Why you can’t rely on big data alone

Why you can’t rely on big data alone

The term ‘big data’ is thrown around a lot these days, but it means nothing if you don’t know how and when to use it effectively.

Big data, the analysis of lots of data to reveal trends through specialised software, is a growing trend that businesses are following in a bid to hone their marketing efforts. And why not? Collating a sizeable amount of customer data is par for the course for many businesses, from service providers to online retailers, so why not put it to good use and analyse it to gain valuable customer insights.

However, your data is useless unless it is acted on swiftly.

Speaking at the ad:tech 2017 conference in Sydney, Jeannette Arrowood, managing director for APAC at Sysomos, discussed how she has learned from bigger businesses that just obtaining and using big data is meaningless unless it is relevant to the time it has been collected.

“When we met with MasterCard, Sam [Ahmed] was the CMO for APAC. He said, 'Big data is dead data unless you use it in real time,' and I was like, 'That's a really good quote,” explained Jeannette.

A businessman typing on a laptop, with marketing figures and diagrams flying out“For anybody who is concerned with actually selling through e-commerce, this is so true because you can run an ad and it can do really well with an audience target in a particular point in time, and in two weeks’ time, it wouldn't hit at all.

“So how good really are the metrics that we're looking at if we're creating a campaign and we're tracking it, and then we're looking at it a year ago? We don't really know if it's going to resonate and if it's going to work again.”

Jeannette suggested that marketers are starting to use social media channels as a preference over a marketing agency for case studies or audience insights.

“This is really cost-effective for them because the amount of money they would spend with an agency that provides traditional case studies and insights into groups, who they pay to come in and sit down and talk to them, this is way cheaper for them to test,” she said.

In order to gain the most value from its data, international business Mondelēz, parent company of Oreo among others, uses tech trends identified to formulate video content to push through social media channels such as Facebook.

Jeannette quoted Pollyanna Ward, the digital and social media manager of biscuits at Mondelēz, who said it is important to make sure the data you collate, analyse and use is comprehensive for maximum effectiveness:

“[For example] if the consumer [is] only watching a few seconds and we have got our message at 10 seconds, we know we haven’t done our job right because we haven’t hooked you in or grabbed your attention," Pollyanna was quoted as saying.

“In terms of value, [it’s] all about understanding consumption behaviours. You might get one piece of insight from one platform, but then you still have to go back and see how we can repurpose it for each platform. It’s ensuring you are clear on what you are measuring and what exactly you want to get out of that platform.”

Having gotten a video right on social media, Mondelēz will then maximise its appeal by altering it to run on television within three days.

While smaller businesses may not have the time or the assets to turn an advertising or marketing campaign around as quickly, harnessing customer data to deliver real-time sales insights is something a business of any size can achieve.

For more information on using data insights, check out this article on 6 ways to harness the potential of big data.

Why you can’t rely on big data alone
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