For the marketing world, the emergence of big data is the industry’s biggest challenge while simultaneously being its biggest opportunity. In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept of big data, it consists of the massive amounts of information your business collects from your website traffic, email campaigns, social media endeavors and online business transactions, as well as everything from traditional marketing programs. All the likes, purchases, shares, tweets, reviews and comments make up what big data entails for your enterprise. It provides a way to learn much more about your target audience than ever before and understand what they best respond to.
Yet it’s also an enormous amount of data to assemble, organize and analyze. Being able to use it effectively depends on your company’s ability to select the most pertinent information from the mountain of material that’s collected and then in the end find the best means of attracting and retaining consumers.
An Unprecedented Team-up: Marketing & IT
Being able to derive an insight from all this data is a brand-new challenge for many marketing departments, as technology is now the launching pad for a company’s marketing efforts, and marketers are reaching the limits of their expertise when facing how to reap the benefits of data analytics.
Marketing professionals have found the solution in collaborating with IT departments to take on the big data challenge and add a new dimension to what marketing can achieve. Using big data effectively means breaking down the silo approach of a company’s infrastructure; in other words, rather than having several separate databases of information, a broader, integrated view is needed to be able to see the best paths that will lead to the most gains.
The Lack of an Integrated Approach
Big data is still a relatively new concept and consequently the strategies for handling it are still under development. Although many solutions are in place, many companies are yet to fully enact them. It’s clear that marketing and IT departments will need to team up to best tackle big data analytics strategies, yet a recent survey conducted by data warehouse business Teradata has shown that intercompany collaborations are still yet to be made:
- 74 percent of marketers say that marketing and IT are not strategic partners in their company
- 65 percent of marketers say silos within marketing prevent a holistic campaign view
- 39 percent of marketers blame inadequate or outdated technology for a lack of progress in marketing
As the benefits of a data-driven approach become better known, its usage will be on the upswing. In the next 12 months, over half of the marketers that responded expect to be using data as part of their marketing strategies. Additionally, those who haven’t yet embraced a data-driven approach are aware of the growing trend: 78 percent of the marketers surveyed report feeling pressure to adopt data-driven strategies.
Also, Teradata eCircle discovered in a companion survey focused on European companies that when comparing businesses, those that used data-driven marketing were twice as satisfied with their results than their peers who only used traditional approaches.
Marketing’s Future: A Data-driven Standard
Technology has long been a central component in marketing, yet with the arrival of big data, technology’s importance has intensified. As marketing becomes more data-driven, finding ways to meet the challenges and opportunities of big data means collaborating cross-departmentally and being able to pinpoint the trends and patterns that big data can provide if analyzed correctly. Such collaboration will require IT professionals and marketers to think about their roles in new ways. Ironically, there are predictions that in the coming years CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs, illustrating how crucial it is for marketing and IT to work in tandem. Even HR departments may find themselves working more closely with IT as hiring and communicating with employees are becoming dependent on digital communication and social media.
Big data presents a great challenge as well as a huge opportunity in that it can enable your enterprise to gain clearer insights on customer demand and receptiveness. The ultimate goal is to increase your company’s competitiveness and profitability, and as technology causes changes in how we communicate and interact, new marketing approaches will have to adapt and grow as well.