Big Data. Big Data. Big Data. Those two words have been hyped to death in countless articles (mea culpa – this one too), books, podcasts, videos, and more.
But as a marketer, you can’t ignore it as Big Data has matured enough to become more about math than magic – it’s now revolutionizing marketing. Talk to six market research firms and you’ll get six different forecasts but here’s one example of Big Data’s impact in the years to come – CSC predicts a whopping 4,300% increase in annual data generation by 2020. Gartner predicts that CMOs will soon be spending more on IT than CIOs; and VentureBeat said marketing technology companies have reeled in to date almost $50 billion in investment.
Last spring Forbes Insights surveyed IT execs and senior data honchos about what their firms were doing with Big Data. The results were striking – 21% indicated Big Data was a significant business priority; 38% put it in the top five; almost 80% of the respondents stated revenues had increased 1-3% due to measures implemented by Big Data findings.
And while large enterprises have the resources to weave Big Data into their sales/marketing plans, Mick Hollison, writing in Inc., thinks that start-ups may benefit the most “because they are being born in the era of Big Data and are building capabilities to leverage it into their business models.”
Hollison said as an example, Uber is leveraging geo-spatial data and location intelligence to help expand global operations.
Marketers across an array of every type of business are employing Big Data.
A few examples:
Software Advice, a CRM reviews/analysis firm, uses Big Data to match sales reps to customers. Craig Borowski, a market research associate, said Big Data analytics are being used to match the most qualified sales reps to target specific demographic segments to improve both close rates and customer satisfaction.
Deidre Woollard, head of communications at Partners Trust Real Estate Brokerage & Acquisitions, adds that Big Data is allowing her company to view more refined search data on what people are looking for – and why.
“If we know that people who are doing a search are only looking at two or three photos, those first few photos should be the best ones,” she says. “If we know more people search for homes that are between $1.5-$2.9 million than search for homes that are $3 million and up, it might be a better strategy to price a home that was somewhere in between $2.9 million and $3 million, but under $3 million then to grab that search traffic.”
Lastly, Jackson Riso, who heads up marketing at TickPick, a no-fee secondary ticket marketplace, said his firm uses Big Data to better understand which landing pages shouldn’t be optimized, despite their low-conversion rates.
Riso said Big Data enables TickPick to better understand how/when customers convert; they also know that certain high-traffic landing pages have high bounce rates.
“With Big Data we see that those visitors who bounce are coming back via other channels and are becoming some of our most profitable customers, says Riso. “In other words, the one counterintuitive way markets can use Big Data is to understand where they should optimize their bounce rates and where they should optimize their bounce.”
Big Data can divulge trends and patterns that can significantly impact a company’s business strategies – including marketing. Ion Interactive CTO Scott Brinker summed up how Big Data will drive marketing over the next few years:
“Big Data makes it cheaper and easier to test concepts, but marketing is still about coming up with the big idea. Algorithms are great at optimization, but terrible at imagination.”