Big data and consumer marketing
Big data and consumer marketing have become intertwined. Using and handling data effectively has presented many challenges for businesses, especially in recent times with new GDPR regulations. However, there is now no doubt that having an effective big data strategy is vital for most businesses and is having a significant impact on marketing.
What exactly is big data?
Essentially it means the use of very large data sets that can be combined and then commercialised or used to inform strategy.
Businesses can use a variety of tools, including artificial intelligence, to bring together both internal and external information to create detailed pictures of consumers. This can be used to provide a high level of personalisation to improve marketing results.
Big data and consumer marketing
Marketers have always collected large amounts of data. Many use a customer relationship management (CRM) system to bring all that data together. Until recently the use of all this data has been largely rudimentary. Now new platforms and technologies are allowing business to leverage big data like never before.
Big data can not only improve customer engagement, it can create better loyalty and repeat business. Alongside this it can help to optimise marketing processes to improve the ROI. However like anything else in marketing, you still need to understand how to leverage all this information effectively.
When you see adverts online for a website you have recently visited you are seeing how big data can be used to display a focused marketing message. Cookie information is captured when you visit a site. This data is then used with services such as Google Ads to provide you with relevant product offers.
Social media platforms
Social media advertising platforms are essentially a way for businesses to target consumers with personalised messages. Platforms such as these are underpinned by ever-growing big data sets, and they combine what they know about you and others. Advertisers then use this information to target consumers with suitable product suggestions.
Life event data
Life event information such as home mover data can form part of a big data strategy. It can create timely communication for pertinent products and services. For example, you may see marketing messages around the time of your move relating to home moving such as conveyancing or removals.
Another example is how companies such Amazon use big data and AI in marketing to recommend and cross sell products. They do this by collecting information about what you are looking at on their platform, what you have purchased, and what others have purchased. Similarly streaming services such as Spotify and Netflix collect and process data about your viewing habits, and those of others, to serve up playlists and suggestions. This experience would not be possible without big data.
The results are staggering and the big data trend is accelerating. More business are finding new ways to interpret data and use it in order to improve returns on investments and marketing results.
How can you make the most of big data?
There are challenges when establishing a big data strategy:
- First, you have to know what data or platforms you have available to you. What information do you need and what tools can provide a more effective service or marketing experience. Bearing in mind GDPR commitments of course.
- Second, you must have the right analytics tools to look at all that data properly. Some platforms will provide this as part of their service. If you collect or acquire your own data then there are a lot of technology choices. Not all are good, so take some time to complete some research in this area.
- Third, once you have selected the right tools, use them. Analyse that data and feed it back in to the your big data strategy. You should then tweak your approach and repeat the process. Your big data strategy will evolve and your results will improve.
- Finally, think about how big data can help your whole business. Think beyond existing marketing campaigns. Understand how big data can improve your relationship with consumers and make messages and communications more successful.
All this can be difficult for smaller businesses that don’t have the marketing infrastructure in place. The good news is that third party providers are now more affordable. As long as you pick the right partner you can deliver the deeper insights that your business needs. This means that companies of all sizes can now access scalable services that will develop as their business grows.