Big data’s role in the marketing mix

6th Sep 2016

Marketers rely on data – it’s the lifeblood of understanding a businesses’ customers, prospects and people. Today, big data and our willingness to share our personal information has allowed marketers to get ever closer to us as consumers; unlocking the power to enhance their marketing activities and achieve better results.

In the quest to answer some of the most vexing questions that have foiled marketers for years – including who buys what, when, at what price and why? – many have turned to big data for their answers. The powerful information at their disposal allows marketers to dig deeper than ever before to get a thorough understanding of their customers and prospects. However, the amount of data available to marketers is both an advantage and an obstacle.

The benefits of all this data are obvious. This includes allowing us to capture more information about people, better tailor products/services and improve our own decision making.But it’s finding the right data, in a sea of data, that poses the biggest challenge to marketers. The increasing granularity of information we collect about prospects and customers requires a different approach to how the data is structured, stored, accessed and analysed.

Not only must CMOs find new ways of understanding and predicting the purchasing behaviour of prospects and customers with the data, they must be more analytics oriented to achieve actionable insight and strategy. The ability to extract information from operational data, in real time, is critical for modern marketers. The faster marketing teams can harness insights from data, the greater their advantage in driving revenue, reducing costs and increasing efficiency.

As a result of these demands, there is a new breed of marketing professional emerging who understands the methodologies of traditional marketing but also is able to apply the new science of data mining and analytics to make modern marketing operate much more effectively. This tech savvy, marketing hybrid understands that the key to success is how a business manages its captured data. This new CMO is more frequently turning to alternative models of data storage and structure to make the most of big data. As part of this shift, the selection of the right database has quickly become a decisive factor when it comes to processing, accessing and evaluating structured and unstructured information.

Utilising a modern architecture for big data is essential to dealing with both the data and the real time analytics of modern marketing. Marketers are frequently turning to non-relational (NoSQL) technology for this purpose. This disruptive technology is well suited to the storage and fast access of unstructured data. At the same time, NoSQL unlocks the power to create and maintain a unified view of the customer – which has become increasingly important to marketers as customers expect a consistent experience, regardless of channel. NoSQL, with its flexible data model and elastic scalability, makes it easy to create a centralised repository of customer data.

In addition to the 360-degree customer view, NoSQL also allows for easy personalisation to make the right engagement with the right customer or prospect, at the right time. Central to personalised marketing is the ability to ingest, process, and utilise the amount of data necessary to create personalised experiences.

Choosing the right database allows marketers the ability to embrace new technology and utilise big data with less of the hassle involved with using legacy systems. With the potential to adapt to changes in the market and expand in size whenever necessary, NoSQL resolves issues of data management with little cost in terms of time and budget.

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