A massive rise in conversation around Big Data has flooded business leaders in every department and industry. As the volume of business data continues to grow at a rapid rate, business owners and executives feel an increasing pressure to find ways for Big Data to streamline operations and increase revenue. Marketers grow increasingly knowledgeable about how business users can take advantage of Big Data, and the conversation turns towards the complexity of a data-driven world, and the infinite opportunities that come with it.
To learn more about understanding the myth of big data, download this collaborative white paper, brought to you by Radius & BIME Analytics.
Building a Data-Driven Marketing Organization
1 What are marketing data?
Marketing data refer to business and contact information on target prospects. Before the explosion of data brought on by the Internet and social media, the data to which marketers had access about their customers were limited to broad firmographic categories. Because of limited data, marketers segmented customers based on vague attributes, including region, industry, and company size. Today’s marketers can access detailed, real-time insights about millions of businesses around the world. As access to data grows, so too do the segmenting options available to marketers.
Even the companies that gather or have access to large amounts of data on their customers still work within a silo kind of internal structure. Each department is analyzing its own stream of data, generating its own analysis of it and making its decisions that are connected in a way to the overall business strategy but disconnected to the findings of the other departments. This is an opportunity for them to mix all the internal data in order to generate true overall market data.
Last but not least, users of cloud-powered data analytics tools have the possibility to go beyond the internal data sources of their company and combine it with Open Data - a trend that is growing exponentially today due to the involvement of local and national organizations and governments (see a dashboard example done by BIME with data provided by the Missouri State Government). Assessing economic, demographic, sociological data through a cloud analytics application with internal sales and marketing data can make the user understand and anticipate patterns or trends and, thus, be on top of market hypes or cycles.
2 A whole new way to think about data
Where marketers used to rely entirely on basic firmographic data (business name, company size, industry classification, region, etc.) to segment prospects and customers, they can now identify prospects according to new insights, such as average online review rating or presence of a Facebook page.
Technology has also evolved the way marketers access data. Cloud-based SaaS solutions that offer real-time data have replaced static lead lists and bulk uploads.
Even though the customer profile may seem like the ultimate tool of marketers and the new types of data enhance this profiling beyond imagination today, analytics powered by Big Data generate opportunities to do much more than that - they pave the way for new segmentation techniques. Three major trends are emerging nowadays: individualization, clustering and dynamic profiling.
3 Zeroing in on the data that matter most
Because of the massive proliferation of marketing data, marketers have to trust technology to understand which data matter most to their sales pipelines–and the data that matter most will be the same for no two businesses.
Marketers have the opportunity to unify the data streams of their company departments as marketing is at the core of entire internal business cycle, from brand awareness to customer acquisition, retention and up to loyalty.
The fact that the marketing department can now connect their data with the data flows coming from the sales, financial, customer support or PR department to understand the whole cycle of impact of one of their activities means that they can now evaluate the relevance of a data source in the overall context of the company.
4 Making the right data investment
Marketers must get smarter about the data in which they invest. Data change too frequently to invest in static data, and marketers already sit atop valuable hoards of CRM and marketing automation. Marketers must use the data they have to surface insights about their prospects and customers, and use those insights to acquire prospects that resemble their best customers.
Since marketers nowadays are managing global campaigns over several time zones and heterogenous profiles, it is essential for them to work with real-time dashboards through which they can assess the potential changes in preferences of their customer clusters.