If profitability is a destination, there are a few routes that’ll get your business there — namely, spending less or earning more. Ideally, you’re able to figure out how to achieve both: Investing your resources into whatever will give your company the most bang for its buck.
Think about buying a scratch-off ticket for just a moment. Let’s say you’ve won $10 — congrats! But this isn’t enough context to gauge the worthwhileness of going through the trouble of buying that ticket. If you spent $1 on a ticket and won $10, you’re pocketing a tidy sum in comparison to how much you had to spend. But if you paid $10 for a deluxe scratch-off and won back the same amount, you haven’t profited at all.
The moral here? Returns are always relative to the investment it took to earn them. Here are top areas in which businesses can invest with the goal of earning a better return on investment (ROI).
Targeting Better with Marketing Analytics
Whether you’re a B2B company or a B2C retailer, deeply understanding your ideal buyer is key. Otherwise you’ll end up dumping money into marketing campaigns that only marginally drive results — or, worse, send customers right into the waiting arms of your more spot-on competitors.
Marketing expert Neil Patel outlines an ongoing challenge for marketing teams: There’s more information about customers being collected than ever before, but that’s not necessarily translating into marketers being able to mine that data for useful insights. According to this source, 39 percent of marketers say they still can’t turn data into actionable insights.
When marketing teams have access to self-service data analytics, they’re able to tap into stored company data and derive actionable insights. Marketing analytics can help marketing and sales teams generate insights related to customer behavior, the purchasing journey, performance by channel, customer churn, engagement metrics, achievement of key performance indicators (KPIs) and more. It’ll require an investment up front, but the potential payoff is significant.
Monetizing Stored Data
Marketing teams aren’t the only ones who stand to benefit from access to the latest business intelligence tools. With access to search-driven and conversational analytics from ThoughtSpot, for instance, everyone throughout an organization gains the ability to ask questions via text or voice and get answers in seconds. This represents a significant advantage over the legacy model of having to wait for centralized data teams to generate reports and hand them down the line.
As MIT Sloan writes, monetizing data is a matter of using data and analytics to improve internal processes and decisions. So, more accessible tools allow employees to make more data-driven decisions that in turn boost performance—voilà, data is being monetized. Furthermore, businesses can even extend these data analytics capabilities to partners and customers in their ecosystems as a way to drive even more tangible ROI.
So, BI tools are a means to monetize data. But companies want to make sure they’re making a good investment by deploying these analytics tools. One thing that can make or break the ROI companies receive from their chosen BI systems is the adoption rate. There’s deployment, then there’s adoption. Simply having BI available is in no way a guarantee employees will incorporate it into their workflows — which means you’ll continue missing out on potentially valuable insights.
Organizations can maximize their BI adoption rates by doing the following:
- Choose tools with user-friendly features and interfaces, regardless of the user’s level of data specialization.
- Ensure executives and managers are leading by example with data-driven decision-making.
- Foster a data-literate culture that rewards employees for turning to BI tools to get answers.
Investing in Employees & Company Culture
Investing in company culture and employee experience is never a waste of time. And it’s not optional, either. According to one survey, turnover costs employers one-third of the departing worker’s salary. There’s the cost of hiring a replacement, of course. But it also throws a wrench into workflows, costing the company productivity. And elevated turnover tends to bring morale down. But the same survey also found that three-fourths of employee turnover is actually preventable.
What do employees want, exactly? Career development. A sustainable work-life balance. Positive relationships with managers and leadership. Competitive salaries and benefits. Invest in your employees and your company’s culture now to prevent costly turnover down the line.
These three areas — marketing analytics, BI tools and employee well-being — have proven to deliver ROI when executed effectively.