Role of big data in digital marketing

Marketing is a way to reach out to customers and make them aware of your product or service. It can convince them that your product is better than your competitors’ and leaves them with no second thoughts when buying your product. Running a business without marketing does not mean running a business; it means you are not running your business. 

With evolving business trends and the environment, traditional marketing techniques have been replaced with “digital marketing.” Digital marketing simply means marketing your product using the internet as a medium. 

Digital marketing offers endless opportunities for a business to grow and reach out to a larger audience with comparatively lesser effort and expense. But this is possible only when a business uses digital marketing to its full potential and in the right manner. 

As digital marketing is not a very recent phenomenon, and new changes continue to occur in this field, businesses have to think about marketing beyond social media and websites. 

Marketing — in its conventional form — requires using data to ensure success. And that is why famous author and social media scientist Dan Zarella says, “Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.”

So, here is everything you need to know about big data and how crucial it is in the process of digital marketing.

What is big data?

Data management and big data are at the heart of business concerns, especially customer data which, nowadays, is an essential marketing asset.

In the digital age, the data collected is unlimited and comes from multiple origins, but is usually scattered between the various information systems. Centralizing the data is a challenge for many companies. To be manipulated, all this data is often centralized in data warehouses (large databases) or a data lake (the data is kept in its original format, but all stored in the same place). Many advanced technologies are devoted to storing and managing the collected data.

Big data implies larger, more complex datasets, especially from new data sources. These datasets are so voluminous that traditional data processing software just can’t manage them.

For easy understanding, here are the 4Vs of big data:

  1. Volume

As the name suggests, the quantity or volume of “big” data is enormous. It includes information regarding social media platforms, point-of-sale data and ecommerce sites.

  1. Variety

Big data consists of several data types. It comes in mainly three types: structured, unstructured and semi-structured.

  1. Velocity

The dictionary meaning of velocity is speed, and when we talk of big data in digital marketing, it means the speed at which information is formed and stored. 

  1. Veracity

Veracity means truthfulness. When it comes to big data, veracity pertains to the quality, accuracy and credibility of big data. It depends upon the source of data.

Big data and digital marketing

“Without data, you are just a person with an opinion.”

 W. Edwards Deming

This also stands true for data in digital marketing. Here is the thing – marketing is nothing without data. Decisions made on the basis of data are (often) better decisions. The importance of data in marketing can be explained as follows:

Target audience

Hiring personnel to enhance your digital marketing efforts on various platforms, spending considerable time and energy on marketing efforts — everything can go to waste if you are not targeting the right audience. Had it been the twentieth century, finding the right audience would have been an extremely difficult task for a business. But in the twenty-first century, with technologies capable of changing the world upside down, finding the right audience is not a difficult task.

Big data analytics helps in finding the correct audience. Gathering customer information about their browsing of apps and websites, interests, requirements and expectations — everything is possible with specialized software, whose functionalities can be summarized as a centralized view of your customers. Created on the basis of many innovative technologies, this type of solution has advantages:

Understanding customers

First, you gather information about the whole audience to decide your target audience; then, you gather information about only your target audience and work on improving their user experience. This can be considered an extension of the previous point. It involves analyzing the gathered information so that the marketing efforts can be personalized for each customer.

Sales

This helps in two ways. One is by gathering specific data about sales to understand the pattern of buying of your customers and then accordingly introducing marketing strategies such as sale discounts and offers. Secondly, if you are successful in making use of big data in the best possible way, your sales will automatically increase. 

This is hitting two targets with one arrow, as the business’s aim of increasing sales is accomplished, and the customers are also happy to receive unique offers.

Feedback mechanism

Big data and its analytics enable a business to understand what its customers feel about their business or brand. Digital marketing involves frequently posting on various social media platforms. Gathering data about the response of the audience and analyzing it can help to a great extent. This way, a business will be able to learn about customer engagement, their loyalty and how they feel about their brand. 

Although various tools available on different social media platforms help analyze a business’s performance on social media, big data analytics give a deeper insight into the customer’s expectations and, thus, proves to be a good feedback mechanism.

Measuring growth

When big data analytics helps gather information to market a product or service, it will also help gather information about the results that a particular marketing campaign has brought to a business. This enables a business to match the expenditure on its marketing efforts and the results borne from it in some comparable terms. Thus, big data can be used before, during and after a particular marketing campaign. 

Measurement of results in terms of concrete data will help the business to learn from mistakes, if any, and will also enable the business to showcase its success to the audience and its competitors.

Conclusion

Just like the role of digital marketing cannot be ignored in marketing, the role of big data cannot be ignored in digital marketing. It is as essential — and obvious — as salt is to food. With the changing trends all around the world and the internet taking over most of it, the practices in the business world are also bound to change. In the long run, only those businesses that mold themselves according to changes in the business environment become successful. So, the importance of big data in digital marketing cannot be denied at any cost. 

A better understanding of the concept and the techniques of big data, along with the right approach gained from this understanding, will help any business succeed.

This article was contributed by Mariia Lvovych, CEO and founder of Olmawritings and GetReviewed.

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