In today’s digital landscape, consumers are very aware of the amount of data being collected about them. From internet cookies tracking actions, to mobile data being used for location based services, a huge amount of information is being collected at every moment. According to PWC, consumers now create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day with 90 per cent of the world’s data being created in the last two years alone.
As the collection and analysis of data has become commonplace, so has its role in business. The use of data to improve services to customers has transformed many businesses, with marketing being particularly impacted. The days of marketing campaigns consisting purely of mail-outs taking a scattergun approach should be long gone. Data analysis allows marketers to more intelligently target their audiences – helping them reach the right people at the right time with the right content. As a result of this, marketing priorities have changed and the role of technology has become absolutely vital – at least for those who know how to use it properly and are prepared to invest the time and effort to reap the rewards.
Many marketers now use Marketing Automation software to automate repetitive tasks, to implement simple tasks cheaply and improve efficiency. For example, such solutions can help marketers manage outbound marketing campaigns, automating the process of identifying targets and sending out content.
“Big Data” analysis in particular can help marketers get in front of the right people based on the information being collected. For example, by analysing sales data, marketing teams can begin to understand who their customers really are and group them – assessing everything from age, gender and location to income, education and previous purchases. That kind of insight is invaluable – helping drive sales and, ultimately, boost revenue.
However, if not done well, automation can result in people being inundated with texts or automated phone calls which are not relevant to them. Worst of all is where the customer does something unexpected – like responding to an approach – that the system goes haywire. Automation alone is not the answer, it is intelligence which brings true value and it is vital that businesses put it at the heart of marketing operations. The basics of good Marketing have not changed in 50 years – what has changed is the information at our fingertips to aid our decision making.
Despite its benefits Big Data is not without its challenges. The main problem faced is that it costs time and money to properly analyse data. Many businesses may not have the resource or expertise to truly reap full reward from Big Data but there are some processes they can put in place to ensure they are able to tap into data intelligence.
There are five key things that marketing teams of all sizes, and with all budgets, should be doing…