Implementing big data solutions at the business level is a major step for any organization no matter their size. Big data analytics represents a cutting edge technological leap that can help businesses in numerous ways. The main goal is, of course, to drive up value and increase revenue, but there are a large variety of strategies that can be used to reach that end. Marketing is one area where big data is proving particularly valuable. Perhaps that shouldn’t be a big surprise since marketing has long relied on data about customers, business trends, and more, but the amount of data now being used has reach a level never before imagined. Businesses hoping to drive value into new territory will need to use and analyze big data effectively in order to capture that value. The only question then becomes how this can be done.
There are two main ways that big data analytics makes marketing much more effective: micro-targeting of the audience and timeliness. Let’s tackle micro-targeting first. Marketers have always split up potential and current customers into demographics. This was usually done with basic information such as age, gender, race, education level, etc. With this information, marketers could target customer blocks with messages meant to specifically appeal to them. Big data when used in marketing uses this same idea but puts them into overdrive. Now businesses can gather data on customers on an almost microscopic level. With this type of analytics at the ready, organizations can store data on all sorts of things, from the basic information listed above, to what type of car a customer drives, where they like to eat, their favorite websites, and much more. Not only that, but companies can collect data on things that were difficult to measure before, like what motivates a customer to make a decision on choosing a specific product or service.
Timeliness is the other area big data can greatly influence. Even if a marketing message is perfectly crafted down to the tiniest detail, if it reaches the customer at the wrong time, it will still have a minimal effect. Big data gathered on customers can help marketers determine when is the best and most effective moment to reach out to them. Data collected on the car the customer uses, for example, can include when that car should go in for an oil change, thus giving marketers the perfect opportunity to send that oil change offer they’ve been sitting on. Nailing the right timing leads to more positive responses from customers. When coupled with the micro-targeting also used in big data analytics, marketers suddenly become even more effective than before, driving up the value for a business.
Part of what makes big data so effective in marketing is the ways it can be gathered nowadays. Whereas before marketers had to rely on customer surveys, studies, direct feedback, and other traditional outlets, today marketers can collect data from a ton of different sources. Online activity is just one area that can reveal a lot about an individual customer. Collecting data from mobile devices has gotten easier as well. Data captured from video is another area that’s seeing tremendous growth. Thanks to video analytics and video object tracking, businesses can now gather more information about customers than ever before. This information can get extremely detailed and provide incredible insights into each customer.
That only begins to scratch the surface of the true impact big data can have on the marketing world. Big data can help marketers determine which content will be the most effective at attracting customers to a product. That also applies to the most effective content at every stage of the typical sales cycle. Big data can also be used in price optimization, essentially determining the best price point that will get a customer to pay closer attention.
What this all comes down to is providing a more personalized experience for customers. Big data and marketing makes that a reality, and that in turn leads to greater value to businesses. With big data showing results for the bottom line, marketers can know the best ways to utilize it to help their respective companies reach the next level.
Contributed by: Linda Gimmeson, a tech writer with a focus in big data, machine learning, & IoT. Linda discusses big data, emerging technologies, and how companies can get real value out of their data.
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