In recent years, Big Data has become a crucial technological tool in many businesses. Big Data allows those who utilise it to reveal patterns and trends within large, disorganised sets of data. Such a wide scope of insight can be extremely useful across a range of industries, which is why many businesses are finding ways to take advantage of it.

From improving healthcare outcomes to managing traffic levels in metropolitan cities, Big Data will soon change almost all aspects of our lives. For marketers, Big Data has the ability to make marketing campaigns far more powerful. Big Data enables marketers to draw detailed and insightful conclusions on their target consumers as sophisticated analytical programs organise large data sets. 

With marketing professionals continuously striving to improve campaign performance and generate greater customer value, Big Data will prove to be critical in building an effective strategy. If you’ve yet to embrace Big Data in your marketing strategy, keep reading to learn all that it can do.

What is “Big Data”?

Data in itself isn’t new, but the amount of data created since the beginning of the digital age has transformed the way we utilise it. Today’s society continuously generates massive amounts of data. In fact, studies have predicted that more than 90% of data in the world was created in just the past two years. In 2018, we leave digital footprints on anything we do that involves a digital transaction. We generate data anytime we go online, check social media, stream music or movies, or shop through an e-commerce site. 

“Big Data” refers to the enormous, rapidly expanding, varied and often unstructured sets of digitised data that is created on a daily basis. Until recently, usable data was limited to structured spreadsheets and databases. Anything that wasn’t formatted in a unified manner was deemed difficult to work with and was often ignored. Today’s advances in data storage and analytics mean that businesses can capture, store and assess many types of data, including photos, videos, audio recordings, written text and sensor data.

The greatest benefit of this doesn’t rely on how much data you have, but what you can do with it. With Big Data, you can take information from a number of different sources and analyze it to drive smart decision making. Decisions supported by massive amounts of data enable businesses to anticipate needs, mitigate risk, deliver more relevant products and personalized services. From beginning to end of the decision-making process, Big Data ensures that all decisions are well-informed.   

Big Data in Marketing

Of the hundreds of areas Big Data and analytics will revolutionise marketing, here are just a few of the ways it can impact your strategy:

1. Highly targeted campaigns and content

Big Data allows marketers to gain more information about consumer preferences, which in turn leads to more personalised digital and print campaigns. In the same way that Google and Facebook already offer up detailed targeting options, third-party vendors will offer the same. With this, marketers can tailor ads to an extremely specific target demographic, featuring products or services that are most appealing to that group of people based on their prior behaviour. 

Similarly, content creators and other creative professionals can personalise their material to the preferences of targeted consumers. For example, Netflix tailors its recommended content based on an analysis of previous customer actions. In addition, they can also customise thumbnails based on a history of customer preferences. These capabilities are powered by Big Data, which allows them to find trends in these qualitative data sets.

2. Improve speed to market

Because Big Data provides marketers with the ability to make decisions backed by data, they are able to make more informed decisions more quickly. It decreases the doubt marketers may have when creating new campaigns or other strategic decisions. At the same time, it can aid marketing teams in identifying emerging trends at a much quicker pace. It can find correlations in data sets much quicker than a human can, so marketers can bring cutting-edge campaigns to market at a much quicker speed. 

3. Improve accuracy in performance metrics

Archaic methods of measuring ad placements gave uncertain performance reports. Previous ways of thinking concurred that an ad “must have” been seen by one million people because an online media outlet has that many subscribers, or an aid campaign “should have” done well because it received 500 shares on social media. New analytical tools, powered by Big Data’s robust information, allow marketers to garner more accurate and insightful information regarding earned marketing placements. For example, they can gather insights such as: how many people clicked on a third-party post or article, website visits after reading that article, and even how many people bought a product or asked for additional information.

What’s Next for Big Data in Marketing?

As emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and Internet of Things rise in popularity, with more and more data available for them to learn from, Big Data can only get more and more important over time. 

As with most things, it’ll be the early adopters who have the most to gain, because it’ll give them a head start on the competition. There’s plenty of potentials for marketers to take advantage of Big Data in the here and now, and we’re likely to see a future in which each company’s capabilities are as crucial as their email list. 

Through Big Data, marketing teams will be able to adapt to the ever-changing media and economic environments, while grounding their content, strategies and ideas with analytics and research.