How An Alternative Data Marketing Plan Increases Valuation

Semangat Membara

Ryan is a career marketer with operational excellence whose creative thinking solves business challenges.

Your startup is thriving, and your new product line is about to launch. In a few short months, you’ll be seeking a new round of funding, and you’re optimistic about what a new valuation might look like. But, there are alternative data sources that could either hurt that valuation or raise it to new heights.

Investors and financial analysts have been using nontraditional information to make decisions for a long time. For example, satellite imagery can determine the trajectory of retail stores by looking at how packed (or not) their parking lots are on any given weekend. Now, alternative digital data is freely available, and it’s become much easier as AI-based technology scrapes all available sources for information on a company.

Social media activity and comments, product and service reviews, job postings, and share of voice can all make an impact on your company’s valuation. It’s the alternative data that is a growing source of public data points researchers are reviewing. So, how can you be sure this information, which is sometimes seemingly out of your control, reflects the best of your company?

Develop a marketing plan that harnesses the many touchpoints for your company and the power of public opinion. Here are a few of those sources and what to consider when addressing them in your plan:

  1. Social media: When it comes to social, time and pressure (frequency and content) are your friends. Even then, it takes time to build a following. Post consistently, and don’t go dark for periods. Frequency in activity can impact your business’s perceived credibility and reliability. Watch the comments, likes and shares closely. Some content will perform better than other content. Be critical of yourself, and really unpack why.
  2. Product reviews: How do customers perceive similar products or services? What questions do they ask? Is there a common concern or interest many of them have? Even something as simple as where the product is made could make a difference.
  3. Culture and company reviews: There are all kinds of things people look for in this category that are never talked about. Google Street View of the business. Pictures of the office environment on Google image search. Employee and customer events they hold. What your executives do in their spare time as shown on social media.
  4. Job postings: Talk about the culture. What are the goals for employee morale? You don’t have to over-emphasize perks. People want to know what the work itself is like. Try not to copy and paste from sample job descriptions. Describe the challenges you want the role to solve and where you would like the candidate to take the role.
  5. Share of voice: “Any publicity is good publicity” should not be the primary goal here. The goal is to be present in the right way. Since we’re looking for subtle ways customers evaluate or take notice, make an effort to be present in the right conversations. There are all kinds of inroads in the media. Customers will form a higher opinion if you’re showing up in higher-quality conversations. Make an effort to hit the best outlets you can. Then promote it.

Always put yourself in the customer’s shoes. I do this with everything in life. It will give you perspective with purpose, especially when it comes to marketing. Every decision has a bit of emotion, even business decisions. What do you, as a customer yourself, care about? What would you look for and how would you evaluate the company? Be hard and even a little ruthless in your review. Because chances are, your customers will be too.

Your goal should be to create and serve up the right emotion so the person feels comfortable with your company. And most of the time, it’s the subtle things that influence that emotion.

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