The words ‘big’ and ‘data’ can often be a scary concept for marketers, which is quite surprising if we consider the amount of analysis that takes place within marketing departments.
Maybe it is because ‘Big data’ seems bigger than it actually is like much industry jargon we often hear used. In actual fact the ‘big data revolution’ provides greater insights into our customer data and we mean more than just standard demographic data.
We can analyse browsing behaviour, click through rates, mobile device usage and even social media interactions but how can we use it correctly to enhance our marketing efforts?
The solution isn’t necessarily that we need more data, but instead the right data. Once you’ve segmented your data in the right way for your business, you create more targeted campaigns. So are big data and marketing the perfect match? We think so, and these 4 key points might convince you too.
Identify new market segments & channels
All marketers use basic demographic information such as age, gender and geographical location to define segments and personas. Big data can allow you to dig much deeper than this, letting you base your segments on factors like buying behaviour and consumer preferences.
Beyond narrowing down your existing segments, big data can also help discover new ones. For example, if your data insights tell you 20% of your customers are interested in sportswear, this could be a new segment. You can then use this knowledge to, for example, publish a ‘6 best trainer brands’ blog post knowing it will interest 20% of your visitors.
Not only can you create new segments using big data, you can also discover new channels to approach these segments through. You might uncover that one of your existing key segments use Twitter to get product information. You might not have thought to use Twitter at all, or not posting the relevant content. Big data allows you to use this new channel for gaining customers and leads to your site.
Allows you to target the right customers in the right way
Once you’ve identified your new segments you need to make sure you’re targeting each one individually. Personalisation is important, according to Gigya 86% of consumers say personalisation plays a role in their purchasing decisions. By using your big data effectively you can personalise not just by large demographic segments, but by interests and behaviours.
By knowing how your customers prefer to view your website, (e.g. on mobile, tablet or desktop) you can make sure your website is optimised for this platform. Using other data such as click through rates and acquisitions you can discover how people reach your website and therefore the most likely channels to advertise or promote yourself on. For example if you find you have a high number of search referrals for a certain phrase or segment you may use Google AdWords, but may find other customers are better targeted through promotional tweets.
By targeting different customers in ways that suit them individually you’re more likely to get higher engagement and lead rates. Targeting the right customers can be the difference between success and failure for any size business.
Optimise marketing spend and performance
Audience data as well as the information you’ve learnt about your acquisitions and referrals can allow you to optimise your marketing spend. By knowing how different audiences access your website you can make sure you focus advertising spend on these areas, increasing your ROI.
With real-time data on your segments behaviours and interests as well as the latest trends, you can deliver accurate and relevant advertisements more likely to reach the right customers and bring them to your site. Big data is great for decision making, whether this be your next pay per click or inbound campaign.
You can also continuously optimise your marketing campaigns performance by using data analytics to measure and analyse the outcomes. Using these insights in future campaigns or making small changes to your current campaign can help improve performance with the right target audience.
Measures the impact of campaigns more accurately
By analysing campaign data you can easily see the impact the campaign has had, not just in general, but for each of your personas or segments. By comparing the results of campaigns run at the same time you can discover what makes the biggest impact and more importantly where this impact is made.
For example what if your banner ads gets thousands of click throughs but no one converted on the landing page? This could happen for hundreds of different reasons, but by using big data you can narrow down and discover why you weren’t getting those conversions. Were they the wrong customers? Was there a high bounce rate meaning visitors couldn’t find what they needed? Were a high number repeat visitors? With data all of these questions and more can be answers meaning you can measure the success of your campaign more realistically.
Using your big data can sometimes seem overwhelming. It’s important to focus on certain parts of your data and remove what is not necessary. By making your data more manageable you will in turn be able to work with it.
We hope these four reasons have helped you understand what big data can do and see that data and marketing are the perfect match. Consider integrating the two for a more focused and successful marketing strategy. If you are lucky to have a Data Architect within your company then consider meeting them for a coffee to discuss options. If you don’t have that luxury, consider appointing a data contractor on a temporary basis. It’s all about knowing your data so you can get to know your customer.