Rick Merten, director of digital marketing agency Permission, argues that businesses shouldn’t get fooled by the ‘big data’ hype. Instead they should spend their time working with the information they already have to boost business.
As a consumer, have you ever caught yourself thinking that businesses may know you a little too well?
The rise of ‘big data’ means that companies can now identify their audience to almost infinitesimal detail. Sophisticated digital marketing has developed to the point of almost being too successful, making it easy to ‘spray and pay’ reaching almost everyone through their connected device.
But can buying Terabytes of data guarantee valuable outcomes? In truth, in a world of information overload sometimes less is more for all organisations. That means embracing the new ‘big data’, cunningly titled, ‘small data’.
Rather than trying to tap into the ‘big data’ zeitgeist, the more sensible option would be building a segmentation framework within the maybe limited, but more valuable, data you already have.
The biggest reason that investments in ‘big data’ fail to pay off is not because the process is flawed, but that, in many cases, the data is either unnecessary or businesses become paralysed by the volume of data they can access.
Collecting more data from more sources only for the sake of it, or collecting data that you unknowingly already have captured within the organisation, is essentially a waste of time, money and resources.
Transactional data is a simple and obvious source of quality information for your business. Somewhere in your data files you have simple insights into what your customers are buying or not buying, whether they buy discounted or full priced items, the times of day or location of their purchases and the devices they are using to purchase items.
These insights are invaluable in helping you better understand the types of customers you should be targeting, the products they want and the offers that will change behaviour.
The information that already exists in your web analytics, CRM or POS systems will most likely allow you to retrieve the granular insights needed to identify your most profitable or promising customers. If the message, and its timing, is right the chances are you could improve your sales conversion rates considerably.
You don’t have to be the biggest, best or flashiest, just the smartest to steal a jump on the competition.
Those companies taking advantage of the data sources already at their fingertips are the ones able to easily and economically identify and solve customer problems to improve their experience and drive sales.
So don’t get swept up in the ‘big data’ hype, ‘small data’ can be just as effective in steering your business to success. The chances are the information is already at your fingertips. The trick is knowing how to unlock it!