looking for a specific thing but cannot find it easily – you can use this to then better organise your website so that it is as user friendly as possible.

Don’t focus just on traffic but understand its value. High traffic can be a great indicator that you are doing something right, but it isn’t everything because if you aren’t converting this interest into sales or at least leads they are nothing more than a vanity metric. You can use this though to optimise your content so that the most common landing page has plenty of calls to action, which will encourage the user to either buy from you or provide you with their data.

Social media data

You can use social media data to get a better ROI for you or the brands that you work with. According to a recent survey, 72% of business executives use their social media platforms as a source of data in order to better inform their business decisions.

The social media platforms collect data on how your profiles and individual posts perform and the great news is that you can access this very easily. As mentioned earlier, we love being able to access our own data and the social media giants have done very well to provide us with access to our data in an accessible way.

There are a number of different third-party apps which can help organise your posts into categories so that you can better judge which type of post is performing better. There are a number of metrics you can measure but which ones you go for will depend on your end goal.

What is a vanity metric? A vanity metric is something that might look impressive on its own but have little meaning when put in context. Thousands of twitter impressions might look impressive but if your engagement rate is low and you aren’t driving traffic to your site then those impressions are largely meaningless.

A sanity metric, on the other hand, is a metric which grants you insight and provides you with data that you can use to your advantage. An example of a sanity metric would be link clicks because they actually drive traffic to your website and this should increase the likelihood of you generating sales or leads.

These metrics can be used together to help you assess what kinds of posts work best for you. You can replicate what works and tweak what doesn’t in order to maximise your online presence with the end goal being to drive people from social media to your website.

Your data is being collected constantly and not just when you post – the social media companies also measure when other people view your posts and so this will almost always be changing your analytics. The data you are provided with is usually quite raw but you can plug this data into third-party tools to help make sense of this data and turn it into something that is easy to digest and present to others.

A KPI is a key performance indicator and you should take time to decide which metrics are most important for your business. Make sure to keep in mind which metrics are vanity on their own and use that to build a data set which best serves your business needs and objectives. This is the best way of knowing if your social media approach is working or whether it needs tweaking.

Customer data

There is more customer data available for businesses to access than ever before. We can access transactional data, demographic data, and behavioural data with the touch of a finger and this can help you find out what kind of customer you should be focussing on as well as knowing what makes them tick.

A customer data platform, also known as a CDP, is a type of software that provides a unified customer database that you can access. It is prebuilt and managed by a third party and pulls data in from a variety of sources that can be used for marketing research, customer service, as well as to inform your marketing decisions.

Sales systems are a great way for your business to understand what your customer is doing and what they are wanting from you. You can see what type of products they are looking to buy, what else they search for in quick succession, and then use the personal data they provide to market to them directly in order to recommend products that you think they will be interested in purchasing.

Knowing how to manage customer data, such as email addresses, is very important. With the huge amounts of data you will have at your disposal, knowing how to safely keep it secure in compliance with GDPR is absolutely vital. A way that many businesses store this data is by using a CRM system because helps ensure that there is a smaller chance of any data leaks.

The CRM is typically used to store all user consent forms so that you know whether they have given you permission to use their data for marketing and whether it can be passed onto third-party companies. This will help you build stronger relationships because everything will be easily accessible, and you can reassure customers that their data is safe with you.

Internal databases are really useful and most companies use this to inform their marketing decisions as they relate directly to the business. The biggest advantage of using internal databases is that this data is readily available to you and so can be accessed with relative ease.

Are you ready to use the internal data you've gathered but aren't sure what your next step is? If you want to have a chat about it give us a call and set up a free no-cost consultation.

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