Remember the days when marketing was also known as the colouring in department? They were answerable to no one because how can you put a figure on creative genius?
We know that perception is skewed, but it is true that traditionally it was hard to measure a campaign’s success and worse, to prove that success to your senior stakeholders. Luckily in the last decade we’ve managed to leverage digital campaign data to inform every part of the buying journey. We are no longer merely creatives, but prophets with the ability to understand and anticipate our customers deepest desires and needs.
As technology gets more sophisticated, the insights we can glean are becoming more complex, richer and more accessible. Even five years ago, it would take a department’s data analyst weeks to compile a report (and the all important accompanying PowerPoint presentation). Now marketers can just log onto their mobile devices and get answers from large and disparate arrays of data sets. Below, we explore what are some of the ways marketers are using data (and how it is transforming their roles in the process).
Taking personalisation to the next level
Personalisation isn’t just about sending an email with your customer’s name anymore. Data is helping businesses anticipate what their customers might need. A leader in the field is UK retailer Amazon. In fact, big-data marketing company BloomReach recently undertook a survey of 1000 British consumers. Interestingly over 82% of those surveyed said that: ‘no company offers the same levels of web-personalisation as Amazon.’
One example of this is their personalised communications. For example, if you are owner of a new car and you display her proudly on social media, Amazon determined, through a combination of social media information, browsing history and traditional personalisation data that you might be wanting to treat your car, so it will send you a newsletter with all the things that you may purchase for a car mats, seat covers and if you live in an icy area, this snow brush:
Amazon doesn’t just use the information that you’ve ‘got a new car’ rather it collates all that data to provide you with relevant offerings at the right time.
Big data is becoming an essential tool to get the jump on your competitors. A common example of this is how businesses can use this data to take a more measured approach to reputation management by tracking sentiment via social media and customer feedback.
A very common example of this is in the hospitality industry. A hotel might unearth that they are considered too expensive compared to their competitors, therefore they do a price promotion, or go and reevaluate their value proposition.
Forbes gives the the example of a popular US chain who discovered in feedback and transaction data, that they were catering to the wrong customer. Based on this insight, the company ‘took strategic, data-driven decisions to rearrange many of their rooms to better cater to either business or leisure travellers, provide more bathroom storage for rooms popular with travelling families, and provide a greater range of in-room facilities such as kitchenettes where guests would appreciate them.’ These measures led to an increase in revenue-per-room by 5%.
Creating a value proposition for your customers
As Harvard Business Review states, a value proposition isn’t just about targeting your customers, but thinking about how you can be strategic in transforming your operations in the long term and demonstrate what separates you from the herd.
A start-up paving the way in this space is Opower, a power management company who work with over 90 utility companies to reduce energy consumption. Working with so many utility companies give them a very large amount of data to work with. According to report titled the Top Five High-Impact Use Cases for Big Data Analytics, Opower gathers over 7 million data points each day. They turn these data points into customised reports with household bills so that the households can compare their energy use with their neighbours, inspiring them to conserve energy. Opower is so successful because they are using their data to deliver something of real value to their clients in an easy-to-understand and novel way.
Driving deeper insights with big data
The above are just a few ways how companies are using data to be innovative, creative and push the boundaries. If you would like to hear how more industry experts are leveraging data then check out the Big Data & Analytics Conference at CeBIT 2017. Secure your spot now!