Big Data continues to generate a lot of buzz across
virtually all industries. According to IDC, the value of the global Big Data
market has increased by 130 percent from 2014 to 2016 – from fifty to 115
billion Euro. By 2020, it is expected to hit the 180 billion Euro mark. Needless
to say, the importance of Big Data in the marketing word is likely only getting
bigger – both online and offline.
The marketer’s dilemma
Marketing decision-makers face a big dilemma. On the
one hand, they are supposed to embrace data-driven marketing by basing more
decisions on data. On the other hand, a number of studies show that the
benefits of Big Data are still questioned.
What the marketing world needs now is CHANGE
Losing sight of the bigger picture seems to be a
common side effect of a higher degree of specialization in different areas of
marketing. Therefore, what is important here are inter-departmental meetings to
make common decisions based on data.
Even though handling data seems like a fairly new idea
for companies with no current set rules, getting into the subject matter is
well worth it. The common goal must be to move from the established input-orientated
definition of Big Data, through the so called “3V-perspective” (volume,
velocity and variety of data), to a more output-oriented perspective, where the
concrete questions to be answered are defined before the data is gathered.
Through this we can develop a fourth V: Value.
From Big Data to Smart Data – the new 4P’s of
As established, it is not just the volume of data
gathered, but its precise selection and combination. The answer to questions
critical to marketing success is ‘Smart Data’, not Big Data. And since most
companies seem to have the same kind of questions, Smart Data practices are
just a scalable as Big Data ones.
Without absolute clarity concerning the decisions to be made, “metrics
that matter” can’t be clearly defined. Goals must be strategically defined
before gathering data. Only a small fraction of all available data has to
be gathered at a central location.
- PEOPLE: All
“Data-driven Marketing” is automatically a “Change
Project”. Responsible employees of all marketing divisions and
agencies need to work together to profitably implement recommendations for
Traditional data silos need to be cracked open and new processes must be
defined, which incorporate the expertise of all stakeholders. Mixing is
important. Through the combination of traditional market research data and
new, mostly digital, data, the value of Smart Data becomes apparent. This Smart
Data supports the much-needed process of change towards data-driven marketing.
Replace elaborate IT solutions with intelligent, streamlined and
significant data science concepts and dashboard solutions. Replace “we can
explain everything” with “we explain what we need to explain and can
The main benefits of Smart Data
- Transparency helps an
holistic understanding of the customer
It is crucial to understand all marketing
processes holistically. Optimizing individual sections without taking into
consideration the whole picture would probably be counterproductive.
- “Closer to
real-time” marketing control increases marketing efficiency
Transparency can help companies continually
increase their marketing efficiency. Ideally this happens through an
iterative learning process. The goal is not to immediately increase your
Marketing ROI, but to gradually improve and gain a better understanding of
the customer. This will lead to better brand management and thus a better
brand experience for customers.
- Data-driven marketing
planning leads the way from paid media to owned media-driven traffic
Through learning and created efficiencies, money
can be saved, which in turn can be used to create original, exciting
content and implement innovations that improve the customer experience.
Both better content and targeted innovations, based on data driven
marketing decisions, pave the way from paid-media-driven traffic to
owned-media-driven traffic. Online
Nobody working in marketing can avoid the topic
“data”; simply ignoring it could cause severe competitive
disadvantages. Dealing with available data has influenced all agencies involved
in value creation. Creative minds feel that their creativity is threatened by
data monitoring. However, the fact is that while creative, high-quality ideas
are still needed, their success can only be measured through data.
In the future, new sources of data will help to manage
marketing excellence – for instance through location-based marketing used to
predict regional marketing performance, or marketing automation which will
enable less complex tasks to be performed by semi-automatic processes.
What is essential in all of this, though, is for
businesspeople to stay virtuous. Data needs to be handled confidentially at all
times. At present, a marketing decision maker’s success is judged not only by
whether they can offer their customers the best experience possible, but also
whether they can further their business success.
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