What is the big deal about Big Data in marketing?

internet cables

internet cables

Big Data. The term that everyone seems to be throwing around at the moment. CIOs are using it, COOs are using it, even the CEO is getting involved. But the real area of the business where Big Data is exceptionally useful is in the CMO’s arena. The question has to be asked though, what Big Data are those in marketing after and what are they going to do with it once they have it?

The answer is actually quite simple: predictive analytics on a customers’ lifetime value.

In English, that means that people want to be able to predict how much money they will be able to make off of you based on how and where you are making your purchase and also what you are purchasing. So how are we (and the brand by extension) faring when it comes to not only getting our hands on this data — but also interpreting it correctly?

In an eMarketer article, the research house argues that over 61% of those surveyed understand the “why” of getting hold of Big Data, but they have not yet mastered the “how”. The remaining 34% were split between believing that they had it mastered and being caught up somewhere in between.

Getting access to the data is really only half of the battle (and probably the easier half as well). The real challenge comes from analyzing the data to work out what it means to your business today — as well as tomorrow.

In the same survey, 52% expressed a view that their Big Data has allowed them insight into new market opportunities. Only 29% said that it had forced a change in culture, processes and solutions to the way in which they captured their data.

What this essentially means is that Big Data still has a long way to go before it is properly entrenched within organisations as the “norm” for gaining customer insight.

Granted there are a lot of things outside of the people’s control when it comes to gearing up for Big Data analysis. Very often fighting for the budget and the momentum to make infrastructure changes is a technical battle where the person tasked with marketing is out of their depth. Risk needs to be assessed; budgets allocated; technical infrastructure analysed and upgraded.

The greatest draw card that this does do for marketing is that it categorically changes its position in the business. This makes marketing scientific. This gives marketing a basis on which to make complex decisions that have a true measurable effect on the bottom line.

Business takes that seriously, which in turn means that this will make business take marketing seriously. And that’s important.



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