Ways of turning big data into marketing gold


Wherever we turn in the 21st century, all industries are jumping on the idea of big data; and marketing is no different.

Businesses from start ups to blue chips are investing in big data. The Internet of Things (IoT) is opening up new horizons for many, for instance by allowing your connected fridge to suggest new products.

Beyond this, the industry has been talking about turning big data into smart data for some time. Every day, more and more data is being produced both by the increasing number of devices connected to the IoT and the customers that use them.

This big data can imply big headaches, and potentially big spend, but how do you turn this into big value?

Ferrari Performance, Austin allegro Driving

Research into FTSE250 UK companies by Moorhouse found that only 11% of organisations believe that they are using big data effectively, let alone driving business value from it.

It begs the question, why buy a Ferrari and never get behind the wheel? There’s currently a gap between the infrastructure businesses might have, and their ability to uncover real value out of the data.

Businesses are sold on the importance of big data, but there’s a real lack of understanding on how to connect the dots, slowing down the marketing benefits and all important return on investment.

Keeping it real (time)

In order for big data to support marketing, it needs to be as close to real-time as possible. While predicting trends and planning offers for key periods is crucial, consumers are also a highly fluid audience.

A failure to adapt to their needs and personalise offerings can result in being washed away on the current. Linking big data with the agility to understand it in real-time provides the crucial insight marketers need to cut through the big data haze and shorten the time it takes to understand which activities are truly driving customer engagement.

As budgets are under increasing scrutiny, there’s a greater interest in understanding how to make the most of big data quickly.

App’s the way to do it

Ultimately the aim of big data should be to deliver low latency (and high volume) customer apps. These apps are producing new sources of revenue and reducing overhead costs, driving real value to consumers. With big data comes big capabilities, but also big responsibility; companies investing in big data infrastructure need to integrate better in order to tap into a gold mine of new applications which are driving new revenue for the company.

Big data clearly has a lot to offer – but marketers are now realising that it takes more than data alone to engage customers and make sales. You can analyse information all you want, but to make your investment in big data analytics really count, you need to put it toward increasing sales.

If the results aren’t there, strategies need to be changed.

If revenue decreases, you’re not using big data effectively. Don’t buy into the big data hype without realising that the only way it makes sense is if it is used to get more money out of it.