We’re in the digital age, with thousands of gadgets at our disposal: digital television, tablets, smartphones, apps, social networks and e-commerce, just to mention a handful.

A few years ago, before digital revolution came about, the work of a marketer was to create catchy and captivating ads for print media, television and billboards. But the digital age compelled marketers to evolve and take advantage of technology to distribute their messages.

Marketers today have a different kind of job: collecting data, crunching numbers and statistics, deriving trends, targeting individuals (rather than masses) and finding the right channel among the hundreds to reach out to their target clients.Click To Tweet

This may sound quite overwhelming compared with previous strategies, but the opposite is actually true: the digital age has brought with it tons of data, which marketers can leverage to make better strategic marketing decisions through more accurate insights. Consumers are therefore served more useful content through ads, thanks to better clarity about what they want.

How big data is being used to improve the results of marketing campaigns large and small

Many organizations are leveraging data from various sources to improve their digital marketing campaigns. These campaigns have proven to be more effective than the old form of mass advertising. Taking the guesswork out from the equation allows marketers to be able to detect changing trends and therefore use them for more targeted campaigns.

The sources and amount of data is overwhelming, necessitating investment in larger and more complex databases and data analytics tools in order to make sense of all the information available.

Being able to uncover these insights results in better ability to spot opportunities, correct courses and engage with customers.

What follows are the key reasons you should consider using big data to improve the results of your next digital marketing campaign.

  1. Data visualization tools can help you improve the effectiveness of your campaigns

With the increase in competition, thanks to the digital age and opening up of borders through the Internet, marketers are looking for ways to understand and interpret data speedily.

Given the amount of data available, data visualization tools are used to derive actionable insight. For a business, these may include insights into inventory flow through the year, peaks and lulls in shopping periods, customer behaviors and preferences among others.

This ability to visualize data and get practical insights means that business customer relations teams can come together and hold data-driven discussions, in which there is factual evidence to support ideas.

Decisions are made based on collective understanding of data points, and the gathering of different minds can lead to breakthroughs to significantly improve business bottom-lines (e.g. identifying slow-moving stock for better inventory control, greater savings and higher sales turnovers).

  1. Real-time customer insights can help you acquire more customers and reduce churn

Analysis of consumer data using data analytics tools means that marketing teams are better equipped to respond to consumer demands and changes in habits, preferences, incomes and other consumer data for overall better customer experience with the business.

For instance, performance can be tracked, tweaked and pivoted to maximize returns from a consumer.

For any business, improving customer experience should be at the top of the list, given that customers are free to leave at any time to go to another business for goods and services.

Larger businesses have lots of data to deal with, given that they have larger consumer databases. Enlisting the services of remote DBA experts can help with both troubleshooting and implementation of analytics tools for such businesses to reduce the decision-making time turnover.

For these businesses, they face a challenge in making sense of huge amounts of data stored by the business – to know what to use and what to ignore. Data visualization software suites can be used to effectively sift through thousands of data megabytes coming in real-time through various sources.

This information may relate to customer experiences — for example, time spent on site, pages visited, bounce rates among others. It may then be used to improve elements and pages in order to make navigation easier for visitors, and to have unique value-adding points that will create happier and loyal clientele.

The availability of current insights therefore can help digital marketing teams to generate better strategies and ways to engage with consumers better.

  1. Data analytics doesn’t have to be complex or expensive

Apart from offering database management solutions, many remote service providers are now looking to offer data analytics as a service (DaaS). This is ideal for smaller businesses that also have large amounts of data but cannot afford the cash outlay required to purchase analytics tools and licenses.

This can be done through remote service applications, which allow clients to leverage various analytical tools on their data and pay according to data volumes processed.

You can also take advantage of interactive dashboards that are easier for non-tech-savvy team members to use to get the insights they need from a data store. Your data will therefore be hosted and reviewed remotely, and your company/business receives login details allowing various levels of access according to permissions that are needed.

  1. Using data about past events can help you plan for the future

Using the data-driven approach, marketers can analyze what’s worked in the past so that they can make better decisions moving forward. Backed by insights from consumers and other forms of data, they can plan future activities or campaigns with a greater degree of certainty. This is especially important for businesses that need to constantly question their offerings and tweak them to offer good customer experience.

For instance, restaurants can leverage insights from customer order information to figure out trends and offer special prices on less popular meals. They might also find ways to improve these products to make them more popular among consumers.

Given the rate at which consumer preferences, behaviors and choices are changing, having large volumes of data can increase the accuracy with which marketing decisions and campaigns are made.Click To Tweet

As a marketer, being data savvy is the only way to remain relevant in the digital marketing landscape. This calls for investment in real time data collection and analytics tools, interactive dashboards and advanced data storage methods.

While initial outlays may seem forbidding, businesses willing to invest will receive more than their money’s worth in customer satisfaction and engagement.

How big data can be used to target consumers

Online data is the fuel that powers any successful digital marketing campaign. While marketing teams may already possess some offline data – consumer names and addresses for instance – it pays to consider that digital marketing channels are cheaper in the long term, especially if they make correct use of channels like email.

There are also other forms of digital marketing, such as paid search, search engine optimization and content marketing, and these have grown in popularity over the last few years. Marketing teams must be comfortable with every online marketing channel, and use it to offer consumer value. This implies learning to use non-conventional data sources, such as search information, consumer transactions, social posts and other big data sources available online.

Big data sources you can use to improve the results of your next campaign

Web mining

As the name suggests, this is data compiled by mining the internet. It makes use of automated tools to uncover and extract information from servers and web documents, and it allows businesses to access both structured and unstructured data from browser activities, server logs, site and link structure, page content and other sources.

Search data

This is data derived from browser activity through use of special tools to track search information and detect consumer behavior and intent. Consumers can also be matched to their online personae through a method called onboarding; hence a business can create a targeted online audience.

Social networks

Social media has proliferated most parts of the world. The average internet user spends an average of at least two and a half hours on social networks for each day. Social networks allow marketers to harvest a wide range of data, from personal preferences to brand mentions and tastes through tracking posts, likes, shares, comments, check-in details among others.

Crowdsourcing

This is the process of gathering intelligence from the public, and it has been made easier by the Internet. Large communities of people related by interest/passion are studied and data is collected by running polls and surveys among other user-generated media.

Transaction tracking

Every transaction run by or through a business provides useful data about users, whether it is logistical, financial or other related processes. Businesses can use transactions like insurance claims, purchases, orders and requests, withdrawals and deposits, reservations and booking and credit card transactions to gain insight into activities of their target audiences.

What it all comes down to

Imagine being able to target an audience made up of highly-qualified and purchase-ready prospects and easily building them into loyal clients by anticipating their needs and hence offering true value. This is the power of big data for digital marketing. You can actually capture the attention of consumers looking at your competitors’ products/services in real-time by leveraging unique data sources discussed above and many more.

About the Author: Sujain Thomas is a data IT professional who works closely with DBA experts to provide her clients with fantastic solutions to their data problems. If you need data IT solutions, she is the person for the jobs.

 

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