How to integrate Big Data into marketing: Five common applications

Marketing | Sectors   |   
Published February 16, 2015   |   
Brian Burt

Knowledge is power. When it comes to knowledge about the people you are trying to sell to, it is even more powerful. Marketers know this and this is why the advent of big data has been a major blessing for them over the past few years. The tech-driven world of big data has a lot in common with the creativity-driven world of marketing – a bottomless hunger for more information.

And it’s a good time for the data hungry. The quantified self phenomenon is gaining momentum and every aspect of a person’s life can now be measured, stored, calculated and analyzed to derive conclusions that are helpful to everyone from advertisers to politicians to sociologists. Never before have we witnessed such rapid growth in the volume of data available about individuals.

All this data is like a dream come true for marketers as targeting potential customers with such pinpoint accuracy has never been easier. The techniques marketers can now use to approach a target audience was all but impossible a decade ago.

Traditionally old-school marketing efforts such as email subscriptions and newsletters have made way for modern marketing strategies that are based on people’s internet browsing habits, which are extremely revealing.
So what are the ways you can use Big Data in your own marketing efforts? Well, here’s a list of the most common applications.

An eye on Google Trends

For both local and international marketing keep a close eye on Google trend results. It’s one of the most straightforward and approachable big data sources available online today. The platform lets you see how popular certain search terms are and how they compare to average daily volumes. Picking a new trend out in the data is simple and it can help inform everything from long-term campaign focuses to what hashtags to use in that day’s Tweet.

Define your ICP

The ICP or ideal customer profile can be precisely developed with the use of big data. Use digital information to define your target audiences’ age, location, education, income, interests and much more. You can go even further and detail the sort of buyer for your product in more granular detail. Look for website visiting habits and online search results for the sort of people your product is most likely to appeal to.

Once you have a real and nuanced identity of your ideal costumer, you’ll be in a much better position to fine tune your messaging.  Go one step further and imagine up a real person based on that info – give that person a name and a life and keep him or her in mind with everything you do.

Identify what makes a customer buy

A lot of focus is put on creating great content and publishing it for all to see. But what sort of content helps turn a potential customer become an actual customer? What makes them actually buy? While these questions would have remained unanswered a few years ago, now it’s information that’s just a click away. Content scoring software helps you identify the sort of content that’s really appealing to your audience and converting sales. This way you can truly quantify the value of all-important content marketing.

Use more predictive data analytics

This form of big data analysis is a lot more aggressive than the others.  Predictive big data analysis is now helping companies from around the world utilize customer relationship management software more effectively to predict the future behaviors of their leads.

It’s not just knowing who a potential customer is, but trying to make an educated guess as to how they will react to and what they’ll do next. The process is called lead scoring and involves the use of historical data to let computers identify trends and extrapolate to point to future likely outcomes. The technique is helping companies generate better quality leads and also reducing costs significantly.

Use it now

Big data is not to be reviewed quarterly, weekly or even daily – it’s a tool that needs to help you make minute and immediate tweaks and pivots.  Their real-time behavior of visitors to your site should be used to automatically direct them to relevant pages, offers and information.

For example, eCommerce merchants should have automated follow-up with users who spend a certain amount of time browsing without buying or those who abandon loaded-up shopping carts.  The Dutch airline KLM implemented real time data capturing and has since seen significant increases in both the open rate and click-through rate of e-mails targeted to users who starting a booking without completing it.  The data also helped them to see where they lost the customer and optimize the user experience to mitigate that risk.

Overall, big data will help you validate claims, quickly jump on unforeseen trends and make unbiased and better decisions. The potential is absolutely there for this data to become a key tool for every marketing expert.

It can certainly be overwhelming to figure out exactly how to best use the huge wealth of information that’s increasingly available, but the returns of implementing marketing strategies guided by big data will make all of your hard work well worth it.