Reaping Big Rewards from Big Data
Marketing professionals view so-called big data as the new frontier. From the days of direct-mail list rental by demographics to coupon redemption, marketers have long sought more information on their customers’ interests, shopping tendencies and buying predictors. Today’s digital landscape has made the job of collecting such information exponentially bigger, but the insights to be gleaned have grown dramatically as well. From online purchase data, open and click-through rates, browsing and download behavior, social media and mobile-device usage, marketers can quickly learn a lot about potential customers.
Of course, having more data, big data, doesn’t necessarily result in great marketing. It isn’t the data itself but what you learn from it to mold marketing campaigns that will create a closer relationship with the customer and increase sales for your company. By combining your data with an integrated marketing approach, you can reach current and potential customers with a message just right for their place in the buying process.
What can you learn from data? If individuals return to your site several times and browses the same products, you can deduce that they are potential customers for that product line and good prospects for targeted messaging about it. If you run banner ads on a website, you can conclude that those clicking on them have an interest in the product being touted. Are you able to track whether an individual browsing on your site came from a banner ad? Which banner ad? If you can answer those questions, you can determine what media they visit. The ability to track their actions, and therefore their interests, is almost unlimited.
Look at companies like eBay and Amazon, which track every movement you make on their platforms in order to help guide you to a purchasing decision. These companies take notice of everything you search and every page you visit on their sites, and consequently suggest items to purchase. Today, knowing your customer is easier than ever. And remember, targeting these customers is always an option.
Creating a marketing campaign using this type of data, and creating more data, should be the goal of marketers. And the campaign must be fully integrated. It should include lead-generation tools where you can gather specific information on customers through downloads or firewalls. You should reach out to prospective customers with digital banner ads that will take them to your site so that you can begin to track their behaviors. And you should use integrated print/tablet advertising that creates a user experience and is trackable.
Whether you’re already deep into big-data implementation or are just beginning, you should keep three things in mind:
1. You need to understand your goals and know what data you need to track in order to achieve your objectives.
2. You need to understand which analytical tools you should use. It is best to enlist a third party to help you build and implement these tools.
3. Success isn’t determined by how much data you gather, but by the insights you’re able to glean about customers from that data to increase sales for your organization.