If there is one area of business that can benefit more than most from big data it is surely marketing: the blunderbuss approach of the past can now be replaced with marketing that not only means something to its audience, but also helps build long-term relationships.
The first problem this throws up, though, is that there is now so much data – one recent report suggested that every person on earth now produces 1.7 MB of data every second – that asking where to start may grind things to a halt before they even begin.
As with all ‘embarrassment of riches’ problems, however, the answer is to focus on the fundamentals first.
We all swim in a sea of data, said Siobhán Smith, global marketing manager at Expleo Group, but the point is to focus on business insight rather than become distracted or even overwhelmed by the mass of data itself.
“I think you have to start with what insights you want to get: you start with what insights you need and who you want them from,” she said.
As a global consultancy, Expleo has become expert at understanding the uses of data in marketing, and Smith said that while businesses are all turning to data to drive change the objective remains to inform classic business decision-making processes.
“The first step is the audit or research to understand the market. You need external information to confirm, or not confirm, as the case may be, what you think,” she said.
However, the scale of data means more can be done than was…