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A constantly growing number of marketing tools has created many opportunities for growth, but also a lot of headaches for marketers. Collecting the data from all of these sources in a coherent way and keeping them up-to-date is a major challenge for marketing professionals in companies of all sizes and in all industries. And without the data, you need to rely on… let’s say “less precise ways” to see what’s working, and what’s not.
But if you actually manage to tame this “data beast” and create a centralized repository of information coming from all your marketing channels, you’d be at the first step of enjoying the benefits of big data analytics. With it, and a couple of side-helpers such as augmented analytics, you can uncover new insights, add value to your clients and your business, and gain the sort of proactive data-driven marketing that will put you ahead of the competition.
Here we have highlighted four ways you can use big data in your marketing activities to accomplish really great things.
Successful campaigns rely on accurate, high-quality and timely data in order to create ads that will reach the right customers with the right offer at the right time, via the right channel and with the most appropriate messaging. This is where your big data becomes highly useful, providing each of the different facets you need to build an accurate picture of your target users, and create customer micro-segments that you can reach with tailored and highly-sophisticated campaigns.
Big data coming from all your advertising channels, but also other data sources and various CDPs, can tell you many things about individual customers. You can see their location and demographic information such as age, education and family unit. Data from certain sources can help you uncover their psychographics – personality type, lifestyle and values – and behavior, such as their loyalty, buying patterns and price sensitivity. And by developing hundreds – or even thousands – of micro-segments, you can more accurately target your campaigns to specific customers with the right combination of offers and price points.
To achieve this you need to integrate marketing data from ad server providers and online/offline advertising reporting platforms, as well as marketing web and app analytics, and send it all to your favorite marketing reporting or business intelligence solution. Once you’re able to gather and harmonize all of this data, you’re on the way to utilize advanced big data analytics that will lead to highly targeted marketing campaigns.
The second advantage you gain by utilizing aggregated big data from various marketing sources is the ability to create better content. This data gives you a detailed understanding of how each individual customer interacts with your brand and the content you produce: which platform they prefer to use, and how long they spend reading, watching, or listening to your content. This can inform you about the type of content you need to produce more in order to engage more customers, improve their customer experience, and boost customer conversions.
Content marketing is a fine art, involving intricate nuances to, for example, copy tone, style and messaging, image size and positioning, and video length. There are many reasons why particular content resonates with particular customer segments at particular times. Some demographics will prefer to watch a short video, while others will make time to take in long-form copy, such as an opinion article, a brochure or a whitepaper. Big data can also help you to discover which of your prospects you need to target with specific content.
Another common marketing activity that big data can transform is A/B testing. With the right data at hand, it’s possible to quickly identify exactly which campaigns are performing better than others, and optimize in a more agile way. This means, in practice, that marketing teams can rapidly allocate resources to profitable campaigns and close down failing ones, link ad spend to results, and more accurately work out their campaign ROI.
So, for example, data coming from A/B testing can help if you’re trying to work out whether rearranging your website into a new format will affect your conversion rate. You can analyze data from two alternative versions of your site and find out the stickiness of particular pages, how long customers spend in different areas, and the exact number of users who go through to complete a transaction.
As well as website tests, data-driven A/B testing can equally be applied to email marketing success, banner clicks, newsletter sign-ups, site searches, social likes and shares, or mobile CTAs. The great thing is that the more you test, you get more data you can rely on, and you’ll be more confident in the conclusions made based on A/B testing.
As mentioned above, highly-targeted marketing campaigns require having a lot of insightful information into prospective customers. But since we’re talking about vast amounts of data, it’s sometimes not so easy to get a grasp of its potential, and see individual opportunities in a pile of raw data. Artificial intelligence can really take things to a new level in terms of analyzing the data and suggesting how to create the right marketing asset or a targeted ad for the right person.
Machine learning is a field of AI that applies algorithms to big data in order to discover patterns and insights. For marketers, this means they can really grasp the power of all the data at their disposal, and not waste anymore time looking into numbers, but into interactive charts and dashboards which provide suggestions and ideas on how to improve campaigns. This is the potential brought by augmented analytics, and some of the world’s largest brands are already using it to uncover brand new insights based on big data.
Big data analytics enables modern digital marketers to bring greater value to their businesses than was previously possible, through targeted campaigns, better content, improved A/B testing and ultimately more profitable campaigns and activities.
Armed with this intel, marketers can create more sophisticated campaigns, offers and communications. And they can tailor them to hundreds, or even thousands of customer micro-segments through automation, thereby significantly improving their marketing ROI. But before all of this, you need to get all the data into a single location, harmonized and ready to be analyzed. And for this you need an end-to-end marketing analytics platform, such as Adverity.