It's natural that the varied applications for big data and analytics would extend to endeavors such as marketing. After all, all forms of marketing and advertising are centered around being able to predict – or at least reasonably guess at – the behavior and choices of customers. It is similarly important to cull a wide base of knowledge regarding demographics that could become part of your customer or client base. Therefore, it stands to reason that meaningfully collected business intelligence – and the software tools necessary to gather and organize it – will be of the utmost advantage for a company's marketing department.
According to a recent piece in The Guardian, the question is not about whether big data is useful in this context as it is about what data your company should be collecting and how it should be applied. Taking considerations such as user privacy into account will be wise when going about these endeavors, as will establishing from the get-go how much data should be collected for optimal usefulness.
The "stocked to the gills" reservoir of social data
The Guardian points out that due to the now-ubiquitous nature of social media, the sheer amount of social data that is out there is comparable to "a reservoir that is stocked to the gills with water." While information sourced from social platforms is useful, the vast amount of it cannot all be taken in wholesale – it will be necessary for marketers to pick and choose what is most valuable. This could entail choosing which social posts to prioritize and quantify, whether these are Facebook wall posts, tweets, Instagram photos or additions to Pinterest boards.
Matthew Bayfield, group director of data for Ogilvy EMEA, a marketing agency, told the source that the most important thing regarding this data is proper analysis.
"The new way of thinking about it is more like trying to read the river, you're trying to spot patterns," Bayfield said. "There are numerous pots of information … that agencies can tap into to try and understand more about the consumer and what the consumer wants."
Customer relations and data collection
According to InfoWorld, while it is always important to treat customers or clients with a personalized touch in marketing, it's equally valuable to break them down as quantifiable sets of metrics when collecting data for marketing. Being able to gauge a consumer's likelihood of purchasing a given item at a given time does not equate to viewing patrons solely in terms of their bottom-line value.
The source states that in actuality, analytics and statistical models of customer behavior are what will allow companies to personalize their approach to individual consumers and give them what they want with greater frequency.