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Leadership Perspectives

BIG DATA – BIG PROBLEM

One of the main buzzwords of the past five years has been ‘big data’, seemingly coming out of nowhere to dominate headlines in the marketing and business analytics press. Despite the sudden hype around it, however, the unstructured and large data sets signified by ‘big data’ actually represent huge potential for the modern marketer. It is becoming increasingly clear that big data is enabling a new approach to marketing, one where brands enact a fast, dynamic marketing strategy informed by data streams that are constantly updated in real-time. 

An example of this lies in how deep data analytics can be used to mine through a user’s online and social footprints to create campaigns that are highly tailored to their intended audience. By having access to intelligence on what exactly a customer’s preferences are, brands can respond to their customers in a meaningful way that will strengthen the bonds of brand loyalty.  

The next step is to create a type of ‘always on’ approach to marketing. This involves trying to harness the power of big data in a real-time environment to create bespoke experiences for customers. To enable this, marketers need to put in place tools that can constantly measure areas such as a user’s browsing habits and history, to come up with a relevant experience. By analysing these metrics, brands can work out which pieces of content the user is most likely to enjoy, their preferred site layout and their favoured methods of interacting with an online experience. 

Through the use of real-time big data monitoring and analysis, marketers can provide the end user with the experiences that they really want, not just the ones they imagine them to want. With this in mind, marketers need to consider employing end-to-end strategies, real time analytics and monitoring tools to take advantage of the customer information available. There is nothing to fear about ‘big data’ – this is a core component of the marketing landscape today. It is the job of the CMO to ensure that companies are ready to take advantage of all that data analytics can offer as part of innovative marketing strategies. A big part of this will lie in moving away from the content web model of marketing and embracing the social web model. This shift will entail new approaches to analytics whereby it will become important to be able to track interactions between people around content not just the interaction with the content itself, i.e. Who shared what? Who did they share it with? Did they like it? This approach to customer centricity will lead to organisations not just being more focused on people but to start to focus on the relationships between people and how to improve their social experience. Big data analytics and the move towards always on marketing will be key facets of this change and looks set to usher in a completely new way for brands to interact with their customers. It’s time we wrapped analytics around it’s key purpose – delivering better experience to people swiftly and effectively. 

Authored by: Ema Linaker, Regional Director, Holler/Leo Burnett
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