Welcome to Big Data, A Revolution in Marketing and Media. I am Dan Neely, CEO at Networked Insights. We're a big data company working with social data and I'm here today to explain what all this conversation about big data really is about and how it can help marketers succeed.
Big Data means different things to different people. Let’s start by talking about its background and how brands have begun to wrap their heads around it…
Let’s talk about how Big Data has made its way into business. Big Data used to be proprietary or internal data and only affect a few departments or functions within the enterprise.
What do we mean by "big data"? This definition is intentionally subjective and incorporates an evolving definition of how big a dataset needs to be in order to be considered big data—i.e., we don’t define big data in terms of being larger than a certain number of terabytes (thousands of gigabytes). We assume that, as technology advances over time, the size of datasets that qualify as big data will also increase. Keep in mind, that the definition can vary by sector, depending on what kinds of software tools are commonly available and what sizes of datasets are common in a particular industry. With those caveats, big data in many sectors today will range from a few dozen terabytes to multiple petabytes (thousands of terabytes).
Today data is being collected and stored from everywhere.
Big data is being created through three different actions that we can classify into:Human to Human interactions. We can call these social media updates, or one-to-one communications for example via Skype or Face –time.Human to Machine interactions. Wearable technology such as Nike’s Fuel bands or app store purchases from mobile devicesMachine to Machine communications are another type. The next frontier for robot assisted surgeries are procedures unaided by medical staff. Here robots or computers are processing information from other computers about a patient or a procedure protocol.
Data can come from online and offline interactions. You have mountains of data being collected during web and eCommerce experiences, purchase data from point-of-sale machines, machine-to-machine communications via sensors or over networks, video, games or various entertainment preferences, social media data, mobile data such as GPS, transactional data via web or say interactions on a toll-road, and of course bank and credit card data tracking how consumers are paying.
Just how fast is this data growing? IDC, the international data corporation, says the digital universe will be 40 zetabytes by 2020. What’s a zetabyte? A zetabyte is one billion terabytes…another way of saying it is 1.1 trillion gigabytes.To put things in perspective: One gigabyte of data can store 960 minutes of music on your iPhone….one Zettabyte would be able to hold 2 BILLION YEARS of music.
All of this data is: Created by consumers (for example:social data, web data, point-of-sale)Generated by devices that are related to your products, or devices required to use your products (like mobile devices or intelligent devices like Samsung TVs)Collected and reported by objects (like toll-bridges, jet engine performances, etc.)
Who has access to consumer data? Every major brand. Companies in all sectors have at least 100 terabytes of stored data in the United States; many have more than 1 petabyte
Big data is going to force tremendous transparency because the accelerated speed of decision-making to take advantage of real-time data. The greater reliance of data-driven decisions will reduce the human bias and assumptions that can undermine business strategies. Data will also:Supports - Replace and support human decision-making with automated algorithmsInnovates - You’ll see how big data innovates business through new models, products, and servicesReveals - Analytics of this data will surface consumer trends previously unidentified because of the scale and granularity of the transactional data that machines can parse quicklyCreates advantage - Brands that can derive insights from big data will unlocka competitive advantage. The brands that don’t will find themselves at risk. (Not staying in-sync with consumers)Improves efficiency - Leveraging Big Data has the potential to improve efficiency and effectiveness, enabling organizations both to do more with less and to produce higher-quality outputs. (i.e., increase the value-added content of products and services.)Powers real-time - Immediate insight is needed to make smarter decisions in response to the dynamics of the market
Big Data has the largest impact on marketing, and as a result it is going to change everything. It will alter how you perceive your consumer and discover your true audience – less perceptions based on demographic information and more focused on explicit or action-based data. Marketing will leverage big data to better understand what to say to consumers. Why guess at the marketing messages your audience wants to hear when data can show you what drives the most engagement? Marketing professionals will also use big data to identify where to best present marketing messages. The impacts for media planning and buying are a more efficient advertising spend. One that moves away from mass marketing techniques like buying reach and matches the consumption patterns of a target consumer.
