Data has been a big deal in marketing for a long time. In fact, many will argue that marketing is useless without data. How else would we do what we do without information on our target market and customer avatars? But what exactly is big data and why is it making waves?
Big data refers to particularly large data sets that can be analysed to uncover information that’s, more often than not, related to consumer behaviour and interaction. Yes, your information (which you wittingly or unwittingly give away) is used to uncover trends, habits and patterns that are then used to innovate, sell you products or services, determine how, when and in what quantity to sell you the product or service.
This is nothing new. This is marketing 101, you say. What is the actual big deal?
It took a while for the business world to catch on to the true potential of data and how it can be used to unlock critical business insights. But once they did, data scientists had to start asking different questions of the data. Data analysts had to realise that although data is intrinsically valuable, it is useless until they realise what true value is.
More tech means more data. More data equals big data. But how does this translate to business insights and just how accurate is the data? Can you really trust it? Not all the time, but it’s given marketers more insight into consumer behaviour than ever before. And given you those creepy ads that know what you want before you long before you even think it.
Data is the marketing secret sauce. The sauce alone can be unpalatable, but add it to a dish and boom! Bursts of juicy flavour. It isn’t the data itself that’s valuable, but combine the insights you derive from it with a great marketing plan and you might be onto something.
Once you truly figure out how to find patterns in the data, the benefits for a marketer are endless. Most exciting though is the ability to customize content for a more personalized marketing experience. Remember the creepy ads we mentioned earlier? It gets creepier. Most of you have heard of Cambridge Analytica, while some of you have even watched The Great Hack. A few of us have even gone as far as to pay heed to the eerie feeling of being watched and left social media altogether. The sad truth though is, your data is out there pretty much whether you like it or not. You can’t avoid that but you can learn more about how Big Data works and how you can use it to advantage your business.
Businesses the world over have accepted data as a pivotal business asset, have dedicated and implemented data strategies in place. When an organization is data-driven in its outlook, it makes it easier for them to create a culture of data across the entire organization, creating an opportunity for innovation and giving it a competitive edge.
Moving from Big data to impact can be challenging. You need to translate the data by knowing how to computationally organize, analyze and apply it. Big data informs a marketing plan by providing the metrics for increasing revenues and reducing costs. Big data can tell you what, when, where and how to market. Most importantly, it is easily accessible. Once the data has been translated, it’s the decisions you make and the subsequent measures that will give you the sales, loyalty and engagement you want from your marketing campaigns.