You need a full-blown process, team, partner to do it right. All aspects are critical.
Interest in “Big Data” is exploding. According to Google Insights, relative search volume for the term big data has increased steadily over the past year (see chart below). The high point was last Thursday when President Obama made his proclamation about big data.
There are lots of players in the mix, from storage and processing to boutique analytics firms and automation partners like Marketo.
Data analytics has been democratized. The access to and ability to process Big Data has opened up a big opportunity for commerce and industry. Naturally, the source of this ever-growing Big Data is the increasing volume of activity happening online.
However, my 15 years at The Nielsen Company taught me a profound respect for the quality of data and the rigorous methodology needed to make informed decisions. You need the right partners across the entire spectrum of this process.
Each player has a unique approach to apply to each part of the process; however, business owners need to keep in mind that it’s the results that matter—profitable revenue.
Below is a quick overview of what you need in place to execute a Big-Data business strategy well.
- First, a big driver of Big Data for business is a dynamic and consistently thoughtful inbound marketing strategy. Businesses must have great content, be optimized for search, and engage in a social media strategy to communicate with potential customers and generate leads. This process emits digital signals which are the critical inputs for the big-data movement. With this data you can then supercharge RPM (revenue performance management) platforms, e.g. by protecting organic search-engine rankings from drops associated with over-optimization.
- Next, one has to collect all the signals—digital and even analog—to analyze and synthesize the data to develop insights leading to action.
- Segmentation is next. Your insights must go beyond a binary measure of who’s hot and who’s not. Knowing your personas and identifying the state of buyer consideration leads you to step 4.
- Targeting. You must develop custom messaging and enhanced treatment to continue nurturing or send buyers into a sales process for conversion. This output should also be continuously kicked back to refine #1.
Following this process end-to-end with the right partners creates leads that convert and profitable revenue for marketing that even a CFO would love.