In a bid to strategically position an organisation’s brand, marketing has over time become a very critical aspect of modern businesses. In the 21st century, social media and other digital media have increased the speed, variety and reach of marketing campaigns.
When we say marketing, we are not just focused on the ad campaigns alone. It also involves content development and email marketing among others. Because campaigns require a lot of great content, businesses have turned to copywriting services like Daily Posts for high quality content/content management, as well as SEO specialists like Yoast for their PPC/SEO magic. There are lots of agencies bringing their skills and experience to help other organisations achieve the desired results from their overall marketing efforts.
Every organisation wants to yield returns on their marketing. The best way to achieve this is by leveraging as much data as possible to enable you to provide a more targeted marketing effort and make the most informed marketing decisions. With the huge amount of unstructured data waiting to be tapped, marketers and businesses in general are sitting on a digital gold mine. Thanks to Big Data, we have begun to scratch the surface of the marketing potentials, but we’re not there yet. So, let’s look at ways you as a marketer can take advantage of Big Data in your efforts to grow your customer base:
Customers use different device types for interaction and transactions across various platforms, with different payment methods, across different locations. Viewing these data in silos will yield very little in the way of results. However, combining both the internal and external data sources will produce valuable insights into customer patterns.
You aim for a tremendously large array of data to flow seamlessly across various sources into one place for your analysis and exploration of insights. To leverage the power of Big Data Analytics, these datasets must be integrated for a more holistic and accurate view of your customer data. That way, you can see trends and patterns that show you exactly what is or isn’t yielding results. Using the acquired data, predictive models can be built or automatically generated that offer possible scenarios that may occur.
The power of Big Data Marketing is not in the Big Data or the sophisticated applications. The power is in you. You have fantastic applications and terabyte/petabyte worth of data, but are unable to analyse or – even worse – interpret what has been analysed. The whole essence of Big Data marketing is to be able to make marketing decisions, leveraging on the technology. As of now, the best Big Data applications are largely predictive. So, an outcome is predicted and you still have to come up with action plans and decide what action is best to take. However, with the advent of prescriptive analytics, this system can go a step further to suggest the best line of action from the acquired intelligence. While we wait for prescriptive analytics to mature, as a marketer it is important to know how to analyse and understand your data.
Your resale channels are the surest way to keep making sales and usually come from repeat customers, whose spending patterns you understand. So, let’s say you sold a bag to a customer. Chances are the same customer might be interested in shopping for more bags or even matching shoes. With enough data on the customer’s spending pattern and product preference, you can position another sale that is almost guaranteed, based on your big data.
Also, imagine you sell a piece of equipment with accompanying accessories. If a customer buys the equipment, leveraging data about the purchase date, time of year and maybe even search queries, you would be able to tell when the customer would need replacement parts, accessories or even a new piece of equipment. If you serve all your customers in this unique manner, you are naturally going to have them gravitate towards you. Hence, we can confidently say you’re sure to make super sales at a particular time of year, providing you plan effectively for your next big push.
Taking advantage of open demographics such as LA Times’ Mapping LA Project, can boost chances of converting leads to sales. Knowing the various segments of your demography can help you match the most appropriate sales rep to the prospective customer, that would ensure a higher conversion rate. For instance, you are a marketer for a big mobile phone retailer. Understanding that one customer is a power user, is tech savvy and knows exactly the kind of specs he is looking for, would ensure that a sales rep who is very knowledgeable technically is assigned to this customer.
A simple suggestion from a like-minded person who seems like they genuinely understand the customer’s needs, rather than just wanting to shove some device down their throat, would go a long way in ensuring the sale is completed. Of course, because publicity is a plus for every marketer, being able to provide satisfaction is bound to build confidence in prospective customers, giving you an advantage over your competition. That is just marketing without insights.
Every customer wants to be treated like a king. They want the best products at the best price. What better way to increase your customer base than by finding out what they want that the competition is not offering and fine tuning your product or service to deliver that much-desired value. It can also help you with pricing too. Knowing that more customers are willing to pay for a device if it is within a certain price range, allows you to price your device at the upper limit of that range or even lower limit if you think a cheaper price will place you in a better position than the competition.
Of course, we know that everything in the world has its challenges and even with the invaluable benefits Big Data offers, it is not an exception.
With Big Data, there is bound to be confusion as to what tool is best to handle the large size with ease. While the likes of Hadoop provide a distributed system architecture, users are not quite clear how this works.
Most people do not know what data they require for Big Data analysis. While the concept and sophisticated applications may be present, knowing the right metrics to look at within the data proves the single most difficult challenge faced by marketing executives.
With the difficulty in picking the right metrics comes the challenge of knowing how to transform the data to impactful insights.
While we still try to fully understand what Big Data can do for us, it is safe to say that marketing has already seen very obvious benefits. With the accelerated tech-advancements, we are sure some of the challenges we currently face will be addressed with a prescriptive Big Data Analytics system.
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