Marketers are faced on a near daily basis – especially when talking from a digital perspective – with the fact that there are new ways of reaching and interacting with their target markets. There is a lot that can be said about each of these new platforms and how they are being monetised, but it makes me wonder if we are not rushing in too quickly.
Basically what I am trying to say is that there is a lot that marketers can learn from their data analytics colleagues. Particularly when we look at a phrase that has been recently coined – “Big Data”. Essentially big data is a host of information in some form of a database which needs to be sifted through or analysed to draw out some interesting conclusions.
Let’s look at one of companies who are most proficient at doing this – Walmart. What Walmart does is quite unbelievable, every night all of the transactions for the day are analysed (clearly not manually). They look for patterns of what has sold, what has been returned, what stores did well and which did not. They literally segment their till slip data into a myriad of different reports. These reports then influence the following days activities.
In other words they influence the buyers as to what stock to purchase; they look at repositioning stock that is not moving; they can make pricing adjustments and when there is enough of a trend they can even make packaging decisions.
Big data is all about looking for trends and using these patterns to make calculated and educated decisions. Arguably, marketing is about the exact same thing. Making calculated plays which will result in further product sales and increased revenue.
Granted short term campaigns are critical to short term success and can launch a brand or a product to a new level; but at the end of the day it is the data which is going to show you how and where your customers are actually placing their focus.
Marketers need to be able to match their customers needs and wants and this is not achieved through a quick social media campaign, or an above the line campaign – these are rather the outputs of properly analysed data which will translate into a higher degree of success.
Integrating your social media channels, your CRM and your other platforms housing customer data is a way to get all your data in one place. the trick them comes in analysing that data to draw some powerful conclusions which can formulate the basis of a campaign which will resonate well with your target audience.