If the past few years of massive growth in Big Data are any indication, the next generation will be entrenched in the technology as more business sectors become aware of the marketing and research benefits that can be gained at a low cost. According to a recent New York Times piece by Stuart Elliot, cloud computing is already changing the future of millennials globally – companies have already begun to use Big Data to inform their shopping habits, major interests, and calculate exactly what their future looks like.
Emerging uses of Big Data for market research
To present a powerful example of an effort to identify and make use of the spending habits of the oft-lambasted millennial generation, Elliot reported on the merger between two Los Angeles marketing companies – the Intelligence Group, part of the Creative Artists Agency that scouts talent, and Noise, a firm that primarily targets the young adult demographic. It’s a marriage made in Big Data heaven if the two combine their cloud hosting data in an effective manner, and a well-organized infrastructure can pave the way for a methodical system that can predict trends in youth culture before they occur.
Elliot also spoke of a youth research unit in Kansas City, Missouri, called Barkley that is using Big Data to make a profit by establishing advertising consultancy FutureCast. As these mergers and transitions persist, it’s clear that more can be obtained from a hosting cloud than mere storage.
“I’m a great believer in focus, specific targets and specific demographics,” John Bernbach, president of Engine USA, told Elliot. He admitted that most marketing companies will “do whatever it takes to reach” this youth audience due to the disposable income often provided by parents as well as the long-term potential young customers represent.
Targeting consumption trends for the next generation
Moving into Big Data now will likely pay off for these firms in major ways in the years to come, if industry growth continues at the same rate. Insurance News Net wrote about a study projecting the fiscal growth of cloud computing technology in the next 6 years. Annual income of the technology will rise 17 percent by the end of the decade. This is a large increase in an already lucrative corner of the cloud industry (2014 sales projections hover around $30 billion), making the use of Big Data an almost mandatory investment for marketing firms that hope to compete.
One of the main characterizations of the millennial generation is their hyper-attention to social data and a reputation for being glued continuously to their mobile devices. These primary channels of consuming advertising will become an important second step for firms once up-front data ranging from sales records to surveying can be turned into long-term advertising solutions. Marketers could use these to identify what trends will appeal to a specific consumer and the best channels by which to get his or her attention. The push for Big Data, if successful, is expected to spill over in the way advertisers reach out to the plurals, or the generation that will come after the millennials.
In the long term, the aim of Big Data from a marketing perspective is to identify consumption trends to the point where users don’t need to seek out products of interest – rather, the right products will find them. As the technology continues to develop, expect to see more high-tech solutions to customer targeting instead of the focus groups of old – if data analysis accomplishes what these companies are optimistic it will, then these practices may be a thing of the past.
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