Digital Marketing Gets a Boost With Big Data
Co-authored by Dave Scott
In case you haven't heard, Big Data is now going mainstream, moving from the supercomputing environment to enterprise IT applications. For digital marketers and advertisers in particular, the benefits of bringing Big Data mainstream are unmistakable: They now have access to a goldmine of untapped (unstructured) information previously unusable.
Indeed, unstructured information has sat untouched for years, mostly because we couldn't organize it so that our systems could understand it. However, with new technology, this glut of data on customers, products and so on, flowing in from various online and offline sources, can now be translated into tangible analytics — that is, valuable information on customer preferences and behaviors — that guide how and to whom brands advertise online.
Just how much data do these marketers and advertisers have to play with? This will give you an idea: IDC estimates that by 2020, the total amount of electronically stored data will reach 35 trillion gigabytes.
A Whole New Ballgame in Digital Marketing
Big Data is changing the game for digital marketers and advertisers, who for years have tried unsuccessfully to leverage this very granular, unstructured information to gain a deeper understanding of their customers so they can develop more targeted and successful marketing and advertising efforts. "The ability to analyze a digital marketing campaign's effectiveness is of utmost importance for any business, but it's certainly a tedious task that requires a significant amount of time," laments Joanne Ooi, cofounder of Plukka, an e-commerce site focused on high-end designer jewelry.
Before the Big Data revolution, the impact of online marketing campaigns was measured in click-through rates, bounce rates and page views, with campaign performance recorded in Excel. This type of information, although helpful, couldn't provide the type of insight marketers needed to refine their campaigns to boost performance and net massive returns. And the time it took to enter it into Excel proved too time-consuming.Continued on the next page