Once upon a time, marketing campaigns were conducted mostly by gut feelings and instincts, supplemented by some incidental information. Experienced marketing professionals, learning lessons via anecdotal evidence, got a feel for what would probably work and what wouldn’t. Although the benefits of such experience shouldn’t be dismissed outright, it’s safe to say that it’s not really the best way to conduct consistently successful marketing.
Fortunately, we live in the information age, and things have changed. Thanks to new technology and new ideas, the old ways of hunches and intuition are slowly going away, to be replaced by data driven marketing and its partner in crime, Big Data, which comes up in the article “Data Driven Marketing via Data Unification”.
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Some Definitions Are Called For
By this time, everyone’s familiar with the term “Big Data”. It’s data that is characterized by the three large V’s: Volume, Variety, and Velocity. Lots of data from many sources, delivered at big-time speed in order to be available quickly and easily.
Big Data is an essential component of what’s called “data driven marketing”. The latter is defined as marketing insights and decisions arrived at as a result of the collection, integration, and analysis of data. Instead of relying on feelings and emotions, marketing professionals can use actual hard numbers to make decisions that are rooted in reality. These numbers and stats are gathered from many sources, both inside and outside of the company, sources such as web browsing tracking, customer surveys, online consumer panels, social media interaction monitoring, and online search information; in other words, the kinds of data that are found under the Big Data umbrella.
Marketing Like A Vulcan
Remember the original Star Trek television series? One of the cooler bits that ran through many of the episodes was the interplay between the emotional Doctor McCoy and the coldly logical Mister Spock. While the good doctor could always make a good case for emotions and instincts, it was the Vulcan’s logic and practical information that won the day more often than not.
That’s what’s happening with today’s marketing. Thanks to Big Data and the myriad means of collecting, processing, and analyzing it, marketing professionals can create promotions and campaigns that stand a greater chance of better returns and conversions thanks to available data that shows current trends, likes and dislikes, and preferences.
Moving Forward With Data Driven Marketing
If data driven marketing is the engine that pulls the marketing train, then Big Data is the coal or diesel fuel. Marketing and e-commerce professionals should take stock of what data resources they have, set goals for their promotions based on the data, create and launch the promotions, then make modifications to it based on new incoming data.
There’s no such thing as a sure thing. You can have all of the data in the world and yet still come up with a plan that simply doesn’t work. But what you do get with Big Data and data driven marketing is a greater likelihood of success, and any possible advantage is welcome in the cut-throat, competitive world of e-commerce and marketing.