There are a lot of brands out there offering services in the analytics field, and why shouldn’t there be? It’s one of the fastest growing industries, with more and more small and medium-sized businesses shifting to data-driven solutions, and large brands understanding more and more every day how effective proper use of Euclid analytics can really be.
The competition is a good thing, as it means that nobody out there gets to rest on their laurels. If they want your business, they have to earn it by doing stuff that the other guys cannot do. This is, overall, great news.
The downside: With hundreds of companies to choose from, dozens of apps, thousands of options, it can be just about impossible to figure out which brand is best for you. You will most likely use some combination of different resources. You may focus for the most part on a single service to get the bulk of your data, but you can only benefit from cross-referencing a few different databases. Many brands will use one for online sales and one for physical sales, for instance. Others will ignore physical sale data altogether, which is, to be quite frank, a bit foolish.
Why Do You Need Physical Analytics?
Twenty years after the rise of the eShop, the internet has still not completely replaced physical stores. In fact, it hasn’t even come close. While online sales tend to dominate in certain fields where you can save a lot of money by shopping online, such as with musical instruments or used books, nine out of ten dollars spent in the United States are spent in physical stores, at real cash registers with a real, human cashier. Neglect the data that you can collect from these transactions, and how you can put it to use for you, and you’re basically shooting yourself in the foot.
At big box stores like Wal-Mart, you can watch the slow, still-growing evolution of the physical store itself over time, informed by analytics. Wal-Mart puts a lot of trust into the analytics because that’s really the only way to optimize such a large store. They may try moving the electronics section around in a new location and find that they sell more video games when they move that department to the center of the store, for instance. And it may vary by location. In Austin, maybe the grocery section works best when it’s to the left when you walk into the store. In Sarasota, maybe you sell more potato chips and soda when you move the grocery department to the right-hand side.
This is one of the reasons why every Wal-Mart’s layout is similar, but just a bit different. Maybe the food is to the right, but in your hometown, the frozen section is towards the back, and here it’s towards the front. Maybe the children’s clothing is closer to the front door in one town and close to the back in another. This is based on analytics informed by trial and error.
Trial And Error?
This is one of the things a lot of people don’t realize about analytics: It’s not a crystal ball. It’s more like a map. You need to experiment, you need to explore, and then the data will help you to mark off the dead ends and the veins of gold. Analytics aren’t of that much use if you’re not willing to take a risk now and then. Analytics can help you to take more calculated risks, they can show you what works and what doesn’t work, but you’ve got to experiment, you’ve got to collect the data somehow in the first place.
The main thing analytics can do for you is show you what isn’t working. In business, we tend to know what’s working right away, because we feel our checkbooks getting a little fatter. What isn’t working is a little harder to detect.
Is that expense a loss leader or just a loss?
Is the new tech guy worth the money, or are we overpaying him?
Analytics shows you how Y happens when you do X, and that means less guesswork, it means having the data that you need to identify where you can afford to lose some dead weight.
Euclid Analytics – Tools Worth Considering
One of the better tools out there if you’re looking for something that combines online and offline data into a single package is Euclid Analytics. Euclid is in use by a lot of brands around the world, including Wells Fargo, and is used to get the most out of both the physical and digital data available from your users so that you can improve their experience, and create greater efficiency behind the scenes. Euclid isn’t the only name out there, but it deserves a spot in the upper rankings of online/offline data tools.
One of the most useful aspects of Euclid is its behavioral targeting. The brand is able to provide results that are anywhere from two to six times what you’d expect based on their nearest competitors. Of course, if you haven’t heard of behavioral targeting then you’re probably asking what the heck it is. Well, we’ll tell you: Behavioral targeting is the process by which an advertiser can take your browsing data and similar information into account when selecting what ads to show you.
Good behavioral targeting works for a number of reasons.
For starters, how many times have you been watching TV and you see an ad that has nothing to do with your interests?
