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Why big data means big things for the future of marketing

There has been a lot of hype and content generated about big data of late, but what does it really mean to people looking to push their business into people’s minds? How can they take advantage?

So the first thing to note is that big data is not solely dedicated to the world of IT. This is not something that IT managers and CIO’s alike can get excited about and then hide in their server rooms, never again to see the light of day. Big data is… well… big! According to a survey by eMarketer, nine out of every 10 executives see the failure to exploit the potential of information as lost revenue.

Let’s reflect on that for a second. Essentially they are saying that there is revenue to be had if you understand how to analyse the information that you have been collecting. Now where have we heard something similar before — oh yes, the first step in social media is to listen; to listen and analyse the situation to best understand how to engage.

The trick therefore is to see where the monetisation opportunity lies (yes, to answer your question, we have to monetize Everything — with a capital ‘E’).

According to the same eMarketer data from a survey that Oracle ran over March and April in North America, 60% of all respondents felt that their organisations were unable to crunch the numbers (as it were) and handle the data that was being collected. Essentially the data is being collected, but then it is just sitting there and not being used properly. It’s like seeing a fresh crisp bank note on the floor and not bending down to pick it up.

For crying out loud — pick it up!

So where is all the data (and admittedly there is a lot more data today than there was a few years ago) coming from? Well, chiefly it is coming from customer information operational data, and sales and marketing data rounding off the big three.

Customer information is all of the data that it out there on the internet from news sites to social networks and everything in between – data that is just waiting to be collected and mined.

Of all the executives surveyed, they cited a need to translate information into actionable insight as the greatest need over the next two years.

Now it is the actionable insights part that has me particularly excited; and that is really the crux of the matter. Actionable insights is where the rubber of big data meets the marketing road. It is time to remove the sometime blinkered thinking that marketing needs to concern itself with product only.

Marketing is about positioning your company as best as you possibly can to take advantage of the playing field in which you are engaged. Marketing is not just about making nice adverts and coming up with catch phrases and social media campaigns that “go viral”. Marketing is as much a science as it is an art; and when we are talking about science we are undoubtedly going to be talking about experiments and data analysis.

It is time for people to get serious about their data and experiment to ensure that you are using it to its full potential. It is time to take big data out of the server room and place it at the top of your business agenda. In short — big data for the win.

Author | Jonathan Houston

Jonathan Houston
Jonathan Houston is passionate about digital marketing and digital strategy. During the day, Jonathan is the Head of Digital Marketing for HKLM. Jonathan's work at HKLM includes strategy conceptualization, focusing on the alignment of digital marketing to business strategy as well as assisting HKLM's clients on fulfilling their digital... More
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  • 12Danny123

    I would like Microsoft to focus on all that stuff. BUT include improvements in smoothness, storage and the look on the desktop :)

  • Fantasm

    Apart from all that, Windows needs a real reason to upgrade… Blowing a $100+ just to have a few small (and not always positive) changes is just not a good idea.
    Personally, I’d like to see:
    [1] A return to Aero effects… Make the screen look good again. Especially for home users. Even allow more cosmetic customization.
    [2] Better Networking. Windows 7 and Windows 8 are really kind of clunky to try and solve networking issues.
    [3] Offer 3 optional Start Menus, The original Windows 7 one, The Windows 8.1 version for those that like it, and a hybrid of the two.
    [4] Bring back Media Center as a part of windows, not an addon.
    [5] Get rid of using a Microsoft account to get all the features of Windows. I don’t want my online persona tied into my PC or tablet.
    [6] Make it possible to avoid Metro completely by a simple setting change. Then those that like it can have it, those that hate it can have it no longer exist.
    [7] integrating Cortana sounds good, unless it’s done poorly… Wait and see… I’m optimistic. (But then I was optimistic about windows 8 at the beginning too… )
    [8] Store “My documents” etc on other drives as an easily set option.
    [9] Add in a way to clone the boot drive to another drive as part of Windows. Casper and other 3rd party software can do it. Why not windows? Restore and or reinstalling all that are fine, but I got tired of reinstalling and then reloading all my software a long time ago. My boot drive is cloned, I can have a disaster (crash, virus, whatever) and be back up and running in less than 15 minutes. all my data is stored on other drives and backed up as needed.
    [10] Make it worth having….

  • sonicfan1373

    I agree with nearly every thing you stated in this article. I think that aside from Kinect (Kinect for Windows is $200, and I believe that MS knows that due to the price the device will not become common place for regular consumers at this point), streamlined updates (this is something that has annoyed nearly everyone I know who has used Windows since 98, and yet it has not gotten better and even worse; hence I do not believe MS will really try to fix it this time), and a built in utility to analyze crash dumps much of what you have stated will be implemented.

  • Steve

    Win8 is such a complicated system. I think it would to be reasonable to offer something like this:
    Win9 Mobile -for consumers. Lightweight, Metro only.
    If you want a desktop apps too, then there could be an add-on, – or set of add-ons (Office add-on, Photoshop add-on), to mould the app into Metro.
    If somebody wants full desktop -for very old apps – then either that would be a serious OS upgrade, or like desktop emu/sandbox.

    The current situation leads just nowhere.

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