SAN FRANCISCO — Start by picking “the low-hanging fruit.”

That’s the advice of George Shehata, VP of customer relationship management for natural supplements and beauty products firm Shaklee, at a GrowthBeat 2014 panel today about using data-driven marketing even if you have a small team.

He pointed out that although it is “new to data-driven marketing,” the nearly 60-year-old company is not new to data about its customers.

“Most companies, even if they’ve not been in business for 60 years, have an incredible amount of information” on their customers, noted fellow panelist Dominique Levin, the CMO of predictive marketing platform AgilOne. The company targets small- and medium-sized businesses, and it counts Shaklee as one of its clients.

The trick, she said, is how to make that data — “which emails did they open, how often did they call into call centers” — actionable.

To eat that low-hanging fruit, so to speak, Shaklee looked first toward taking action in such areas as cart abandonment or customer reactivation.

“The main message,” Levin said, is “just get started.”

A key takeaway of the discussion was the practicality of using data-driven marketing and analytics in the age of cloud-based platforms, even for a small company or one used to doing things the old-fashioned way.

“You no longer need data scientists [in order] to use data science,” Levin noted. “You don’t need that capability in-house.”

And, she said, you can often determine the customers’ intention, even when the shopper doesn’t know it. “How many Harmony handbags will I buy?” Levin asked.

“I have no idea,” she answered herself, “but you can compare me with other customers’ [buying patterns].”

When asked by moderator Kobie Fuller of VC firm Accel Partners how the data-driven approach works with the more creative marking approaches his company has developed over decades, Shehata said there was no conflict.

“If anything,” Shehata said, “it’s helped the creative process” because of the increased possibilities.