Retention strategy: How to develop data-driven growth ideas5 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
Every business leader today understands the power of data when it comes to monitoring performance and devising new strategies. But using data to its full effectiveness requires a thoughtful approach. It’s one thing to aspire to a more data-driven approach to your business strategies, but it’s quite another to actually identify how to implement a data-driven approach, and then execute it effectively.
The simple steps outlined below will help any business to start putting data at the centre of its decision-making processes and use it to inform growth strategies, in particular.
Define your objectives
Before you begin formulating a coherent growth strategy, you need to know what you’re aiming to get out of it. Defining your goals beforehand will help you focus your strategy so each component serves your goals as effectively as possible.
For example, consider whether your priority is to drive growth within a specific segment of your audience or whether you’re looking to grow your business as a whole. If you are targeting a specific group, you can tailor your data gathering processes so you’re capturing the data most relevant to your target demographic and objectives.
Refine your data gathering processes
The way you collect and process raw data will significantly impact how useful it is to you. Any data needs to be analysed to draw conclusions. But if the data itself is flawed or insufficient, then the analysis can produce misleading conclusions. If you want to use data to its full potential and maximise your returns, you need to consider how you’re going to gather the data you need, and where you will source it from.
Most businesses are continually producing useful data through the course of their day to day operations. Businesses can capture much of this data automatically, and even automate its analysis. But there are also plenty of useful data points that require more work to obtain.
Any data that passes through digital systems in your business, whether they’re the point of sale systems in brick and mortar outlets or spreadsheet software you use in your offices, should be easy to gather automatically. In fact, your existing systems will probably do this out of the box for some types of data.
However, you will need to go looking for some of the most valuable data you can use to inform your business to business marketing strategy. For example, subscription businesses can easily track their active subscriber numbers, but these alone won’t tell them the full story. A dip in subscribers might indicate that your customers are unhappy, but it won’t tell you precisely what people are unhappy about and why active subscribers are cancelling their subscriptions.
Platforms like Upzelo offer subscription-based businesses the tools needed to gather data needed for an in-depth assessment of customers satisfaction. Through a combination of features, including a survey creator and A/B offer testing. Using Upzelo enables businesses to easily automate data collection and analysis for customer retention, and take advantage of unique advanced features to minimise subscriber churn.
Prioritise customer retention over acquisition
Every business leader knows that it’s much more expensive to recruit new customers than retain existing ones. Focusing on customer retention helps your business maintain consistently high levels of user satisfaction by encouraging you to focus on the underlying causes of customers leaving your business and ending their relationship with you.
To grow your business, you will need to attract new customers and expand your overall base. However, you should try to optimise your retention and minimise your churn before you turn your attention to acquisition. If you’re spending significant resources on your acquisition and growth strategies while your churn rate is high, you will constantly find yourself fighting against the current of existing users leaving you and taking their business elsewhere.
Monitor your success (and failure)
The value of data in informing your growth strategy goes beyond helping you make decisions when you’re planning your overall approach. Data is also essential once you enact your strategy as it enables you to accurately monitor the impact of your approach in real-time. To take full advantage of this ability, you should choose software solutions, including any SaaS platforms you use, that come with built-in tools and features that automate testing and monitoring.
Once you have assessed whether your approach is successful in driving the growth you’re aiming for, you need to dig beneath the surface and establish precisely why your strategy is having the impact it is. This process is important, regardless of whether your campaign is successful or not; it’s just as important to understand why your approach is working as why it might not be.
You should always be open to adjusting your approach in response to performance data. It doesn’t make sense to persist with a growth strategy that isn’t working, just as it doesn’t make sense to ditch a different strategy if it’s yielding the results you’re looking for. It’s easy to go with what the data is telling you when it vindicates your approach, but it can be tempting to resist conclusions that seem to go against your expectations. Try to remain objective throughout your assessments of your own performance. As long as you are using the right data to measure a specific outcome, you can trust what it tells you.
By utilising the right data in the right way, you can develop more informed approaches to formulating a growth strategy. In the long-term, these approaches will yield results in the form of more effective strategies and, if you do them right, more efficient spending on each campaign. But if you want to reap the benefits of a data-driven approach, you will need a solid strategy for how you gather, analyse, and implement data into your growth strategy. The key to successful implementation lies in the software and tools you choose to aid you. With solutions that streamline relevant components of your workflow, you can automate most or all of your data gathering and analysis, enabling you to focus on implementing the resulting conclusions.