Although organizations around the world continue to have mixed feelings about Big Data, the truth is that properly planned, launched, and managed programs will deliver significant benefits to those willing to follow through with comprehensive strategies. Doing so will require diligence on behalf of both decision-makers and employees, however, as well as a strong sense of collaboration between departments, teams, and company-wide goals.
The bottom line is that Big Data initiatives are effective for those who are adamant enough to experience the advantages. This conclusion was highlighted in a recent Rocket Fuel and Forbes Insights study of more than 200 senior executives, which found that roughly 60 percent of businesses that use Big Data at least 50 percent of the time have exceeded their initial goals for the strategies. Conversely, only about a third of companies that don’t use Big Data frequently were able to meet their expectations.
The moral of this story is that planning ahead and making effective use of available data will give companies an edge in the long run. This is especially true for marketing organizations that rely on information to build customized strategies to draw in, cultivate, and retain prospective customers.
Interestingly, the study found that organizations often have conflicting ideas of how they are using Big Data and the effects that are being introduced because of these perceptions. The survey revealed that the majority of marketing agencies said they are frequently or always taking full advantage of data within advertising processes, although only about 10 percent of companies manage more than half of their promotional endeavors with Big Data.
Bringing Big Data into marketing
Information is the basis for all effective decision-making, especially in marketing. If organizations blindly adopt promotional strategies without first assessing the landscape and how those endeavors will function, they risk not only failing in their attempt to acquire new customers, but possibly losing existing ones who find such attempts unappealing.
A study by The Economist Intelligence Unit and Lyris found that Big Data can be a major boon for marketing companies, although 45 percent of businesses said they do not have the current capacity to properly analyze information and transform it into actionable insight. As a result, Big Data-enabled marketing processes aren’t necessarily as effective as anticipated.
Lyris also found that 37 percent of enterprises said that silos within their organizations are among the biggest obstacles to developing digital marketing initiatives. This finding suggests that firms are unable to build an holistic view of either internal or external landscapes, which impairs their ability to acquire the data they need to make the right decisions.
Nevertheless, practice will make things better. Forbes Insights and Rocket Fuel highlighted the importance of learning to use Big Data and incorporating findings into their day-to-day processes.
“The report shows that heavy users of Big Data are more likely to produce useful insights about consumers than organizations that lag in this respect,” said Bruce Rogers, chief insights officer and head of the CMO practice for Forbes Media. “Even more important, they’re more likely to see gains in sales.”
In the coming years, organizations will find themselves dealing with increasingly large volumes of information that can be used to make better decisions and improve marketing strategies. This trend will put pressure on executives to familiarize themselves with the Big Data landscape and drive changes within their companies. By learning how to properly plan, launch, and manage Big Data, marketing agencies will find it easier to develop initiatives that can attract and retain more customers.