smb

7月 182017
 

In part one of this series, Clark Twiddy, Chief Administrative Officer of Twiddy & Company, shared some best practices from the first of three phases of Twiddy’s journey to becoming a data-driven SMB. This post focuses on phases two and three of their journey. Phase two is about action. Now [...]

How to be a data-driven SMB: Part 2 of Twiddy’s Tale was published on SAS Voices by Analise Polsky

4月 112017
 

Family-owned and operated for more than 35 years, Twiddy & Company prides itself on exceptional real estate services to homeowners and vacationers in northeast North Carolina and the Outer Banks. Whether a customer is thinking of putting their house up for rent or planning their next vacation, Twiddy makes the [...]

How to be a data-driven SMB: Part one of Twiddy’s tale was published on SAS Voices by Analise Polsky

12月 052016
 

A common practice in traditional marketing is to first choose a target market to focus on. You then align your organization’s strategies and messaging to create a campaign in that target market. But what happens when it becomes clear that the campaign you created isn’t working? How agile are you in terms of adjusting on the fly and adapting to the needs of your prospective customers?

The challenge

A campaign we ran at SAS targeted small to medium-sized businesses, or SMBs. We needed to come up with tailor-made messaging that would be distinct from similar campaigns we were launching targeted at larger, enterprise-level companies. To do that, we highlighted what we thought wedata-analysisre business needs, language and case studies that would resonate with the SMBs.

But after the program launched and began, the results were disappointing. We saw lower-than-expected results for performance metrics including click-through rates and conversions. So we tweaked the messaging, offers and program structure to improve results. After crunching those numbers, the results came in – the campaign was still floundering.

We were now forced to take a fresh look. What had we done wrong? On reflection, we came upon an even more telling question: Did we actually need to separate SMBs from larger organizations? We started with an underlying assumption that the SMB market should be treated differently. Had that been a mistake?

The approach

To help guide us forward, we selected a roster of key performance metrics to analyze:

  • E-mails sent.
  • Open rates.
  • Click-through rates.
  • Opt-out rates.
  • Conversions (those who filled out registration forms to receive the promoted asset).
  • Lead-generated SSOs (an internal measure of conversions that we identify as leads that later progress to become sales opportunities).
  • Rate of completed leads to SSOs.

We then looked at how the SMBs responded to the SMB-specific campaign compared to how they responded when they received the enterprise-level messaging.

The results

To our surprise, SMBs responded more strongly to the enterprise-level campaign (see the table below). Our assumption had been proved wrong. So we adjusted by closing the SMB-specific campaign and retargeted the SMBs with our enterprise-level messaging.

adele-table

The takeaway for us was a reminder that we can’t afford to let our assumptions about the market hinder our ability to adjust to customers’ needs. In this situation, we relied on the power of analytics to provide the answers about what people wanted rather than continue in a losing cause.

You can best meet customers along their decision journey by relying on advanced analytics to increase the quality of a marketing campaign by using scoring, optimization and predictive capabilities. The standard spreadsheet-based reports that marketers used to rely on to see how their campaign performed have now shifted to interactive visualization dashboards to track the efficacy of their campaign, while making changes on the fly when necessary to ensure a campaign is reaching its potential. The biggest difference is that marketers now have these tools at their disposal. We no longer have to submit requests to the IT department to get this information.

==

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series excerpted from Adele Sweetwood’s book, The Analytical Marketer: How to Transform Your Marketing Organization. Each post is a real-world case study of how to improve your customers’ experience and optimize your marketing campaigns.

tags: Campaign Management, customer analytics, customer insights, customer journey, marketing campaigns, midmarket, smb

How analytics empowers campaign agility was published on Customer Intelligence.

12月 052016
 

A common practice in traditional marketing is to first choose a target market to focus on. You then align your organization’s strategies and messaging to create a campaign in that target market. But what happens when it becomes clear that the campaign you created isn’t working? How agile are you in terms of adjusting on the fly and adapting to the needs of your prospective customers?

The challenge

A campaign we ran at SAS targeted small to medium-sized businesses, or SMBs. We needed to come up with tailor-made messaging that would be distinct from similar campaigns we were launching targeted at larger, enterprise-level companies. To do that, we highlighted what we thought wedata-analysisre business needs, language and case studies that would resonate with the SMBs.

But after the program launched and began, the results were disappointing. We saw lower-than-expected results for performance metrics including click-through rates and conversions. So we tweaked the messaging, offers and program structure to improve results. After crunching those numbers, the results came in – the campaign was still floundering.

We were now forced to take a fresh look. What had we done wrong? On reflection, we came upon an even more telling question: Did we actually need to separate SMBs from larger organizations? We started with an underlying assumption that the SMB market should be treated differently. Had that been a mistake?

