Big Data Impact on Making Informed Marketing Decisions

Big data has the potential to define a brand’s target customers at a level of detail – and with an uncanny accuracy – that until only recently was unfathomable. What is big data? It’s the idea that every human action can be quantified and then used to gain insight and make more informed marketing decisions. Today’s big data is significantly different from what was collected in the not so distant past. Twenty years ago it was made up of responses to direct mail campaigns, point-of-sale transaction data, and coupon redemptions. Now there are ways for you to measure click-through rates, viewer browsing behavior, online purchase data, geolocation, social media interactions, and more. And we’re just beginning.

How Data Influences Marketing Decisions

Modern marketers have a wealth of consumer information at their disposal. They’re no longer limited by results of direct mail campaigns or number of subscribers to newsletters. Want to discover people’s digital clicking behavior, purchasing histories, lifestyle preferences, and even their exercise and sleeping habits? Almost anything you can imagine can be gleaned from collected data. If you don’t quite see the connection between someone’s sleep patterns and inbound marketing, the logic can be found in basic human nature.

Your customers – like most people – make decisions based on a lot of subconscious factors, including how well they slept the night before. Facts and statistics drawn from good data can often reveal surprising trends. Once you realize the enormity of what data can provide, you quickly understand that your marketing strategy is only as good as the big data behind it.

Changing How Companies Do Business

Harnessed correctly, data analysis can:

  • Help businesses improve customer interactions.
  • Be translated into actionable plans.
  • Predict future patterns of consumer behavior.

Data is critical to making smart marketing decisions, but it doesn’t always tell the full story. If your marketing plan is to succeed, you need to understand what the numbers mean and how they drive value and increased ROI. In other words, data is the science, but you have to pay attention to it for it to have any impact. Access to data doesn’t guarantee better marketing, but the potential is there. Think of it as the raw material from which a masterpiece must be created. Look beyond the numbers to the insights you gain.

The Impact Data Can Have on Your Marketing Decisions

Marketers, by combining big data with an integrated inbound marketing strategy, can make substantial strides in these key areas:

  • Customer Engagement. Use big data to deliver insight into who your customers are, what they want, and where they’re located. You can also determine when, how and where they would like to receive your content.
  • Customer Loyalty and Retention. Want to know what influences your customers’ loyalty, what keeps them coming back, and what compels them to share your content? Big data can help you discover the answers.
  • Marketing Optimization and Performance. Discover your brand’s optimal marketing spend across multiple channels, and continue to optimize your marketing strategies through testing, measurement, and analysis.

Marketing Success Can Be Measured

Big data can take the guesswork out of whether your marketing decisions are based on sound principles and smart choices. Data gleaned from page performance metrics, conversion rates, A/B testing results, etc. will identify trends and tell you on a daily basis how well a campaign is or isn’t working. Look at it this way: your company doesn’t make financial decisions without projections, forecasts, or revenue reports. Marketing decisions should be based on similar hard data. As data-driven marketing strategies continue to grow in number, the brands that adopt and embrace a data-centric approach stand to gain the greatest rewards.