Big Data has in some ways been used in marketing since its inception. In fact historically it has been one of the most disrupted business units from the proliferation of new technologies and new idea.
From the customers who are sent specific emails, through to how people see individual ads on websites, billboards or TV sets, it is the roadmap for every successful marketing campaign today.
It is generally thought that data has specific uses in marketing departments and the top three responses to a survey by 2nd Watch about this said that 29% used it to better understand customer insight, 18% to improve the supply chain and 16% to power campaigns and promotions. Therefore, the most common use for data is helping to understand exactly what a customer wants from your company and then either creating a new product to suit them or marketing an existing product in a way that appeals to a particular demographic.
This is taking a very traditional view of how data is used by marketing teams though, and doesn’t take into account significant other aspects that have impacted marketing in big ways. Below we look at the three most overlooked effects of a wider use of data.
One of the clear benefits of using so much more data is that it needs to be cleaner in order to make it effective, something that every data driven marketer should have learnt early on. As soon as the first email comes back saying ‘You got my name wrong’, the database should have been validated and re-validated as often as possible.
Through this necessary validation, the data being used by the marketing team (and wider company) will become more accurate and thus far more effective. As the marketing team are often the ones who directly deal with the people who’s data may have been input wrong, their involvement is one of the primary reasons for database validation.
In addition to having a more in-depth knowledge of their user base, marketing teams suddenly know anything about them in a considerably shorter space of time. This is because with thousands of potential actions recorded and retrievable, it is possible to see how many of your customers use a certain system, where they are or almost anything else about them at the click of a button.
This means that strategies can be instantly changed through informed decisions at any time, moving marketing into a far more agile and adaptive position.
As well as having an impact on how decisions and strategies are changed, the use of data means that the global decisions about marketing can be made from a single location, with the understanding of local culture being made far clearer through the data presented.
This is not to say that there is not a necessity to have a thorough knowledge of local issues and traditions, but one of the most important aspects is knowing exactly what people like, not the perception of it. Through an accurate database and powerful data gathering, the ability to see this kind of information and make global decisions is possible.