The approach

To help guide us forward, we selected a roster of key performance metrics to analyze:

  • E-mails sent.
  • Open rates.
  • Click-through rates.
  • Opt-out rates.
  • Conversions (those who filled out registration forms to receive the promoted asset).
  • Lead-generated SSOs (an internal measure of conversions that we identify as leads that later progress to become sales opportunities).
  • Rate of completed leads to SSOs.

We then looked at how the SMBs responded to the SMB-specific campaign compared to how they responded when they received the enterprise-level messaging.

The results

To our surprise, SMBs responded more strongly to the enterprise-level campaign (see the table below). Our assumption had been proved wrong. So we adjusted by closing the SMB-specific campaign and retargeted the SMBs with our enterprise-level messaging.

adele-table

The takeaway for us was a reminder that we can’t afford to let our assumptions about the market hinder our ability to adjust to customers’ needs. In this situation, we relied on the power of analytics to provide the answers about what people wanted rather than continue in a losing cause.

You can best meet customers along their decision journey by relying on advanced analytics to increase the quality of a marketing campaign by using scoring, optimization and predictive capabilities. The standard spreadsheet-based reports that marketers used to rely on to see how their campaign performed have now shifted to interactive visualization dashboards to track the efficacy of their campaign, while making changes on the fly when necessary to ensure a campaign is reaching its potential. The biggest difference is that marketers now have these tools at their disposal. We no longer have to submit requests to the IT department to get this information.

==

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series excerpted from Adele Sweetwood’s book, The Analytical Marketer: How to Transform Your Marketing Organization. Each post is a real-world case study of how to improve your customers’ experience and optimize your marketing campaigns.

tags: Campaign Management, customer analytics, customer insights, customer journey, marketing campaigns, midmarket, smb

How analytics empowers campaign agility was published on Customer Intelligence.

12月 052016
 

A common practice in traditional marketing is to first choose a target market to focus on. You then align your organization’s strategies and messaging to create a campaign in that target market. But what happens when it becomes clear that the campaign you created isn’t working? How agile are you in terms of adjusting on the fly and adapting to the needs of your prospective customers?

The challenge

A campaign we ran at SAS targeted small to medium-sized businesses, or SMBs. We needed to come up with tailor-made messaging that would be distinct from similar campaigns we were launching targeted at larger, enterprise-level companies. To do that, we highlighted what we thought wedata-analysisre business needs, language and case studies that would resonate with the SMBs.

But after the program launched and began, the results were disappointing. We saw lower-than-expected results for performance metrics including click-through rates and conversions. So we tweaked the messaging, offers and program structure to improve results. After crunching those numbers, the results came in – the campaign was still floundering.

We were now forced to take a fresh look. What had we done wrong? On reflection, we came upon an even more telling question: Did we actually need to separate SMBs from larger organizations? We started with an underlying assumption that the SMB market should be treated differently. Had that been a mistake?

The approach

To help guide us forward, we selected a roster of key performance metrics to analyze:

  • E-mails sent.
  • Open rates.
  • Click-through rates.
  • Opt-out rates.
  • Conversions (those who filled out registration forms to receive the promoted asset).
  • Lead-generated SSOs (an internal measure of conversions that we identify as leads that later progress to become sales opportunities).
  • Rate of completed leads to SSOs.

We then looked at how the SMBs responded to the SMB-specific campaign compared to how they responded when they received the enterprise-level messaging.

The results

To our surprise, SMBs responded more strongly to the enterprise-level campaign (see the table below). Our assumption had been proved wrong. So we adjusted by closing the SMB-specific campaign and retargeted the SMBs with our enterprise-level messaging.

adele-table

The takeaway for us was a reminder that we can’t afford to let our assumptions about the market hinder our ability to adjust to customers’ needs. In this situation, we relied on the power of analytics to provide the answers about what people wanted rather than continue in a losing cause.

You can best meet customers along their decision journey by relying on advanced analytics to increase the quality of a marketing campaign by using scoring, optimization and predictive capabilities. The standard spreadsheet-based reports that marketers used to rely on to see how their campaign performed have now shifted to interactive visualization dashboards to track the efficacy of their campaign, while making changes on the fly when necessary to ensure a campaign is reaching its potential. The biggest difference is that marketers now have these tools at their disposal. We no longer have to submit requests to the IT department to get this information.

==

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series excerpted from Adele Sweetwood’s book, The Analytical Marketer: How to Transform Your Marketing Organization. Each post is a real-world case study of how to improve your customers’ experience and optimize your marketing campaigns.

tags: Campaign Management, customer analytics, customer insights, customer journey, marketing campaigns, midmarket, smb

How analytics empowers campaign agility was published on Customer Intelligence.

