Since long, marketing depended much on insights collected from competitive analysis, market research, customer behaviours and more.
We all heard companies bragging about the data they own and seducing retailers and marketers to sell them categorized information about markets and individuals.
In the past few years, the importance of data boosted after introducing the fancy notion of “Big Data” and it became an era itself that captivated us all.
What is Big Data anyway? Is it really that BIG?
Data was always taken care of and usage of data isn’t really that new, but after introducing digital media and socially connecting the world on a micro level, the concept gained momentum.
Consequently, huge data like images, interest behaviour, clicks, tweets and so on emerged and needed to be collected and structured in order to become useful in business activities.
“Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion,” says W. Edwards Deming.
The simplest definition I found for Big Data was in an article written by Lisa Arthur posted on Forbes:
“Big data is a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing discovery and analysis.”
The availability of this data enabled tracking people’s personal activities like how much time they spend surfing the internet and when they are there, the spending on online shopping, what are people interested in and looking for, and much more.
This allowed marketers to tailor the suitable content for the right audience minimizing wasted dollars and efforts and even explained what products can be offered.
I see Big Data as if you’re sitting in your office receiving calls from people clearly telling you about their needs and when they want them. No need to guess or use the “trial and error” approach. Possibilities are infinite!
My own experience
A friend of mine, Ali Rebai – a real Big Data Guru – introduced me to Big Data and I was really inspired and provoked! Few months ago I started educating my clients about Big Data and we started recording activities about their own customers.
Activities included the frequency and time of visits, their social media presence and the type of content they share, their lifestyle, brands they endorse, cars they drive, what food they like, where they live and many others depending on the industry of my clients.
The information was categorized clearly in simple excel sheets and outputs were AMAZING!
Although these activities aren’t as big as the real big data since they didn’t need any complex software to be analyzed and processed and I totally understand it, but we succeeded in introducing new products, opening new branches, tailoring the right content, improving the attractiveness of offers, defining weak points and planning ahead for the future.
Overall, what I can say from my “primitive” experience is that it’s really exciting. I became more enthusiastic about collecting data and started to taste its sweetness! If the minimal usage of data was that fruitful, what would happen if data was structured and used on a big scale using the suitable technology!
I can confidently say that Big Data is really BIG!