BI bolsters cloud marketing, big data

Business and IT experts have long heralded big data as a means to more efficient corporate and marketing strategies, but how does big data work with current technologies to accomplish this? Some executives feel that cloud technologies offering business intelligence (BI) solutions to manage big data are too young or confusing to implement properly. But most agree that the cloud cuts costs, improves speeds and helps prepare businesses for industry change through flexible software and infrastructure solutions.

Forbes reports that the advance of contextual computing and cloud platforms is driving a change in the retail experience, which is now seeing more targeted advertisements and user-specific marketing as a result of better context-driven BI analysis tools. Context-aware advertising is particularly well adapted to the cloud, integrating real-time data from public databases to target specific users for advertisements that are considered relevant to them.

Gartner calls the trend "Me Marketing," and has outlined several steps in the Me Marketing process that are required for optimal utilization. The marketing solution focuses on gathering user data through an initial meeting, either in-store or on a retailer's website, before targeting that user in the future with advertisements, offers and web-based coupons that have been generated based on their purchases and searches.

Mobile platforms reach more users
By using mobile platforms, companies are also accessing a growing number of consumers. Business2Community notes that customer relationship management (CRM) programs are now commonly using mobile platforms to keep in touch with consumers and ensure continued loyalty. CRM initiatives accomplish this by using data discovery solutions to learn more about their customers, later targeting specific individuals with services, product updates or coupons that they feel are appropriate "rewards" for past purchases. Businesses feel this method of CRM helps to create longer lasting relationships built on a consumer's personal interests.

Compared to past technologies, cloud-based marketing reaches more consumers, accessing individuals who use Google mail, Amazon-hosted services like Netflix or surf the web on their mobile phones and tablets. According to research firm Sandvine, at any given moment, Netflix accounts for as much as 32.7 percent of bandwidth traffic in the United States. Facts like these highlight how the cloud, with its growing services and user base, can provide added stability for businesses seeking to gain new use out of big data.

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