Big Data: The Future of Marketing is Here

Marketers have just begun shifting their views of what makes up the traditional markets. More and more marketers are talking about individuals instead of market segments. This has happened in part because they have embraced big data.

One hopes that one day marketers everywhere learn to see big data as the holy grail that can help them figure out what to do with valuable sets of information that they have sitting in the data warehouses.

Having big data, however, doesn’t lead to better marketing per se, but it is significant that marketers know the potential that lies within all this data. They are the insights that come from big data, the decisions made and actions taken based on data analytics, that make a difference.

By combining big data with an integrated marketing strategy, companies from all walks of life can make a substantial impact in these key areas:

  • Customer engagement
  • Customer loyalty
  • Marketing optimization

This article from Forbes magazine summarizes these points quite well.

Why is big data the future of marketing?

VentureBeat recently reported that marketing technology companies have attracted $50 billion in investments.

The author of the report, Stewart Rogers, states: “Adoption (of marketing technology) might be low across the Fortune 80 million, but the sheer number of solutions, amount of data they’re handling, and their implications across the entire gamut of sales and marketing strategies tells me that this is the most important technology space to focus on for the foreseeable future.”

For now, the biggest challenges of big data marketing are:

  • Knowing what information to collect. It’s important to focus on what specific data needs to be collected and stored to comply with specific business objectives.
  • Know what information to analyze. The amount of tools and services available in the market used to analyze big data is bigger and more diverse each day, so it can be difficult to figure out which one integrates best when taking into consideration the requirements of each organization. For example, a big part of data analysis deals with cleaning data (kudos to the open source Pandas library!), so one of the first steps to choose a data cleansing tool would be to define what type of information needs to be cleaned and where it is stored.

The main applications of big data marketing are:

  • Profiling and micro segmentation. By using different tools, companies are capable of obtaining data that leads to creating specific profiles of their users.
  • Content optimization. By using the information obtained from profiling and micro segmentation, it’s possible to show personalized content to each user. This content will in turn be more relevant and persuasive that static information.

Computers now can recognize and learn patterns but only if the algorithms they use are trained by humans with specific domain knowledge. So the use of big data and data analytics in marketing doesn’t eliminate the need for people and their marketing instincts, since they, along with their trusted teams of data scientists, can help marketers find the difference between good and bad ideas as well as to target their content much more precisely.

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Data Science Big Data Marketing