Most of the businesses competing in the marketplace for the acquisition, retention, and engagement of customer base have some sort of digital presence may it be a website or limited to social media. What’s worth exploring is whether the website of a business is ready for gathering data and aptly set up to analyze that data.

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A website is by far the most fundamental part of the communication mix for a business enterprise, a kind of a home base in the rich expanse of digital, social, and web technologies. This makes it even more important to know what data to gather, how to gather it, and what kind of analysis would be useful, it’s all part of data strategy.

What data to collect?

The idea to collect all data and figure out later what to do with it is essentially a nonsensical approach, and with new privacy policies and the general population consciousness on the rise, it’s bound to backfire. Data strategy planning is best done when the brand positioning of a business and the brand promise is kept in perspective. A brand’s journey towards data should be geared to deliver a brand promise starting with the promise that a brand makes to the market, which in turn, triggers a response back from the market towards the brand. At this juncture, a brand needs to have data capturing points across relevant touchpoints, retail space, and engagement platforms to read and interpret this influx of data. Data analytics tools come in handy to capture, filter, and evaluate responses into insightful information which helps a brand in customer engagement.

How to go about collecting the data?

Many businesses who are struggling with data strategy planning should start by involving teams in the brand, marketing, product, trade, customer services, operations, and agency partners to streamline how can they best deliver the brand promise to the customers, as retention is the key. Then how can they communicate the brand’s message to the prospects so that the acquisition stream can start flowing and most significantly how will they maintain the brand’s engagement in the lives of their customers? When the ‘how’ part is answered, a business will be in a better place to understand what is financial, operationally and timely viable, hence paving the path to data capturing opportunities. Along these possible pathways, a customer experience journey will begin, at this juncture, it’s highly critical that data capture points are well defined to understand the progress made by a customer along the path to purchase and what factors could be contributing/facilitating or hindering to deliver an intended customer & brand experience. Marketing and Customer excellence teams at this point have a defined scope to organize resources, develop assets and execute data strategy in capturing, storing, and managing the right data that will benefit the business in delivering the right brand value proposition.

Tell your brand story and listen carefully

Data is only a reflection of how a brand is being received and perceived in the marketplace, the insights interpreted from the data capturing technologies serving as a feedback loop will be the most useful medium in steering the brand in the right direction. Start by developing a compelling brand story that will uphold the brand promise. Then identify the relevant touchpoints and develop key messages that will deliver value to the customer. This forms the basis of all brand marketing communications that will be delivered across the media mix. At the epicenter of all these consumer dialogues sits the website of a brand, which serves as a listening post and engagement hub for all the stakeholders of a brand, including the business enterprise, customers, vendors, community, investors/shareholders, and the regulators. Each of these stakeholders has vested interests in a business website and can be categorized as different types of user groups. The next action point is to define the user journeys of each of these user groups to further understand the different segments of users with a single group that could be interested in different aspects/services of the brand. When the journeys are well-defined, know that content is that vital element that is needed to spark a reaction at the end of the day. Every user journey, delivered through the most sought-after user experience will fail if the quality of the content is poor. Content is the magnetic pull that will keep the user interested and engaged.

An important point to realize is that until now the website design and development hasn’t even started, that’s because the key to data analytics is not in the tools, the setup/configurations, or the marketing tech stack but rather in a concrete implementation of data strategy and the brand story.

Intelry Inc. works with businesses to get their data strategy in shape, their brand story, and proposition in place before helping them build digital assets that will deliver on business KPIs.