The Benefits of the “Data Age” for Small Businesses

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“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Albert Einstein

The Olympics reminded me that we are moving faster and faster in this new “data age”. Moving faster towards a time, when we measure everything and use analytics to value our progress. In my mind business needs to strike the right balance between measurement and quality and creativity, to gain the future competitive advantage.

Small and Medium size businesses, need to start now, to catch up. Measure to improve. Measure to identify new opportunities.

Digital marketing provides the benefit of an abundance of metrics that tradition marketing lacks, so setting clear goals and selecting a handful of metrics, avoids “paralysis by analysis”.

With continuous and faster change, it requires constant re-assessment on how to get more marketing benefits with limited budgets. Getting more sales leads to develop your business is key. It’s time to test the new marketing opportunities e.g internet / online visibility, social media and SEO, and measure them against the effectiveness of “same old marketing activities” e.g. sales sheets, conference / trade shows, yellow pages etc.

  • Develop a quality Website or Blog-site to showcase what you offer, and why what you offer is different & better.
  • Establish a basic presence in cost effective Social Media (Local / Maps, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr).
  • Implement EMailing marketing to promote your business effectively and to build a database.

More and more small businesses are moving budget to digital, and can now measure their progress and identify what works best for them, and which activity is the most resource efficient. This is rapidly becoming a prerequisite of modern business.

But we need to remember the goal is too establish a distinct and sustainable competitive advantage, which takes innovation, creativity and leadership.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice; and most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs


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