The rules of marketing are evolving along the rapid advancement in technology and changing customer preferences. Marketing environment has become so complex and dynamic, that companies cannot rely on traditional selling techniques. According to one survey, almost 86% of participating businesses stated that they already use big data for their digital marketing, or are planning to use it. However, simply hoarding the data is not enough. Companies need streaks of relevant information that can be used for digital-driven marketing strategies. Big data provides a better understanding of customers and their needs, improves the supply chain and propels campaigns.
Sources of big data
The information that can be gathered from big data comes from six independent and unrelated sources:
- Web mining – In short, a process of extracting data from open web, like server logs, browser activity, readily available documents and page content.
- Search information – This source is based on search information, which relies on studying the behaviour of a specific social group.
- Social media – According to one survey, 79% of all internet users have Facebook accounts, with 1.8 billion users logging on daily. Marketers can study the pages they like and comments they are leaving to recognize patterns that will help them create more interesting content.
- Crowdsourcing – Unlike the previous sources, this one is more direct, as it primarily revolves around readily formed specific communities like forum users, survey participants, event visitors, etc.
- Transactional – One must keep in mind that not all data of interest is textual. Valuable information also lies in learning about your clients’ transaction logistics and related activities like flight reservations, credit card purchases and insurance claims.
- Mobile sources – By the year 2017, the majority of online users are using mobile devices to access their favourite content. For any business, it is essential to learn these user patterns. If we knew that an average mobile user spends 89 percent of time using different apps, it becomes clear that apps generate an invaluable amount of data, even when they are running silently in the background. A survey by 2nd Watch that included 500 IT and marketing professionals in large and midsize companies has revealed that 14 percent of them already deploy customer-facing web and mobile apps.
Processing raw data
As already mentioned before, amassing large amounts of customer-related data is not enough by itself. Raw data needs to be refined and cut in order to be used effectively. Companies that are looking to use big data to improve their marketing strategies need reliable business analytics software that can interpret this data. The most effective way to display this information is in form of a business intelligence (BI) dashboard that allows marketers to fully assess the current data usefulness for various campaigns.
Eventually, if you select a BI platform that lets you study big data in real time, you’ll get the ability to react to changes immediately. This not only gives you a chance to prepare for the next customer visit, but also to plan an even better approach that will upgrade your website. Those include email, retargeting, avoiding sign-in barriers or a ‘save-for-later’ button.
An American merchant and a marketing pioneer John Wanamaker said that one half of all the money he spends on advertising goes to waste, but he can never tell which half. Fortunately, marketing has come a long way since then. Today, marketing professionals need to analyse big data streams and initiate cooperation between different departments. Companies that want to make one step further utilize dependable BI software that shapes big data into useful streaks of information. Before long, everybody will realize that only data-driven marketing is able to cut right through the information noise and hit the target.