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Marketing has evolved; you need Big Data to keep up


written by Chris Bourne

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Today’s market conditions are tough. There’s more competition, advertising and product choice. To survive, every business needs a marketing strategy and dedicated team to successfully promote their product or service.

So, why do we need marketing and not just a sales team? Your target audience is no longer receptive to being ‘sold to’. In this digital age, 81% will turn to the web first to research products and companies, read reviews and gain knowledge before they even contact you. If your target audience can’t find you or your messaging isn’t tailored to their requirements, you’ll struggle to sell a thing.

The answer, leverage Big Data to shape customer engagement, innovate your products and revamp your marketing channels.

Predict customer behavior

In the movie Minority Report, technology analyzes people’s past to predict their future. Well this is what Big Data can do for your customers.

Leveraging technology to analyze the vast amounts of data your business collects can give you a clear indication into what your customer will be buying next. As a marketer this is damn valuable.

In an instant you can understand where the pitfalls are, if there is a competitor starting to make ground on your customers or which customers are top priority – even down to a daily basis.

Create compelling campaigns

If you can predict how your customers will act, it’s easy to create a compelling marketing campaign to suit their requirements.

So you know that X, Y and Z companies have purchased brake pads from you, but where are they buying their brake discs from? They must need brake discs too. Big Data will give you all the information you need to segment your customer base to deliver a campaign specifically to each customer. For example, why not run a campaign offering 20% discount on brake discs to everyone who has purchased more than 300 sets of brake pads in the last 3 months?

It’s not just for existing customers either. Think about the last time you went on the web and typed in a keyword, there’s targeted adverts, relevant search results, your previous session has been saved and you will have recommended products to buy on a multitude of websites. Analyzing the data that you have provided drives all of this.

A good example would be Amazon, who continuously analyzes data to recommend relevant products for you – an easy cross-selling campaign. The difference is that Big Data has given Amazon the ability to tailor products to each individual, which leads me on to the next section, micro marketing.

Micro marketing is now possible

If you’re as old as me, you’ll probably remember TV adverts from 20 years ago; their targeting was limited and millions viewed the same message turning it into a scattergun approach. This was mainly down to less channels and less TV shows. Jump forward to the present and there are many dedicated channels and people are watching TV at different times because of catch up services. There is also YouTube etc and a range of devices that can access all of this content.

My reason for this history lesson is because today marketing has become micro – tailoring messages directly to the individual. Through Big Data marketers can understand when people watch TV, what they are watching, when they go online, what articles they read, if their behavior is changing, plus much more. Dissect this information and your messaging can be for the right person, at the right time and for the right reasons. Do this and watch the enquiries flood in!

Optimize online channels for better conversion

As previously mentioned, 81% of your target audience will research a product online before making a decision, with this in mind your online channels should be your main focus.

Big Data can help marketers by analyzing website visitors behavior and give you insight into their online journey. For instance, when did they last visit your website? What did they look at? How many times have they visited? How did they find you? Did they open a recent email? Why did they click the back button on your checkout page? All of these questions are easily answerable with Big Data.

So you have this insight, what’s next? You will need to act upon it and split test webpages for better conversion, try different messaging, change the timing you send out emails or try different creative content. Keep reworking these aspects until your enquiries improve.

Enhance your product range

Big Data can help you enhance a product or service by understanding how your customers are using it, focusing on developing this aspect and building it in. In essence you are getting your customers’ feedback without even asking them.

A perfect example of data driven enhancement would be if you were a developer of a CRM smartphone application. You’ve already created the app but your customers are not using the search function but are actively using the pipeline section. Your data will track their behavior and give you a clear insight into why they are using the pipeline section. Therefore, it makes perfect business sense to enhance the pipeline section and maybe completely remove the search function. Then you can continue to monitor how the updates affect users – it’s a continuous loop.

It’s not all automated!

Big Data is useful, there’s no denying that, however it is still the skills of your staff that make it magical. It is critical to create a marketing team that possesses strong analytical skills, storytelling prowess and business acumen to really make Big Data work in your favor.

Do you want to learn more about Big Data? We’re here to help.

Written By -

I'm the Marketing Manager here at sales-i and being in marketing I obviously love crayons and of course I have a toy Chewbacca on my desk (fully equipped with the 'Maaaaaarh' noise! I have worked in the technology industry for over 7 years and have a good grasp on what's happening in the industry. I also enjoy* the technical side of software development. *The term 'enjoy' relates to the very few occasions where the techy side actually goes to plan, otherwise replace with the term 'gets frustrated'.

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