Over the last few years, technological advancement has really changed the way marketing data is used. It has become more specific and marketers now focus on individual preferences instead of market trends. Historic action has paved way for a customized one-on-one engagement between the seller and the buyer. Gone are the days when people used to replace their mobile phones only after they stopped working. The younger generation replaces their android phones within 3-4 months after finding some new features in a newer model.
They keep an eye on the latest developments and upgrade deals and even pre-order the latest iPhone as soon as a launch date is announced. All these developments speak volumes about the changing trends and customer behaviors.
But along with the nature of data, the volume and types of data is also increasing with a staggering speed. According to a recent report from IBM, 90% of the world’s data has been created in only the last two years! This statistic may leave you shocked, but considering the growth of social media platforms and proliferation of mobile devices, it’s not a huge surprise.
So, one thing has been established that there is no stopping the data explosion. It will continue with full vigor. But, are you equipped to stay abreast with the increasing demands of marketing and personalized content?
This data explosion can act as a gold mine for the marketer, but only if it is captured, stored and analyzed sensibly. This is when big data tools make life easier for the data analyst, and make it possible for the marketer to use the information effectively so future marketing campaigns can be driven successfully.
Today, big data is the new buzzword in marketing. And why shouldn’t it be. After all it has revolutionized the way organizations operate and generate revenue. As per a survey, more than 78% of marketers use data-driven marketing that is either embedded or strategic in nature. So, let us take a look at how big data has managed to change marketing and why you should redesign your marketing strategies to reflect big data analytics.
1- Experience firsthand customer insight
Big data is closely knitted with social media. All social media platforms like Facebook posts and reviews, tweets and pictures shared on Pinterest are accessible through big data tools. By analyzing these avenues, you can experience raw and direct customer insight. Learn what your customers want to see next and what kind of improvement they want in your product.
Another relevant term that is used to gather customer insight through social media, is called ‘social listening’. Social listening is defined as the process of analysis and study of digital conversations of customers to understand how they feel about a particular brand.
Social listening is a free tool that can be quantified by using the cursory Google search and also through Google Adwords. This a valuable asset for the marketing team, as they can access the customer directly and understand their pain points. Customer feedback is used to design marketing strategies in a much more effective way.
Big data analysis combined with social listening can do wonders for your marketing strategy. You can prioritize and evaluate customer feedback and design more appealing offers that apply to your product and services.
2- Predict your customers’ needs
Before the advent of big data, the marketing team used a hit or miss approach to guess what will the customer want next. For example, a person who just bought a new motorcycle will buy a helmet next. However, this technique doesn’t always work.
Getting tons of data that represent customer behavior patterns and recent purchase history can help marketing teams predict their needs in a much more efficient way. One of the best case-study of how big data is used to predict customer needs is Amazon.
Amazon is a pioneer in e-commerce and has one of the best personalized recommendation system. It is built using big data gathered from the millions of customers who shop online from Amazon every day.
According to psychologists, the power of suggestion works like magic during shopping. By putting forward a preferred product, you can increase the customer’s desire to buy that too, regardless of whether it fulfills any real need or not.
This is the actual science behind impulsive advertising and Amazon has used it to their benefit. Amazon has increased its revenue by 20% by using big data analysis to predict the customer’s needs before they even realize it.
Another way to predict customer behavior is by tracking their movements on your website. Analyze the points where a customer pauses to scroll. Stock this point in your conversion tunnel with recommended products, and increase the chances of them getting bought on their way towards the checkout.
3- Come up with customer responsive products
Customer service is a lot more complicated on an e-commerce website. In the past, customer service was limited to face-to-face or phone interactions. But now it includes internet-based actions that hardly require any human-to-human interaction.
Automated customer service can also give you valuable insight about what your customer thinks about your brand. By using big data, you can tabulate and analyze data points from the information collected through each transaction. And this data doesn’t just help you improve customer service, but also lets you create more customer responsive products.
You can improve your product design by implementing the feedback given by your customers. After all they are the users. Use surveys and analyze buying habits to learn more about what they actually want to see in their ideal product.
4- Provide a personalized shopping experience to all your customers
Big data has impacted all areas of retail, especially the way people perceive online shopping. Nowadays, people prefer online shopping rather than going to an actual brick and mortar store.
A personalized shopping experience is no longer a luxury that only e-commerce giants can offer. With big data tools, all retailers can make their customers feel special and help them spend a bit more!
