With big data, there are several ways marketing executives can leverage existing data that's available internally, as well as external information received from a third-party vendor, in order to track the effectiveness of various marketing efforts. These big data strategies include the following:
Soft surveillance and consumer behavior tracking within retail stores
Open communication channels with clients
Predictive analytics (which can monitor inventory levels and ensure product availability)
Analysis of customers' purchasing behaviors
Response to value-added services based on clients' profiles and purchasing habits
Effectiveness of real-time micro-segmentation of clientele targeted with custom tailored ads
Marketing departments should engage IT departments, and IT leadership, to help them accomplish these new goals. CIOs can then assist in creating a strategy that builds upon the data that's available internally. Such collaboration between forward-thinking CIOs and CMOs will become the basis of both competition and growth in organizations, as employees will look to use big data to find unique ways to outperform their competitors and peers.
It's safe to say that businesses of all sizes have access to platforms that in turn provide access to data and analysis. While in some cases internal systems may not have all the transactional and historical data regarding operations, customer purchasing habits and marketing performance, many of today's systems do provide an easy, cost-effective way to get a head start on big data, as there are numerous open source big data technologies available for firms to use. For large data sets, there are several scalable pay-as-you-go services that can process and host data.
Different Sectors, Different Uses for Big Data
The data that must be captured varies for marketing purposes.
For online retailers, Web server logs, referring sources, page views, navigation patterns--basically all activities on the website--would be very beneficial. This lets retailers identify what keeps clients interested and what pushes them away. For some retails, there's even the potential to mine a visitor's historical browsing patterns and searches and display items that she might have previously been interested, as well as similar items that wil likely interest her, when she returns to the site.