The emergence of big data in marketing

Have you had to make an update to your Buyer Persona in the last few months? Getting all the data you can manage and using that information to update your Buyer Personas is a bit of work. Many businesses are still using this method to get most of their information.

This method still works and is very successful, but there is a new method of getting your customer information on the horizon. This method is Big Data. Big Data gets defined as:

Big data is a field that treats of ways to analyze, systematically extract information from, or otherwise deal with data sets that are too large or complex to be dealt with by traditional data-processing application software.

Benefits of big data

By using Big Data, businesses can get more specific with their market research. For example, with website cookie data businesses can completely understand how users are interacting with their website. How clients are arriving at the website and what website referred to the user.

All this information can be incredibly helpful and provide you with endless amounts of data on what your customers want and need. Rather than focusing on the small amount of data you can process yourself. Using Big Data you are able to look at the same information but at a much larger scale.

  • Getting more granular on larger data amounts
  • Easily visually represent this data using Big Data Visualisation
  • Understand your current market position better. Using Big Data you can better understand what products consumers are purchasing, giving you an edge over your competition
  • Controlling online reputation. Big Data can easily do sentiment analysis of your brand online. There are already tools like Crimson Hexagon that use AI to analyse consumer sentiment.

Pitfalls of data analysis

There are also pitfalls, not just related to big data but to data analysis in general. Many businesses tend to consider data as a commodity and want to use as much data as possible and analyse data as fast as possible. This is problematic if you have a large and varied database to analyse.

Other pitfalls of data analysis are:

  • Data Overload - This may seem counter-intuitive to big data. However, too much data is crippling as well. The estimation is that by 2020 we will have 44 Zettabytes of data that the world creates and copies annually. To put that into perspective, that is 44 trillion Gigabytes.
  • Segmentation issues - Big Data provides so much information, that businesses sometimes have difficulty segmenting their database effectively.
  • Privacy Concerns – Make sure your data collection efforts are as transparent as possible
  • Make sure your data collection is as transparent and secure as possible.
  • Make sure customers know you are collecting data, and what you do with it.
  • Not also using First Party Data Collection – It lets your customers know what information is being collected and how
  • Not Put the customer first – Make sure the customer can control how their data is being used.

Big data is going to become increasingly important in the future. Being able to work with big data visualisation tools is going to be a skill marketers will need to have. If you are looking into starting a marketing career, do keep big data analysis in mind.


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