BUSINESS MARKEING: Digging for data

2013-09-07T08:25:00Z BUSINESS MARKEING: Digging for dataLarry Galler Times Business Columnist
September 07, 2013 8:25 am  • 

There is quite a story hidden in your data, but it isn’t always on the surface, obvious. It is like an archeology dig: hidden.

So look at your data in the manner an archeologist would and ask some questions. Start digging:

  • If I knew where my customers came from would that help me select appropriate media to find new prospects?
  • If I knew what time of year my customers were in the market would that help me time my promotions better?
  • If I knew the emotional “goodies” my customers got from my product/service would that help me create more attractive messages to prospects?
  • If I knew the most popular products / services I sold and who I sold them to, would I then be able to promote them better?
  • If I knew the age range of my customers would that help me use more appropriate graphics and text to speak to them better?

I could easily fill this page with a list of questions that would help a “marketing archeologist” create a more effective marketing plan but I’m sure you get the general idea. But now the archeologist needs to ask the next question: “where do I get the answers to these questions?”

A lot of it comes by either observing or asking your customers. Depending on the business you are in, you might get the answers in a new customer intake form or a sales slip or in a survey or by simple observation.

Case in point:

Let’s say your business is a coffee shop, maybe a one-location local company or even a nationwide chain with thousands of locations. If you held a drawing for free coffee and had customers fill out a form when entering, you could probably get answers to the above questions quickly.

I’ll bet the data you get, even from a very limited sample, will open your eyes and trigger some creative thoughts to spice up your marketing. So put your pith helmet on, you’re your pickaxe and trowel and start digging for data.

Opinions are solely the writer's. Larry Galler, of Larry Galler & Associates, is a marketing and management consultant for small and mid-size companies. Learn about Galler’s advanced marketing and management program, “One Year to Greatness.” Just send an email to and put “Greatness” in the subject line.

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