In the world of digital marketing, one single fact rings true — data is everywhere. Every day, the world produces 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data, a number that seems unfathomable to most. While this may be an intimidating figure, it presents marketers with an opportunity to get their hands dirty, digging into the sea of available customer data to deliver exceptional cross-channel experiences.
However, as the results of our recent survey on big data indicate, 60% of those questioned noted that they do not currently have or they’re unsure if their company has a specific strategy in place for handling the challenges big data presents. Results of the survey can be downloaded here.
“Our survey shows that marketers are relying more on social media vehicles and location-based information to gain more insight into consumer behavior and drive successful digital marketing campaigns,” said Stephan Dietrich, president, Neolane, Inc. “While some organizations are planning to hire Data Scientists to manage customer data, not all have that luxury. Regardless of resources, all organizations need to consider a marketing technology platform that can both manage and analyze critical data. While having the right people and processes in place is essential, with the right technology marketers can independently derive value from Big Data to drive successful campaigns and immediate ROI.”
In this post, we’ll take a look at the emergence of big data, what marketers need to know about it, and some key trends and predictions for big data that will have an impact on online marketing during the year 2013.
Big Data’s Effects on Online Marketing
Big data is infiltrating almost every aspect of marketing — one space in particular that’s seeing its effects is the world of SEO. A recent Search Engine Land post highlights a few specific aspects of SEO that are being affected by the amount of data becoming available to marketers.
First, marketers have moved away from small, focused keyword target lists. In fact, the online space has become so competitive for marketers that appearing in search results for highly-competitive terms can be extremely challenging. This has forced marketers, in many cases, to take a long-tailed approach to get assets to appear in search results and ultimately gain visibility.
Next, blended search results need to be taken seriously. The post mentioned above shows 8 of 10 high-volume searches include universal search results. This presents marketers with an opportunity to get maximum coverage for a keyword term through images, videos, and social profiles appearing in search.
The blended search results force marketers to break out from the “siloed” approach, incorporating and analyzing data from several digital channels when thinking about online and search marketing strategy. With big data and big data software, marketers can now interpret paid search, natural search, as well as social to create a holistic search strategy.
Real-Time Big Data Marketing Emerging Through Mobile
Mobile has become an increasingly important marketing channel for a number of reasons, namely that consumers spend a significant amount of time connected to their devices, checking email, social networking, or just surfing the web. As a result, marketers have the ability to reach consumers at all times through a variety of techniques.
However, with predictive models with big data in place, marketers have the ability to leverage gathered mobile data on the customer and turn it into a well-timed message or other user experience through their device. This can be done with a simple three step process: information collection, interpretation, and delivery.
How Big Data Can Improve Customer Satisfaction
Social media has always carried the potential to be a powerful customer service and satisfaction channel. At social’s inception, brands had the ability to create profiles, allowing them to foster dialogue through social messages. However, big data has brought social media for brands and customer satisfaction to the next level.
These conversations, as well as general social media activity through profile analysis, could give marketers the ability to take things a step further by predicting the future. What do we mean by this? Data collection of dialogues, “likes,” tweets, and other social shares allow marketers to paint a portrait of their customers and potentially predict their next purchase or interest.
The result is a happy customer. Everybody enjoys good customer service — big data allows marketers to make each customer feel unique by gathering data, interpreting the data, and delivering well-targeted messages or ad campaigns.
Act Now, the Data and Opportunity Will Not Wait
Marketers not collecting and analyzing big data may be missing serious ROI opportunities.
Though there may be an infinite amount of data available (presenting marketers with the challenge of collecting and analyzing such data), if they play their cards right, marketers will see sales opportunities and satisfied customers waiting on the other side.
Don’t get left behind — get your big data strategy in place today and reap the rewards tomorrow.