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Marketers Should Care About BIG Data

|Jul 16|magazine8 min read

Michele Nemschoff, Vice President, Corporate Marketing

 

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about big data and how it is the next big thing for the marketing world. Many marketers hear all of the hype and immediately think people should not be making such a big deal about it. It’s just data after all, right? Marketers have been using data from research and consumer reports for years, so why should marketers be paying attention to some new technological fad?

 

The answer is big data is a new resource that will provide a significant advantage to those marketers who use it. Here are three reasons why >>>

1. Better Construct and Evaluate Campaigns

Big data and the systems that hold and analyze it, such as apache hadoop, are able to pick out trends from multiple sources of data, rather than just one or two generated reports. This more extensive data can often pick up on trends and insights that marketers can’t find by completing a consumer survey. Most importantly, big data can be used to answer those key questions a good marketer should be asking, such as, was the blue or orange icon more effective, or what started a certain hashtag trend?

With the extra information marketers can construct more targeted messages and quickly evaluate the effectiveness of that message. Marketers will also be better able to predict the effect of an action, such as the effect of decreasing TV advertising on online sales.

This process would encourage making more hypotheses and conducting more tests than marketers have typically done in the past. Instead of carrying a campaign through to completion and then evaluating it, marketers can change messages and elements of a campaign as they are being carried out, which in the end will result in a much higher ROI than the current method.

2. Analyze Competitor Data

Most marketers have their own data. They know what their consumers think. They’ve surveyed target audiences and tracked who goes to the Facebook page and website. What most marketers haven’t had access too, however, is their competitors’ data. Wouldn’t it be great to know why the competitor's customers shop there or how effective the competitor’s new campaign is?

With big data, marketers will have access to that information. It may not be as specific as gaining access to a consumer report, but it will be easier to check out trends and evaluate competitor performance. Marketers who jump into the world of big data will access to a whole new segment of info that marketers who don’t won’t have.

3. Real-Time Data

Another key difference between current data and big data is big data will allow marketers to observe trends and make decisions in real-time, much like investors on the stock market do. Instead of having to wait for data to accumulate through a survey or Google Analytics, marketers can access all of the data that’s compiled every minute to respond to consumer trends and handle any potential problems. Imagine the difference this could make in a crisis situation, such as a product recall.

Overall, big data won’t change everything about marketing, and it certainly could be a distraction if it isn’t used strategically. However, marketers who are smart about how they take advantage of it could see a significant increase in useful data that will make creating a successful campaign more predictable.