If you’re a thirty-year-old man who works nights, then you watch daytime television, The problem is that daytime television is targeted mostly to the unemployed and to retirees. You’re not shopping around for life insurance at thirty, and you don’t need to go to a community college if you have a job. So seeing these ads can get a little obnoxious, and can lead you to turn the TV off. Of course, online, you don’t need to turn the TV off, you can just get an adblocker.
This is the problem with poorly targeted ads. It’s easy to avoid advertising altogether, and people will tend to do that if all of the advertising they see is not specifically targeted to their interests. With good behavioral targeting, you show people ads that they want to see. If they’re browsing Blu-rays and looking at the internet movie database, then you can show them ads for movie ticket reservations and so on. If they’re browsing fashion articles, you show them coupons and deals on high-end clothing. Behavioral targeting means that you’re not going on some vague, ambiguous assumptions based on demographics and psychographics, rather, you’re looking specifically at this user’s interests, and if you have something to show them, you show it to them. And if you don’t, you don’t waste the money and the time advertising to them. In short, behavioral targeting works like a filter that saves your ad resources for the people who care about your product.
Think of it like a guided missile rather than carpet bombing people with your ads.
It’s a friendly message as opposed to unwanted spam.
To put it simply, it shows your ads to people who want to see your ads.
How Does This Apply To Your Business?
Now, a question you may have is: How can that apply to the real world?
Outside of the internet, how do you put behavioral targeting to work in a physical location?
It’s a little more subtle. It’s harder to focus on a single specific user, but you can put geographical data to work, you can orient your marketing to the local culture and so on. If you have one location, simply knowing your community goes a long way. With multiple locations, trusting your employees to know the local consumer’s heart and mind can work, too.
And, again, a lot of this comes down to trial and error. You can rearrange your shelves one week, you can move the soda machine inside to see if that encourages a few more impulse buys. You’re not going to lose your standing in the local business community by trying something out in the short-term. Changing one thing every week and then looking at the analytics come Friday will allow you to slowly improve your physical location’s performance bit by bit.
You’ve heard of the Tipping Point, right?
If you haven’t read the book, we highly recommend it. Anyways, a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs have a fantasy of overnight success or coming up with that one big idea that saves the company. This is how it’s done in the movies because a movie only has ninety minutes to cover the entire story. In real life, it’s pretty rare that it’s the one big idea. One movie that does a pretty good job at showing how a business really succeeds is The Founder. McDonald’s didn’t just invent a great burger, they did a hundred little things right, and avoided doing anything wrong.
McDonald’s created faster service than anyone thought possible at the time through an assembly-line procedure that the McDonald’s brothers invented. McDonald’s simplified the menus, offering only a few items so that customers wouldn’t be standing in line reading off all the options for an hour before ordering. They created a family-friendly environment, focused on fresh ingredients and so on. It was all the little things that contributed to the eventual tipping point. It can feel like an overnight success when it happens, but it is the result of weeks and weeks of small tweaks and improvements. It’s not really an overnight success, it’s hundreds of little successes that all paid off at once.
Tools like Euclid Analytics get you a little closer to this tipping point every day. Not by giving you some magic skeleton key to unlocking all of the business secrets that will make you an overnight billionaire, but by helping you to chart your own course. When something doesn’t work, the data reflects it. When something works, the data reflects it. When you could stand to be more efficient, your data will show you where improvements need to be made. Euclid uses an online/offline approach to help you to save resources and bring both your online and physical stores up to par.
Fewer and fewer are the businesses that don’t need analytics. Maybe your kid’s lemonade stand can get by without data, maybe a food truck that hit a jackpot the first weekend out doesn’t need analytics. Maybe if you’re just running a business as a vanity project on the weekends, you don’t have to worry about it. If you want to do better than you’re doing right now, on the other hand, you need big data, no matter your field, industry, specialty, business size or business experience. To learn more about Mavericks ability to give you detailed business analytics you can click here.