BIG data is now happening BIG time: What the ‘Big Data’ marketers are concerned with is mainly the digital content that’s being created at a phenomenal rate that you can use to gain insights into your customers.Think YouTube videos, social media platforms, Facebook Likes, Instagram photos, instant poll results, LinkedIn group discussions... It's even been called 'the sexiest new marketing tool around'.There’s now so much information available about customers that innovations are emerging to handle these disparate forms of data. It's imperative for marketers to understand these, in order to stay successful in the shifting digital landscape. It means that there are novel opportunities to deliver targeted customer experiences based on in-depth insights. This will enable businesses to develop relationships with customers and keep them engaged over the long term.Destination marketing is key when marketers start their Big Data projects by thinking of the end goal and then working through all the details. This so-called “destination thinking” helps the strategic marketer avoid the traps of many Big Data Marketing projects where the deliverable becomes the end goal itself instead of the business value imagined at the outset...
It may seem like a simple task, but unifying the focus of a Fortune 500 retailer or manufacturer along these lines is a complex undertaking. First, you have to prioritize among hundreds of possible initiatives. Then you have to rethink the customer experience across channels and devices, and build the communications web to bring it together, from conference room to showroom. Within the organization, you need to break down functional silos and create incentives for different departments to share data and sell products from every channel.
Most retailers may have begun to adjust, with improved customer-service policies, new mobile features or updated product-delivery options, but they are still largely missing the mark. Still, several of the world’s most innovative chains are closing in on the ideal. Nordstrom’s, Best Buy, Macy’s, Urban Outfitter, Staples and Restoration Hardware are beginning to make the organizational transitions needed to develop a consistent experience for myriad types of shoppers.
Led by the belief that this is the future of retailing, these chains are uniting retail and e-commerce teams with one leader, integrating technology systems to act as one, seeking a unifying goal for the business (not the channel). Instead of year-over-year store comps, they’re measuring the combined impact of communications and sales across all channels. In stores, they’re adding quick pickup counters for online purchasers, training staff to handle instant checkout via smartphone and tablet and gathering data to personalize the shopping experience.
Other industries like Financial services are also leveraging Big Data for their product development: Morgan Stanley ran into issues doing portfolio analysis on traditional databases and now uses Hadoop to analyze investments “on a larger scale, with better results.” As well, Hadoop is being used in the industry for sentiment analysis, predictive analytics, and financial trades.
In the Entertainment industry, companies like Time Warner, Comcast, and Cablevision are using big data to track media consumption and engagement, advertising, and customer retention as well as operations and infrastructure. The video game industry is using big data for tracking during gameplay and after, predicting performance, and analyzing over 500GB of structured data and 4 TB of operational logs each day. Even brands like ESPN are looking to get in on the action.