Decorative pattern

Big data: A guide for marketing managers

January 2022

Big data. As a term, it’s been around for a few years now, but many marketers are still unsure how to leverage its full capabilities.

If your experience of interrogating big data has thus far proved unsuccessful, join us as we explore the topic in greater detail – offering practical tips to help you utilise this invaluable asset as part of your ongoing marketing strategy.

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What is big data and why does it matter to marketers?

Big data refers to the amount of data businesses accrue as part of day-to-day operations, and how such information is utilised. Whether it’s customer insights, sales records, or operating metrics; never before have businesses had such a high volume of data at their disposal, so it’s vital that it’s put to good use.

From a marketer’s perspective, big data represents a wealth of opportunity. With powerful insights to be gained at every turn, marketing professionals can turn big data into a major usable asset, and one with the potential to positively impact every area of a firm’s operations.

Of course, amassing big data doesn’t automatically mean enhanced marketing. A strategic, integrated approach is needed to turn data insights into effective marketing action, and all that begins by gaining a deeper understanding of the opportunities that lie in big data.

How big data can benefit your marketing strategy

Bringing insights to every corner of your operation, big data offers near limitless possibilities for marketers. When combined with an integrated marketing strategy, big data analysis and discovery can bring a wealth of benefits, including:

  • Enhanced customer engagement – big data can help you get to know your customers on a deeper level, from their likes and dislikes to their pain points and requirements. This allows for an improved customer experience, which enhances overall engagement to drive sales, revenue, and brand advocacy.
  • Increased customer retention – not only will your customers be more engaged with your brand, but big data provides the ideal platform for bolstering retention – helping you draw customers back time and again. With granular insights into customer behaviour and requirements, you can create a marketing strategy that targets customers at opportune moments, for a significant uplift in repeat custom and overall retention.
  • Optimised marketing channels – if you have already invested heavily in a multi-channel marketing strategy, utilising big data will help maximise the ROI these avenues generate. With the right software, you can leverage big data at a microscopic level, refining and enhancing all areas of your existing strategy.
  • Personalised experiences – with data capture tools allowing marketers to accrue reams of customer data from a single interaction, it’s now possible to utilise such insights to offer personalised experiences to individual users. Data such as geographic location, preferred products, time of visit, and a user’s browsing history can all be used to deliver a personalised experience, which can be a highly effective way to drive leads and revenue on e-commerce platforms.
  • Improved outcomes and alleviating pain points – have you noticed that customers drop off your site when they reach a certain point in the customer journey? Perhaps your visitor numbers aren’t amounting to actual revenue? Big data analysis enables marketers to troubleshoot a site from the ground up, with a huge raft of customer insights that can be used to identify and fix potential sales roadblocks.
  • An optimised marketing strategy – marketing managers who have already begun utilising big data are seeing notable gains in relation to their overall marketing strategy. Whether email, SEO, or paid media, big data has a role to play in all key marketing areas, with experts predicting that data analysis of this kind will have an ever-larger role to play in the future success of integrated marketing campaigns.

What type of big data is most valuable to marketers?

Half the battle in utilising big data is picking the wheat from the chaff and deciding which assets are worth your attention. Remember that not all data will be of value, so you need to understand where to look and what to look for.

Below, we take a look at three critical big data assets that are particularly valuable from a marketing perspective.

  • Customer information – as you may have gathered from the above, customer discovery is one of the principal benefits of big data, so any information you can gather about new or repeat customers is sure to be of value. Some of the most common means of accruing customer data include site analysis, customer surveys, social media engagement, point of sale data, and loyalty programme sign-ups, so be sure to cover all bases.
  • Financial data – the financial state of play of the wider business has a significant role to play in leveraging big data, so any insights you can glean from accountancy tools will be of value. From real-time revenue analysis to sales, losses, and profit reporting, analysing financial data can be a powerful way to align your marketing activity with the business’ long-term goals.
  • Operational insights – big data isn’t solely useful for bolstering marketing efforts. Marketing managers are in a unique position wherein they can spot usable operational insights within large data sets, which can then be reported to other functions and departments. For example, if out-of-stocks are proving a hindrance from a customer experience perspective, this can be relayed to logistics and inventory management personnel, who can look to improve supply and improve order fulfilment.

What are the challenges of using big data?

Leveraging big data is challenging. But with a considered approach, marketing professionals of all levels can better utilise business data to drive positive change.

Below, we consider some of the biggest challenges in using big data, and how to overcome them.

  • What to do with the information – understanding how to transform big data insights into effective action can prove a stumbling block for many marketers. The trick here is to keep objectives front and centre, and consider how data can be used to achieve key business goals.
  • Investing in the right analytics tools – without the right analytics tools, it’s impossible to analyse and extract even surface-level insights from your data sets, so it’s important to invest in the appropriate platform. Look for platforms that offer data visualisation, automated modelling, and intuitive drag-and-drop functionality to make day-to-day data analysis streamlined and effective.
  • Becoming overwhelmed by the volume of data – tackling a new big data discovery project can be overwhelming, with reams of data contributing to a loss of focus and clarity. To combat this, try to focus on small gains and objectives first, and don’t run before you can walk. The more experience you gain in interrogating data sets, the simpler and more effective the exercise will become.

Do you need help presenting big data findings to drive enhanced marketing campaigns forward? Perhaps you’re looking for a new partner to provide technology-led marketing services? At Perivan, our experts can take your marketing strategy to the next level. For more information or to speak to a member of our team, visit the homepage.

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Decorative pattern