12月 162014
 

Flexibility and nimbleness are terms synonymous with small and mid-sized businesses. They have the ability to react quickly to changing market conditions as they are made aware of them. Traditionally these businesses have lived in the world of spreadsheets - and why not? They are easy to use, very affordable and readily available to all staff across the business. However increasingly, they are realising there are a wealth of insights hidden within their data that once uncovered, can offer them a first-mover advantage and the opportunity to capitalise and stay ahead of the game.

IT departments of one

Most organisations of this size run a very lean IT team which requires finding those rare expertly-general skilled professionals to run everything from setting up computers to managing networks and dealing with internet security issues. Often these small teams do not have the bandwidth or desire to also become analytics experts. With our new generation of reporting and analytics tools your IT team does not need any analytics or programming skills as the creation of reports, dashboards and analytics are kept within the hands of the analyser.

IMG_5694 copyFootball NSW is a not-for-profit organisation that looks after 208,000 registered football players across the state. It employs 57 staff, one of which forms the entirety of its IT department – focusing primarily on desktop support. ‘Analytics’ was a meaningless term for them a year ago, before they introduced SAS® Visual Analytics to replace their spreadsheets. Their reason for turning to a full reporting and analytics tool was clear from the start, they had one question to answer:

“How do we use our data to better engage to our stakeholders – whether it’s councils, government, sponsors or member clubs.”

With that goal front and centre their small organisation is now using powerful visualisations to attract and retain participants focusing on the three F’s – football, facilities and finance. Answering new questions with their data such as:

  1. What do future numbers of football players look like and will councils have the facilities to cater for them?
  2. How do we provide our sponsors with information that provides value to them so they stay with us?
  3. What is the profile of our typical referee and how do we educate and retain them?

You might be thinking, yeah but how does a Football club relate to me and my organisation? The principle behind all of this remains the same; analytics is not just for the big guys, in fact small and mid-sized organisations can easily use analytics to discover insights without the need for specialist skills. In fact you don’t even need to purchase extra hardware as we enter the age of Cloud Analytics.

Start by dodging the Buzz-word bingo

Business is buzzing with terms such as ‘big data’ ‘industrial internet’ and ‘advanced analytics’. Companies are talking about needing to hire ‘data scientists’ and having ‘machine to machine’ conversations, but for most organisations the question of where to start does not involve any of these terms.

The best starting point for most businesses embarking on an analytics journey is to get back to basics by better understanding their internal data… For the average business, data is all over the place. It can be found in different applications (finance, HR etc) some of which may be sitting in the cloud, or in dusty places such as archives, storage devices or spreadsheets that have been buried deep within your filing systems. Identifying and bringing all of this data together in a ‘single version of the truth’ is the foundation for gaining deeper insights, more accurate reporting and improved confidence in your data. It’s critical when you’re faced with this environment to ensure you seek a solution that not only consolidates and standardises data to build an integrated data view but then allows you to tell a story that looks both to the past and helps hypothesise about the future.

You do need to start with a clear attainable goal in mind, and it doesn’t need to include ‘saving the world’ at step one. Ensure your objective will enable you to either show value quickly (payback value) or achieve something which will have widespread visibility within the business (an issue that no one has been able to solve, or a way of using data to look at a falling market in a different way for example).

The world is rapidly changing. The value of managing data as an asset is now becoming a topic for most boardroom conversations. SAS Visual Analytics for the Cloud gives small to mid-market businesses the ability not only to have those exact same conversations but to act on them immediately. Analytics is no longer just for the large banks or government departments, it’s an option everyone can now capitalise on, and those who are flexible and nimble have the most to gain.

tags: analytics, Australia, business analytics, business intelligence, Cloud Analytics, Data, data visualisation, Football NSW, SMB, visual analytics
1月 312013
 
To read more ongoing tips and insights for small and midsize businesses, follow our SAS4SMB blog series or visit SAS for Small and MidSize Business. We all wish we could predict the future. After all, when a company knows its sales for next week, next month and next year, it [...]
12月 272012
 
Running a small or midsize business is not for the faint of heart. To help you better prepare for 2013, here is our compilation of the most important tech trends to be ready for in the New Year: 1. Mobile: From payment apps like Square and Google Wallet to device-supportive [...]
11月 272012
 
To read more ongoing tips and insights for small and midsize businesses, follow our SAS4SMB blog series or visit SAS for Small and MidSize Business . The software industry is a complicated place, with new technologies constantly being introduced. As a small and midsize business (SMB), how can you keep up [...]