How Big Data Changes Marketing

Michael Reuter

7 April 2014

About 0.5% of big data collected is actually being analyzed and monetized. The “rest” ends up unused. 90% of all data ever created has been generated in the years 2012-2013, and 30% of it contains valuable information. During the last years, the amount of data has been increasing exponentially. Enterprises around the world are beginning to put Big Data on the top list of their operations.

Big Data comes with a paradigm shift not only in research: here, the industry is shifting from finding and asking the right questions to letting the data speak for themselves, enabled by smart algorithms doing their analysis automatically. In marketing, the same paradigm shift is taking place: CMOs are provided with factbased, individualized answers in realtime, rather than with intuitive, retroactive perspectives of traditional market research.

While it’s not the data in Big Data which is important. Rather, it’s the insights derived from it, the quality of decisions you make and the actions you take that transform big data into smart data, or “affinity data”, if you drill the data funnel down to the individual: the more information marketers have on their user’s likes, preferences and interests, the better they can target the individual with content personalized to her interests. This is helping companies generate insights into their customer bases, and thus create new and better targeted products and services.

There are twice as many “things” connected to each other on the internet than people. By 2020, this number will rise to 50 billion connected devices. Devices connected with themselves and people – this gigantic communication network will provide unprecedented insights into human behavior. From customer segments to the individual customer, from retroactive long-term research to realtime knowledge – the new status quo of data amounts to enormous opportunities on the one hand and crystal clear obligations on the other: enterprises that do not understand the implications of big data will lose traction against their smarter competitors who have built up vitally needed expertise in big data analytics.

Over the next weeks we will describe how big data can make a substantial impact in customer engagement, customer loyalty and the overall marketing performance. We will start with the airport industry which, beside its aviation business, heavily relies on the non-aviation business, such as shopping malls.