How to Use Data Insights Without an IT Team

Posted by Timothy Wier On February 28, 2019

 

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Good data and information – specifically around the behaviors of your target audience – can help you improve your marketing and sales efforts through personalized and targeted messaging. But many companies feel that they need an IT team in order to process and interpret the data analysis.

If you have someone in your company who can own the data analysis side of things, that’s great. However, if you don’t, you can still take advantage of the information that good data has to offer you.

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Although it may be tempting to write off data and information insights as something you can’t do without an IT team, the reality is that without these insights, you’re going to have a hard time staying on top of the market. Even if you think you know your growers, chances are you’re missing some and your competitors are certainly researching and finding ways to grow their market and wallet share.

Thankfully, with the rise of new technologies to help non-IT people analyze and interpret data, it’s easier to gain these insights than before. Here are some tips for data analysis that you can do without a dedicated IT team.

Start with what you know

When you don’t have an IT team to help you get started, it’s probably a good idea to dip a toe into the water first. There’s a lot of data and information out there, and if you want it to be helpful to you, it’s best to start with what you know.

For example, if you know that having access to a farm’s crop rotation pattern is going to help you make decisions when selling to them, then start by accessing that data. If you know that you want to reach out to farmers that farm more than 500 acres, then use that data to narrow down your audience for marketing and sales purposes.

Over time, you’ll get a hand of the kinds of data and analysis that can help you and your team gain insights. But in the beginning, start with what you know and build your information from there.

Form your research around specific questions

Raw data is rarely helpful, especially when you’re gathering from sources that analyze the millions of farmer and tens of millions of farm fields that are out there. This kind of information is not helpful without some analysis of it.

When you’re getting started with data as part of your agriculture marketing strategy, it’s important to see what questions you want to answer, and the specific data that can help you answer that.

Your ideal customer profile is a great place to start. If you want to find information on the farmers who fit that profile, use their attributes and demographics as part of your research process. This will help you build that perfect audience that you can then execute against.

If you want to analyze the percent of market share you currently have, you can compare your own revenue numbers with spend potential data in the market. If you want to maximize the potential your customers have, you can look at how much you spend per customer and compare that with the average spend potential of the target market to calculate wallet share.

There are many ways to examine data to identify those prime targets for marketing and sales, initiate conversations with those people and offer products and services that meet their specific needs. Starting your research with specific questions can help you home in on the data that’s going to help you meet your goals.

Invest in data you can access and analyze

As someone whose job isn’t about data analysis, the less time you spend looking at data and the more time you spend putting that data to use, the better. Thus your data shouldn’t just be accurate and comprehensive; it needs to be accessible.

This is where technology intersects with data. There are plenty of technologies out there that can help you contextualize data.

For example, business intelligence tools can take massive amounts of market data and analyze and visualize key insights from them. Market share, wallet share, and opportunities to expand your footprint come through tools like these.

Of course, modern marketers also have their fingers in data, using segmentation to target smaller, focused lists of farmers in order to deliver personalized messages. The more information you have on these segments, the better your messaging is going to be.

Salespeople also are familiar with customer relationship management (CRM) technology that lets you view information on a grower by grower basis, bringing information from multiple sources together to give you a full picture.

To save you time and energy in data analysis – and to help you get more results faster – use data in concert with technology to contextualize and deliver actionable insights so you can get to work.

Use the insights from this data to drive results

The end goal of an investment in data is to drive results – real, tangible results like revenue growth. This is where the “rubber meets the road” so to speak.

However, all data can do is provide information to you. The responsibility for taking that data and using it to drive success and growth for your agribusiness rests on you – the ag professional.

Here are three main ways we’ve seen agribusinesses succeed in apply farm data to their business:

  • Identify opportunities for revenue growth through footprint, market share and wallet share analysis to inform and drive business strategy
  • Communicate with the best audiences for your company through targeted marketing efforts
  • Understand the details of the operation before you begin a sales conversation to position yourself to close the deal

Take the contextualized data at your disposal and use it to achieve real revenue results, helping your agribusiness remain stable in the midst of a changing and evolving market.

Learn about how you can take data into the field to inform the conversations you have with farmers. Download our eBook Using Data in the Field.

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