Better Marketing With Big Data

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Anand Srinivasan

Image Marketing strategies are not just about crafting the right message for the right audience. It is also about reaching out to the right audience and getting them to actually listen to it. The final part about getting them to listen to your message has always been a battle that marketers have been fighting.


With an increasing clutter of marketing messages; be it on TV, the internet or elsewhere, the chance for your target audience to get distracted and miss your communication is rather alarmingly high. As a matter of fact, a study by Adblock Plus has found that audiences spend 30% more time looking at ads and have higher ad recall when it was viewed on an uncluttered website. But with falling ad rates and increased competition, it is going to be long before publishers decide to declutter their websites.

Fortunately, this increasing clutter has a positive fallout – the hundreds and thousands of data points collected through these multiple marketing platforms and channels have given us a chance to analyze what works and what does not with the help of big data. In the cable TV industry, one of the biggest challenges right now is the personalization of advertising messages according to the end-viewer. Time Warner, for instance, launched a project that enabled their clients to target customers simultaneously over multiple platforms like cable TV, mobile devices, social media, web and email. What enabled the success of this campaign was the use of big data to create microsegments of audiences based on geographic and demographic parameters and targeting them with campaigns that will appeal to them.

In the digital medium, the sheer number of data points available make it possible to use big data analytics even more. According to Matt Blumberg, the CEO of ReturnPath, the treasure trove of data available to digital marketers with respect to ISPs, consumer behavior, etc. bring about an opportunity to draw clear, actionable insights that may not be possible with traditional marketing medium. Small changes in the communication layout or message can bring about significant improvements in reach out. For instance, email marketing providers like GetResponse today offer responsive email layouts to their customers. Marketers may dismiss these features as gimmick until they realize that responsive emails actually result in a 15% increase in unique clicks from mobile users.

There are dozens of other areas where marketers can benefit by deploying big data analytics. Similar to what we saw with the Time Warner project, one of the most popular avenues is to use big data analytics in identifying specific demographies and geographies to target your advertisement. Besides this, another major area of big data use among marketers is in reengaging their customers. Amazon is extremely well known for their use of the recommendation engine to nudge their visitors into making repeat purchases. Similarly, Netflix uses real-time big data processing to turn recommendations and customer actions into insightful recommendations that engage the users better.

As any marketer would tell you, everything in the industry is about testing assumptions – whether it is about identifying a brand positioning or picking a marketing platform. Typically, these assumptions were tested over data gathered through surveys, which are not free from biases. With big data, marketers can now test assumptions on a massive number of data points and derive insights that are typically not possible with regular surveys. This way, it is possible to get data-driven insights drive your business and help send out the right messages to the right audience.

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