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Successfully driving your business with data means more than just adding new capabilities. It requires changes in business models and how companies operate, and not just once. The rules keep changing and require continuous reinvention.

Purely digital companies such as Amazon, Uber, Facebook, and Google have an advantage, but that doesn’t give established companies a pass. And even digital-borne businesses have to adapt. Think of how Netflix had to move from renting DVDs to streaming video.

In a busy and noisy world, consumers long for, and insist on, real attention to their needs. They want service with a personal touch. But excelling in customization has to go beyond just the products and services you offer — the “what.” It has to extend to every aspect of the customer experience: the how, when, where, and why. To understand the answers to those questions, you need to learn from the data that code halos can provide and then use it to change how your company does business.

Plan and Strategy

Having a social media and marketing strategy and plan is crucial to your success in 2016. It will really help you understand and to commit the necessary time and resources to your social media and marketing outreach. Social media and marketing is getting increasingly complex, as well as deciding which social media channels to use for your business. Create a strategy and plan defining your goals, audience, budget and resources.

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Responsive Website

Make sure your website is “responsive”. That means it “responds to” or resizes itself depending on the type of device it is being seen through: A desktop computer monitor, a laptop, a 10-inch tablet, a 7-inch tablet, or a 4-inch smartphone screen. The exponential growth of smartphones and other mobile devices is real. More people are using mobile devices to view Web pages. A recent Skava Consumer Mobile Shopping Survey found that 71 percent of smartphone owners shop using their mobile device. 88% of smartphone shoppers have negative experiences, 33% of mobile shoppers defect to a competitor after such an experience and 30% will never return at all! If your website is not responsive, you will loose digital business.

Email Marketing

Growing your email opt-in list and doing email marketing is so important for your digital business and may be your most important marketing asset. Your opt-in list = people who WANT to hear from you, your products and services. Email is not expensive and not too technical with the right email service provider. 92% of marketers in Marketing Sherpa’s 2013 Email Marketing Benchmark Survey said that email is producing, or will produce, a positive ROI for them. So write a crafty email message that is friendly and helpful, and hit SEND! Remember to check how emails display on mobile. Mobile email users are on the increase! Mobile now makes up the majority of email opens at 51%. (Litmus)

Social Media Advertisement

Set aside a budget in your 2016 plan for social media advertising of Digital Business. To make headway on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, you can no longer rely on organic growth alone, it’s too slow. It must be ignited by advertising dollars. (Facebook publicly admitted that organic reach is going to dwindle even further unless brands start leveraging paid advertising!). Once you gain a critical following, organic reach becomes much easier. Advertising on social media for digital business is still much cheaper that any other form of advertising, and you get a higher and much more tangible ROI.

Blogging

Blogging helps your search engine results: Google and other search engines just love an active website with current useful content in the form of a blog. This is a cue for Google to check your website frequently to see what content you have published that can be served up on their SERPs (search engine results pages). It’s difficult to update your regular webpages (About, Products, Services and Contact pages) with new content. Blogging solves this problem! Every time you write a new blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website. And every new indexed page is one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines results, and drive traffic to your website through organic search.
Blogging helps your social media efforts. Every time you write a blog post, you’re creating content that people can share on social networks — Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest — which helps expose your business to a new audience.
Blogging helps you convert website traffic into leads. With traffic coming to your website through your blog, you have an opportunity to convert that traffic into leads. Each post is a new opportunity to generate new leads. Just add a lead-generating call-to-action to every blog post.

Digital Business Analytics

One of the best ways to track social media and online efforts is by setting up a free account with Google Analytics. The most important metrics to look at are unique visits, returning visitors, visit duration, bounce rates, geo location, search engine traffic, referral traffic, mobile visits, social metrics and — conversion rates. This is the number of visitors to your site who take a specific action that your content encourages them to, such as signing up for your newsletter. Conversion rates can vary depending on the industry, but tend to be around 2-3 percent on average. If you are creating specific landing pages for specific audiences, you should aim for a 5 percent conversion rate. Social Media Analytics: Measuring results on social media channels include increase in fans/followers, likes, shares, engagement, +1s, pins, etc. Social media can also be measured in definitive sales! Concentrate on quality, not quantity! Email Marketing Analytics: Look at email opens, click-through rates and what percentage of those who opened the email actually clicked a link or button within the email and form conversion rate: What percentage of those who clicked through actually finished the process by completing a form.

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