Digital world is producing an incredible amount of information with the ever-increasing volume and variety. This data is crucial for understanding the user behavior and it is becoming the new leverage point for the big-data-driven decision making
Big data often refers to the quantity of information, so large and complex, that it can not be processed with traditional methods. The main challenges are analysis, capture, data curation, search, sharing, storage, transfer, visualization, querying, updating and information privacy, summed up in one crucial one: extracting value from this data. The goal is enabling a big-data-driven decision making that leads to a operational efficiency and reduced costs and risk.
Digital users today, always connected on multiple devices, produce a large amount of data – online purchase data, click-through rates, browsing behavior, social media interactions, mobile device usage, geolocation data, etc. This information, if structured and analyzed, represents an incredible opportunity for marketers – it provides insight into user behavior and can be integrated into marketing strategy, especially in these 3 key areas (sas.com):
- Customer engagement – big data can deliver insight into not just who your customers are, but where they are, what they want, how they want to be contacted and when
- Customer retention and loyalty – big data can help you discover what influences customer loyalty and what keeps them coming back again and again
- Marketing optimization/performance – with big data, you can determine the optimal marketing spend across multiple channels, as well as continuously optimize marketing programs through testing, measurement and analysis
However there are numerous issues to be resolved before marketing industry learns how to use the big data to its full potential. In the recent insight by eMarketer, the lack of overall big data strategy and insufficient technical skills are singled out as the main reasons for the stall. In a survey conducted by advisory and risk management firm DNV GL and GfK Eurisko, many organizations are still struggling to determine how best to apply the philosophy to their own businesses.
The survey, conducted in February 2016 on 1000 marketing professionals, shows that only 50% respondents had taken ”at least one” action, referring to big data activity like enhancing information management or integrating new big data technologies and methods, but more than 34% said there had been “no actions undertaken so far” by their companies, suggesting many companies still struggle to understand how to apply big data to their operations.
Furthermore when asked about barriers impeding their organizations from taking advantage of big data, more than 24% of respondents mentioned obstacles like a lack of an overall strategy, while more than 23% mentioned insufficient technical skills.
Finally, even though these challenges may seem difficult to overcome, the potential that big data unlocks can be “the most transformative paradigm shift to hit sales and marketing teams since the advent of the telephone”, in the words of Mick Hollison, Sales and Marketing Strategist. (inc.com), that optimistically concludes that with Big Data,
“…sales and marketing can finally become more about math than magic.”