Big data has made sales and marketing teams realize that every customer is unique. So, it is useless to create a generic strategy across the board.
Big data insights help your sales team study each customer and learn about a customer’s spending habits and preferences in real time. Make your customer feel like rock stars, and they will return to you again. This cycle will convert into loyalty very soon.
5- Better targeted marketing
Big data has made it possible to segment and target individual customers according to their experiences. By using behavioral targeting and optimization techniques, it can be transformed into a relatively simple process.
By using segmented customer data, you can create customized marketing campaigns that cater to the requirements of a certain group of online shoppers. Big data is used to identify customers according to demographic trends so that you can successfully cater to the customer’s needs based on their age groups, location, income levels and ethnicity – all of which are important factors that will affect your overall sales.
This is why big data has made it possible for marketers to come up with more intelligent targeted marketing campaigns. 70% of advertisers described their first party targeted results as good or excellent, after using big data analysis.
Even though big data analysis isn’t 100% accurate, but it does provide a strong platform for marketers to build their future marketing strategies. Targeted marketing can do wonders for your business if you know what is the requirement of your customer beforehand. Send them a personalized message that tailors their specific needs, and they will be regular customers for lifetime!
6- Pinpoint the best pricing
There is no doubt that pricing and marketing go hand in hand. No matter how many leads you drive towards your website, they cannot be converted unless your pricing is market competitive. Your products should be reasonably priced while still giving buyers great value and you, profit.
By using big data, you can identify the effect of price variation and its impact on your overall sales. It is easier to monitor and analyze which prices suit both – you and the customer. Big data has made it possible for marketers to adjust prices in real time. For example, movie tickets are regularly priced throughout the week for the average buyer, but for the price-sensitive customer certain coupons and weekend deals are available. The key is to not let your customer go so easily, and big data analysis is making that happen.
7- Lower your running costs
While big data has the power to provide you all the information you need about your customers, it also has the potential to reduce your business costs. That’s why more than 65% of marketing executives claim that data-driven marketing is the key to success in today’s competitive global economy.
You can use big data to identify poorly performing advertisements and eliminate the wasteful aspects of marketing. It will not only save funds, but will also give you an idea of which strategies should you refrain from in the future.
Furthermore, big data can also help improve your marketing forecasts and planning. If you are using the insights from big data effectively, you will automatically know what to produce and how much to produce.
This can save you from the hassle of having too much stock in hand and you will know exactly how much inventory you will need at a particular time. Big data analysis can predict the optimal time for you to purchase inventory, saving you from unneeded inventory carrying costs and tied up capital.
Big data analysis can help you make some smart decisions in your business, that will multiply your profits in no time.
According to a recent survey conducted by Professor Christine Moorman and Sr. Professor of Business Administration T. Austin Finch with Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, marketing experts in Fortune 1000 and Forbes 200 plan to invest even further on marketing analytics in the next three years – almost as much as 60%.
Marketing analytics used together with big data can change the game for many organizations by helping them re-evaluate their marketing campaigns, giving them insights into their clients’ shopping habits, latest market trends and customer needs etc.
It enables the marketers to make evidence-based marketing decisions, rather than vague assumptions.
The implementation of big data exceeds our imagination. Even politicians are using big data to identify their target audience and using it to reach out the ‘silent-majority’. Big data is even being used to cut down pollution, decrease crime rates and generate energy in smart cities.
So, there are no boundaries when it comes to using big data in your marketing strategies. Use it to leverage internal existing data that you already have, as well as external information that is received from third-party vendors. Combine them to fuel your marketing efforts towards the right direction.
According to a report conducted by McKinsey Global Institute, if a retailer uses big data to its full capacity, it could increase the revenue by more than 60%. This statistic is enough to make you realize what an empowering asset big data is. Big data can highlight the effectiveness of your marketing efforts in real-time, making it easier for you to identify if you are spending more than required on an advertising campaign. The transparency offered by big data is unmatched, and can make your life much easier.
This is why, a data-driven approach towards marketing is an absolute necessity in this age. With the increasing demands of customers, there is no other way that you can offer then a personalized and focused shopping experience. But, in order to create an effective data-driven marketing strategy, you should make sure that your data is up to date and is of high quality. This is where a good data management solution can help you out. Choose one that works best for you, from the wide variety of options available online and watch your profits soar in no time.
About Michelle Joe: Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on twitter: @michellejoe524