Data-driven decisions will now become routine in areas that have traditional been the domain of intuition or gut-based decisions. Companies will be able to inform marketing strategy with predictive analytics, de-risking major investments. Big Data in Marketing will identify threats and create new opportunities to better align to the passions, interests, and values of your consumer. A real-time feedback loop puts the burden on traditional processes to keep pace to improve effectiveness and efficiency. Aligning decisions to real-time consumer behaviors will unlock value across the spectrum between brand and consumer. The net is less of a focus on planning and creating and more of a focus on measuring and optimizing marketing.
The single most important impact of big data for marketing will be social data. After all, it’s real-time consumer data that is growing exponentially, allowing us to quantify what has traditionally been qualitative information. Why is that important? When you can look at millions of conversation about cleaning products and supplies you learn new things. Consumption patterns, use cases, consumer needs, how they engage your product, how they engage each other, what influences purchase decisions, how people respond to marketing, what drives behavior and what inspires action.
With the world moving at the speed of digital, marketing is bound to be one of the first areas changed by new technology capabilities. And big data will change marketing by accelerating the entire process. The corporate structure for marketing has been built to consume and deploy marketing activities based on 20th century technologies. The last 15 years have been a transition phase for companies to adapt to Internet technologies and that shift is only going to accelerate as consumers seize control of communication platforms that will shape a new landscape of winners and losers.
Data-driven decisions does not equate to formulaic or without creativity. Data-driven will mean taking the voice of the consumer into account more than before, because you now have access to it in real-time, when you’re making decisions. If you can mitigate risk with data, why wouldn’t you? If you can improve performance with data you will spend the time to integrate into your processes. Big data is and will continue to help marketing be more accountable, transparent, and productive.
What type of decisions are impacted by social data? Understanding your audience, the content the consume, and where they want to consume it.
Social data is an unbiased third-party source that can validate decisions in media planning. It also allows you to evaluate advertising and media through active metrics – engagement, shares, comments, response, sentiment – and it’s all measureable.
Each role in marketing will have a different interest and demand for big data. CMOs will better understand what drives business and how to develop/manage an agile marketing organization. One that puts a premium on adapting to consumers.Brand Managers will want to know their audience, competitors and brand perceptions in real-time data on a routine basis.PR will want to identify emerging threats to the brand and evaluate the performance of communications with different audiencesDigital and Social Media Marketers will want to understand what drives engagement and thus conversionsSales managers will want to know how social data is impacting the purchase funnel. Where is it an accelerant and where is it causing friction?Product Managers will better understand market trends and how to develop innovative solution with constant monitoring of the target audience
Why is social data revolutionary? It’s growing exponentially both in size and in quality. These are un-aided consumer conversations. They have no bias and reveal insights that traditional methods can not replicate. The data is universally available and accessible in real-time. We used to spend lots of money to acquire consumer data and distribute it. The challenge has shifted to acting on the data and using it to create better marketing decisions.
How does Networked Insights help clients take advantage of Social Data?Through the various stages of the marketing lifecycle. Our technology SocialSense improves planning and activation decisions, providing a way to measure and optimize campaigns through real-time data.
So what are the future implications?
While our experience with data may have been that it’s complex and cumbersome, today ignoring it is a luxury few can afford. So embrace Big Data and start figuring out how you’re leveraging it for improved decisions.
Align with the right partners that help you with your decision making process. Don’t get hung up on capabilities, or how much data, or how fast, or how many dashboards. Get real. Try to make it simple and helpful.
Allow for a data-driven approach by incorporating consumer data into all your decisions. The social web is out there, growing every day. Are you tapping into it for the decisions your making today? The big ones you have tomorrow? Start asking when you’re going to incorporate your consumer’s real-time data and don’t stop until it’s the center of your big meetings and decisions.
Higher performing marketing means smarter investments. Use success from data-driven marketing decisions to expand the integration of big data into your organization.
You need to ask yourself: “Are you ready to move at the speed of your customer?”
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