Data Envy: What To Do If Your Data Isn’t Big Enough?

Posted by Taylor Haney on Mon, Dec 23, 2013

Wrapping up our December guest blogs we have a post from Sean McCarthy, Director of Client Strategy at Digital Marketing NOW. Sean provides some great advice for small B2B companies about how to make data bigger for your small company. Interested in guest blogging in 2014? E-mail taylor [at] mitx [dot] org.

Sean McCarthy 200x302Sean McCarthy (@SeanMcCarthy12) is Director of Client Strategy at Digital Marketing NOW, a strategy, design and marketing agency based in Cambridge, MA. He previously served as Acquisition Marketing Manager at and as Client Services Manager at iProspect where he managed performance marketing and search engine optimization for clients such as Liberty Mutual, AVON, and Universal Orlando.

Go big or go home is the mantra for data as we head into 2014. And while I certainly appreciate the opportunities presented from being awash in data, I also recognize that many emerging B2B companies believe, “Our data isn’t big enough. We can’t do that.” This often leads to either a lack of analysis or a non-strategic approach to data acquisition.

IBM’s Big Data Hub notes that 88% of Big Data is transactional. Therefore, if an email sign-up is your main on-site conversion point, I understand why you may think Big Data isn’t for you. However, I’m here to tell you that Big Data is in reach.

Here are four tips for making your little data big for your business:

  1. Segment – Google’s Advanced Segments is a good starting point for small B2B businesses without large volumes of transactional data to get Big Data insights into customer behavior. Previously, Advanced Segments were based on visits, whereas now you can segment based on users in conducting true cohort analysis. You are now able to easily create custom segments based on demographics, technology or 21 built-in behaviors. You can further segment the data based on sequential conditions, giving you relatively robust analysis capabilities with minimal effort.

  2. Connect The Dots - A recent Demand Metric infographic reveals that the biggest challenge facing small businesses in terms of Big Data is time. Namely, they don’t have the time to make use of all the data they are collecting. You need to be able to tie together all of your various data efforts quickly. Using a tool such as Sumall is a quick, visual way to pull the analytics from your web, social, email, paid media, and other channels into one dashboard, saving you a great deal of data synthesis and analysis time.

  3. Pop The Question – Small B2B businesses can scale their data acquisition capabilities by leveraging online tools to ask clients and prospective clients targeted questions. Tools such as Qualaroo automate this process, enabling faster and easier data collection as well as a more manageable process for gaining clear insights from the data. In addition to identifying roadblocks in your funnel, Qualaroo can automatically redirect qualified prospects to a live chat session or present them with an offer, thus acting as both a data enhancer as well as conversion enhancer.

  4. Sharing is Caring – Similar to lack of time, often a lack of advanced analytical skills is a challenge for small businesses when it comes to getting actionable insights from data. While you might not have a data guru on your staff, one way to jumpstart your analysis is to make internal information-sharing part of the early analysis process. Getting cross-departmental input from key players at your company can help draw out actionable insights more quickly and provide unique perspectives on your marketing data.

As a small business, little changes can have big results. Taking a few of the above steps towards enhancing your data set can make your data big for your business.