There’s no question that we are infinitely more likely to believe a purported fact if it’s backed by strong data. Reputably-sourced statistics prove points and change minds. Scan any news article and you’ll find supporting figures proudly featured — universal and inarguable. As the old adage goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.
However, some C-suite and marketing leaders still underestimate the importance of data analytics to their businesses, according to a 2016 McKinsey survey. This reluctance to get on board the data train has always surprised me. If you’re not putting your faith in figures, how do you decide when it’s time to launch a new product line, open a new location or target a new customer segment? How do you make any business decision with any level of confidence? Engaging in guesswork is no path to success.
The survey of 700 senior marketing and sales executives also showed that these executives are incorrect in their doubts about data, and that extensive use of customer analytics has a considerable impact on corporate performance.
Companies that make use of this data are more likely to outperform competitors in key performance metrics — including sales, sales growth, profit and return on investment. The McKinsey report also drove home the importance of pulling practical insights from culled data — not just focusing on the act of numbers gathering. This is where Pink Lily has truly excelled. While we’re consistently gathering customer analytics and other data (e.g., cost-per-clicks, return on investment, conversion rates, gross margins, sales forecasts, etc.) and all those numbers certainly outline our processes and performance, we’ve found the most practical use in drawing insights from the data and putting them to real-world use.
As an example, we were recently considering investing in a screen print machine to produce a new product line, and through our existing metrics, we were able to accurately forecast the investment payback period of installing the new technology. Through our analysis of the data, we determined that the machine would pay for itself in a reasonable period of time, and we opted to make the investment. This process of routinely gathering data and insights, then applying them to even seemingly minute business problems, is at the very heart of our phenomenal multimillion-dollar growth.
If you’re running or supporting a small or mid-size business, you may feel this question of data analytics and insights doesn’t really apply to you. Perhaps you can see better ways of utilizing your limited resources and think that data analysis is an investment to consider down the road.