Big Data: A Huge Challenge and Vast Opportunity
Strong marketing analytics can be the key to differentiating your business as the world evolves and business practices become more competitive. The challenge is to avoid drowning in a sea of data.
The hyper growth of business analytics has made it difficult to focus on the data that truly matters. “Big Data” metrics can be overwhelming and distracting. What data should you collect? By defining and measuring your goals, you can determine what data to focus on and what to avoid. You can then analyze, interpret, and communicate meaningful data in a digestible and effective manner. The end goal of data and marketing analytics is to develop analysis and make evidence-based recommendations for future improvement.
The Value and Evolution of Big Data
Although definitions of big data can vary, almost everyone sees its value and will continue to invest in the future. Advertising agencies (including DMW) have noted the importance of data analytics in their client work. According to IDC, investments in big data are projected to rise 174% in four years from $58.6 billion (2015) to $101.9 billion (2019).
That estimated growth is huge. This trend will eventually change the course of how we do business. Content is king, unless there is data, then content becomes the prince and data the reigning king.
With the evolution in tracking, data, and analytics – combined with the projected increase in spend – we know that data and analysis is going to be the next shift with marketing. This will lead to better consumer analysis which will impact the overall experience, ability to forecast sales and revenue more accurately, optimize marketing and operational costs, as well as monetize and sell customized solutions. We will be able to solve the marketer’s problems of today, which include real-time analysis; search, email and social monitoring in contrast to corporate information; and better analysis of website data, visualization of the data, and customer segmentation (CompTIA).
What’s Driving Growth in Big Data?
Marketers want to own data to forecast, build models, segment, and benchmark. They can either apply these solutions and findings to their own efforts or sell them to needy buyers. Three things make this possible:
- Simplifying complexity through visualization. “Big Data” is no longer a stockpile of raw numbers. In 2015, Harvard Business Review conducted a study asking “what analytics tools does your organization currently use or intent to use in two years’ time?” Seventy percent said that they plan to use “data discovery and visualization.” The ability to visualize your business using more sophisticated analytics will help drive growth and innovation over the next 5 years.
- The affordability of cloud storage. According to Microsoft, the average cost of cloud storage is up to 60 percent less than traditional server storage solutions. Companies are transitioning from storing data in physical hardware to much more affordable and robust cloud-based solutions. Increased capacity reduces the need to merge/purge old records and instead leverage them to make future predictions. Cloud-based solutions make it possible to collect mobile and geo-based information in order to start marrying the online to offline data.
- The ability to match non-personally identifiable information. Cloud storage solutions allow for easier data matching while being PII (personally identifiable information) compliant. Cloud storage easily allows for PII to be stripped, assigned a unique ID, and then matched and reattached to personal records using key variables. This is essential to making data actionable, connecting offline to online marketing and sales, and being able to monetize and sell useful data.
These innovations and ones yet to come will continue to empower marketers adept at collecting and analyzing big data.
Big Data Will Continue to Shape the Future of Marketing
We now have an idea of how data analytics has emerged and improved our business and marketing effectiveness. What’s next? The future, especially new technologies and emerging solutions, is rapidly and constantly changing. Data analytics will be used to make big improvements to efficiencies, overall consumer experiences, and how to predict and model the future.
In January 2017, Forbes gave their 6 Big Data Predictions, which included the below (Press, Gil).
- Big data analytics will soon surpass $200 billion.
- There is gold in the mountains of data, raw data will be bought and sold as well as enterprises will begin valuing their data to become a source of revenue.
- Creating a data-driven culture will continue to be a challenge.
- Cloud vendors will increasingly compete with traditional analytics providers.
- Chief Data Officers will lead their enterprise’s data monetization initiatives.
- Data translators will proliferate.
Guess work, gut instinct, and the Old Boys Club have been replaced by changes in society, economic factors, global and cultural expansions, and technology. Technology has completely changed the way that marketing departments and agencies work, allocate dollars, and think about the overall consumer experience. Data is the driving force to making educated and informed decisions that have predictive outcomes. We know more about technology, data, and analytics today than the ad men of the 1960’s. But future generations will leverage information that we don’t even know exists today.
DMW has a proven track record using marketing analytics for our clients’ campaigns for maximum success. We know what data to track, how to analyze and interpret it, and most importantly, how to apply it. Learn more about what we can do for your next direct response campaign.