The marketing benefits of Big Data

DECEMBER 15, 2011 – Companies that are able to sort through vast quantities of data gathered on customers – increasingly known as Big Data – and use it to conduct market research may be able to improve their customer interaction rates, according to Extraprise. The organization said consumers are interacting with brands online and offline at an increasing rate, as they respond to the various forms of marketing distributed through social media, email and online video, as well as through more traditional media.

“The explosion of Big Data across online and offline channels is driving marketers toward greater levels of complexity,” stated Mike Shanker, CEO and co-founder at Extraprise. “Marketers are increasingly seeking to harness Big Data issues through customer intelligence that applies smarter segmentation to their multi-channel marketing campaigns at every stage of the customer life cycle.”

The company points to results from Gartner, which projects that enterprise data will grow 650 percent over the next five years. Out of all that data, 80 percent will be unstructured – sourced from social media posts, customer relationship management systems, customer service calls and emails, the research company discovered.

However, without the proper tools, Big Data can become overwhelming, and therefore of no use to anyone in the enterprise. As Krishnan Parasuraman writes for the Netezza company blog, the first step in “dealing with big data” is to rein it in on those company databases. Determine exactly what you are tracking – retail transactions, Facebook page views, etc. – and create a system for managing the high data volumes.

Having a smoother process for collecting and cleansing data will also mean the company is able to boil the data down into actionable analytics more quickly, he says. Ensuring the entity is not storing any duplicate or unnecessary information will free up room for more recent data, and will also help cut the costs of maintaining and analyzing the records.

Parasuraman also notes that getting better results will require “a large number of complex analytical models, decrease execution times for those models and enable analysts to work on their clients’ entire data set and not just a sample.”

While he acknowledges that creating an infrastructure capable of managing Big Data is an involved process, companies can see major improvements on the cost and effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.