Recently, “big data” has been a widely used term in the business world. Rest assured, it is not just another buzzword which will be replaced soon by a newer concept or trend. In its most lucid conception, big data refers to the vast amount of consumer information – specifically pertaining to their behaviour and interactions – that is available via digital media. Advanced marketing analytics uses this big data to provide businesses with critical insight into their customers’ behaviour and hence help them become better positioned to market their product intelligently and effectively.
Think of some examples of big data analytics that we all commonly experience:
Netflix curating personalized suggestions on what to watch next
Food and beverage outlets often use customer votes to “pick the flavour/dish of the month” or determine if a menu item should be retained or changed
When you book a plane ticket online, the price varies frequently based on demand, availability, and the time of booking
Don’t all of the above scenarios place us, the consumers, bang in the middle of key business decisions? Enterprises determine how to optimise their operations and revenue based on information they have regarding consumer preferences and tendencies.
Herein lies the indomitable power of big data.
Big data and marketing
Marketing organisations are still discovering the various ways in which big data can be used to increase profitability and consumer loyalty. However, certain patterns are emerging, showing that big data is and will continue to shape marketing strategies in the following ways:
As the average user attention span becomes progressively shorter, it becomes imperative that product marketing be keenly targeted at the audience that desires it and appreciates it. In the same way as Facebook, Google, and Instagram make suggestions for users based on the content they access, use, and like, third-party vendors will need to follow suit. The capability to execute more sophisticated data analysis and create complex algorithms for targeted advertising is where businesses must invest more time and effort.
Understanding the customer decision journey
The modern consumer is accustomed to using a variety of digital media and resources to get access to information and make decisions. It is important for businesses to fully understand the customer decision journey, from how and why, to when, and at what cost they do it. This knowledge will empower businesses to increase customer engagement, ensure their loyalty, and hence lead to an increase in revenue. Big data allows brands to do this effectively by optimising marketing spend across varied platforms.
Content and saleability
From a purely calculative perspective, the end goal of marketing efforts is that the content consumed by a potential customer transpires into a sale. For this to happen, marketers need to identify exactly what nature of content enhances saleability. While in the past, and often even in the present, marketers rely primarily on broad analysis of social media and offline consumer response, with big data, the analysis can reach far deeper.
As a customer, you want to feel that the seller understands your needs. In offline scenarios, interpersonal communication helps meet these expectations. However, it becomes a challenge to achieve the same in the virtual world. However, it is not impossible. Using big data, businesses should be able to proffer marketing content and products in tandem with a customer’s dynamic requirements. Social media needs to be used such that information is available to people in direct correlation with their specific interests and expectations.
Big data presents a vast sea of opportunities for businesses to optimise their marketing strategies. However, the effective utilisation of big data is reliant on an advanced understanding of analytical tools and practices which the present workforce may or may not have, and also having the data available in a form that it can be easily analysed and sanitised enough to make sure that the analysis from the data is correct and has only marginal errors.
It is thus of great importance that enterprises invest in the upskilling of their marketing personnel; contemporary marketers need to be suitably equipped to use big data in a manner that is smart, effective, and profitable.
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