Guest blog: Why Data is Queen

This week we have a guest blog from Denise from the Hackney Hive, a boutique business and media strategy consultancy.  Denise LOVES data and is explaining to us why data is QUEEN …

Anyone who has worked with me knows I love data and I encourage everyone to get to love their data too.  Having an email list of 2,000 names is great, but if you have some insights into that list what you start to have is really valuable data.  Knowing the ages, sex, household income, interests and aspirations of the names on your list is what you need to know to make that list work for you to help you make more money.

Cash may be King but in my world data is Queen and if you don’t already you really need to dig into your data to get to know your customers.  With that information, you can make informed choices about your business growth rather than just winging it and seeing what happens.

For instance:

  • if you wanted to run a Facebook campaign it would be useful to know where your customers live and to target that area rather than the whole of the UK.
     
  • If you sell children’s clothes you’ll want to know the age of your customer’s children, the amount of disposable income they have is, as well as if the children are boys or girls.
     
  • If you are a wedding related business and the majority of the people on your newsletter list are already married you need to know so you can encourage those people to recommend you to others rather than sending them a generic message about looking forward to their big day.

Understanding your data will also support in developing collaborations and seeking sponsorship.  When a potential business partner asks who are your customers or clients are an answer like ‘Mums and Dads who live in London’ is not an answer.  ‘Mums and Dads, who rent a home, with an average household income of £34,000, who are aged between 35 and 48 with children in primary school’ is a good answer. No matter the size of your business this is the minimum level of understanding you should have on your client database. After all your new clients will be very similar to your existing clients so you should know who they are and where to find them.

A fancy database is a nice to have to manage your data but a good old excel spreadsheet will do the job perfectly well.  I suggest you decide what you need to know and spend a couple of hours every month updating your data, interrogating it and speaking to your customers.

  • Get to know Excel, if you don’t use it regularly watch some youtube videos and have a play.
     
  • Do the occasional survey and incentivise responding to it if necessary.
     
  • Get to a craft fair or trade show and use the event as an opportunity to collect qualitative data and RECORD it in your database.
     
  • Take a client out for a coffee, you’ll be amazed at what they share with you that you will want to immediately incorporate into your business.

Let me know how it goes. I love data so much I’d love to hear how you get on falling in love with yours.

For more information of Denise and what she does then check out her website or follow her on Instagram.

Rachael Savage