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Big Data & Marketing – What Marketers Must Know

Friday 15 January 2016

Marketing has historically been a tricky subject when measuring and understanding the impacts and outcomes of its activities – often the difficulty relates to being able to quantify the results of marketing efforts. However, with more data available than ever before and more marketing solutions flooding the market than you can shake a stick at, new challenges and opportunities have revealed themselves to marketers.

In fact, a whopping 1,876 vendors were found to be offering marketing solutions according to 2015 estimates. This number is nearly double that of 2014’s estimates, already at a staggering 947 companies!

The results of the research has been made available by Scott Brinker at chiefmartec.com and is neatly presented in the below “super-infographic”. If you want to take a closer look at it, feel free to grab your magnifying glass so that you can make sense of it all, I’ll wait.

Super Infographic of all Marketing Technology VendorsSource: chiefmartec.com

Done already?! Don’t worry! It’s really at its most informative when you can’t make out the vendors included, perfectly highlighting the minefield marketers must navigate to find a solution fit for them. Of course, it’s great that we aren’t stuck for choice but too much choice isn’t necessarily a good thing!

What is significant is not only is there a huge array of vendors in this space but also the range of different marketing technologies that they have made available to marketing professionals. According to the above “super-infographic”, there are 43 completely different categories that marketing solutions can be grouped in to!

Big Data Integration

Your typical company might utilise 5-10 of these marketing technologies, all solving different problems but still producing masses of marketing data about your audience. The issue then becomes finding a way of integrating all of this information into one collaborative space.

Unfortunately a lot of the systems stay disparate because they don’t have the in-built capability to communicate with each other. What becomes essential is finding a way of connecting each data source together.

[Warning: Shameless self-promotion]: CXAIR has the capability to connect to any data source for this reason and load the data into the application in order to provide reporting and analysis capabilities.

The benefits of this are easy to see: by gaining a clearer picture of your audience (potential customers and new customers), the opportunities for introducing new communication channels and crafting more personalised, tailored messages that should resonate with your audience are much greater.

Opening new channels of communication

Understanding which channels of communication your audience has already engaged with plays a key role in identifying new means of communication.

If for example you are finding great success in engaging your audience through social media channels, it could be worthwhile considering other similar channels to complement your existing digital presence and further reach your audience.

Tailor messaging to audience

By building a holistic view of each consumer you can ascertain the characteristics of their personality – understanding what motivates them, what they like, what they dislike. For example. some of this information could be obtained by looking at what webpages they visit on your website or even notes written up after a call with a prospect. By collating all of this data it will enable you to craft messages capable of truly connecting and resonating with your audience.

Test and refine marketing campaigns

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the concept of A/B testing where you have a number of variations of the same campaign in order to discover the better performing variation for use in the full campaign.

However, the interpretation of each variation’s performance may be skewed without having a total view of all the data contributing to that campaign. For example, the key metrics provided by a solution used to distribute an email campaign would generally be open rate, click through rate and bounce rate. If we apply an A/B test to this campaign so that we have two variations and view the results of the test then we would most likely choose the variation which has a higher open rate, click through rate and lower bounce rate – this is black and white.

But what about if we apply other metrics such as sales conversion rates and total money generated per campaign using data housed in the CRM system? This might make us think twice about choosing the variation shown as the better performing one in the email marketing solution if it is not the variation shown to be the most lucrative from a sales revenue perspective.

There might well be a lot of insight available to marketers with the huge volume of data available now, but harnessing this insight is now the exact issue. The only way for you to reap the rewards of your investment in marketing data is by unifying it all.

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