A survey conducted by the SAS Institute reveals that 67% of companies use big data to gain competitive advantage over their competitors. However, it is a fallacy to assume that big data simply equates to aggregating more and more data. In fact, aggregating data is merely a precursor to the real thing, trying to extrapolate trends or insights from such data. For companies to succeed in gaining a competitive advantage, the information derived has to improve conversion rates and help marketers engage more efficiently with their prospects.
Many a time, the big data initiatives fail to make any significant difference: the conversion rates remain more or less the same pre-and-post big data initiatives. This is because marketers simply continue to aggregate data without changing the way they use the data. For big data to be effective, it requires not just expanding the database, but a careful look at the type and nature of information extracted from such data, and the purpose to which such information is put to use.
What Data is Collected?
One issue is the type of data collected. Many B2B marketers give priority to traditional demographic data, such as location, age group, and purchasing power. While this has some uses, it is also important to look into behaviorial data – what customers buy, the channels through which they shop, the payment mode, and so on. Such behavioral insights allow the marketer to predict what the prospect would most likely do in future, enabling them to engage with such prospects better, and customizing the communication. When such behavioral insights are coupled with demographic trends, marketers have comprehensive and actionable insights.
How is the Collected Data Used?
In a August 2012 B2B marketing survey conducted by DemandBase, 60% of the respondents considered generating more leads as their biggest challenge. 63% of the respondents felt they were confused as to the effectiveness of their marketing mix.
What matters most is the overall marketing strategy. The key to such marketing issues is putting the available big data into effective use. Big data, for instance, facilitates making the marketing message more creative and personal, increasing its appeal among leads. It also helps the marketer zero in on the most effective engagement strategy, and thereby increase the probability of conversion.