Become a Better Marketer with Big Data

Technology is getting faster and smarter. Computers are now able to recognize and learn patterns, and make decisions in real-time. Their improved analytic and decision-making abilities allow them to outperform humans in areas such as medical diagnoses, legal recognition and customized marketing campaigns.

The era of big data has only furthered the usefulness of computers. Marketers now have massive amounts of customer information at their disposal. Using big data analytics allows markers to gain deeper insights and create more detailed models to improve marketing strategies. However, this isn’t an easy transition. Traditionally, marketers had pieces of information about their audience and ads, but mainly relied on intuition when making decisions and building business strategies.

One of the major problems with our intuition is that it’s incredibly biased. We may not realize it, but working behind the scenes during our thought process are so many variables capable of affecting human emotion and clouding judgement. Anything from political preferences to family history can distort the gut check. We can easily confuse emotions with instincts, and end up coming to poor conclusions. Computers (for the moment) don’t have emotional dilemmas during analysis, which is why they’ve become much more involved and trusted in the decision-making process.

While this is new to many people, those looking to improve their marketing careers would be wise to pay attention to big data trends. Big data will have an increasingly important role in the future of marketing. Those who familiarize themselves with the various tools available will put themselves, and their companies, ahead of the competition.

Here are just a few ways big data will help marketers improve:

Customer engagement

One of the most important elements in marketing is knowing your customer. Big data delves deeper into customer understanding than past approaches. It delivers insights into who your customers are, what they want, how they like to be connected and when they are most likely to be receptive. Changes in technology, especially mobile and social media, mean consumers are more vocal, confident and informed than ever before. Generic demographic information is insufficient in building the right strategies to engage with customers. Companies will need to dig deeper, and learn psychographics, preferences and other motivators.

All of this improves engagement on two levels. First, customers feel a stronger connection to brands as these brands appear to understand their specific needs. This leads to an increase in trust. Second, because companies are reacting to customer demands, customers feel a sense of control. With the right data and effective analysis, organizations can truly understand what marketing actions consumers will respond to best. If you know your customers and serve them well, they are always willing to pay more.

Customer retention and loyalty

Building trust and brand loyalty is one of the most effective ways of improving customer retention. Big data can help marketers discover what influences customer loyalty and then make adjustments to keep them coming back over and over again. The mounds of information collected from customer interactions on social media, purchasing patterns and even browsing history can offer great insights on what customers are excited about. This sets a great foundation for building an effective loyalty program.

When companies can apply the right filters and learn the specific motivators and interests of their customers, they can offer more enticing deals and programs for customers. Not only will this increase the likelihood of them spending more, but also making them feel valued as individuals. Big data opens the doors to a gold mine of customer data that could be used to build loyalty, improve retention and increase profits.

Marketing optimization/performance

Big data offers tremendous potential for marketers looking to optimize their different channels and improve performance. Learning from customer experiences and having an intimate knowledge of the user experience from start to finish will allow companies to build seamless solutions across their different channels. Also, advanced predictive analytics can determine who responds best to which ads or marketing efforts. The same analytics can create customized ads to match the needs of individuals. Big data analytics offer real-time results and insights, which is much more useful than waiting to see weekly sales results. The key to strong performance is speed and accuracy, and big data satisfies both.