This article was originally published on Forbes
Christena Garduno is the CEO of Media Culture, a brand response agency specializing in media planning and buying for nearly 30 years.
Big data is transforming the relationship between companies and customers. Analyzing large amounts of data for marketing purposes is not new, but recent advancements in big data technology have given advertisers powerful new ways of understanding consumers’ behaviors, needs and preferences. Big data helps you optimize each customer’s demands and convert them into prospective purchasers.
A company’s ability to forecast growth accurately and devise a viable marketing plan now relies heavily on the availability and analysis of information. By using big data analytics in your planning and decision-making, your company will be well-equipped to solve today’s advertising problems and anticipate tomorrow’s challenges.
What Is Big Data Analytics?
The term "big data analytics" refers to the process of extracting valuable insights from large amounts of data, such as hidden patterns, unexplored connections and correlations, market trends and customer preferences. With new technological advances, it's possible to analyze company data and get answers instantly—a process that would be much less efficient with more conventional business intelligence solutions.
The Role Of Big Data Analytics In Digital Marketing Strategy
Big data is crucial in digital marketing because it provides companies with deep insights about consumer behavior.
Google is an excellent example of big data analytics in action. Google leverages big data to deduce what consumers want based on a variety of characteristics, such as search history, geography and trending topics. Big data mining has resulted in Google's secret source of proactive or predictive marketing: determining what consumers desire and how to incorporate that knowledge into the company’s ad and product experiences.
But your company doesn’t have to be a tech giant to use big data analytics successfully. Here are four key ways companies of all sizes can benefit from big data:
1.Receiving Data Analysis In Real Time: In the past, traditional scalable database engine technologies could process and analyze vast data collections. However, they did so at a glacial pace, requiring days or even weeks to complete jobs that frequently produced "stale" outcomes. In contrast, big data analytics systems can conduct complex procedures at breakneck speeds, allowing for real-time analysis and insights.
2. Enabling Targeted Advertising: Big data allows your company to accumulate more data on your visitors so you can target consumers with tailored advertisements that they are more likely to view. Google and Facebook are already doing this, but third-party merchants also have access to the same capabilities.
3. Analyzing Customer Insights: Big data is invaluable in sentiment analysis, which assesses how consumers feel about your business. With sentiment analysis, you can analyze your audience's likes and dislikes and determine whether they have positive, negative or neutral feelings toward your brand. Big data provides detailed information about your company’s strengths and weaknesses, which can strengthen a marketing strategy aimed at retaining and wooing potential customers.
4. Creating Relevant Content: Big data helps you deliver tailored content that aligns with your customers’ interests and needs. It provides the information you need to create the right content for the right consumers on the right channel at the right time.
5. Protecting Customer Privacy: Users’ concerns about digital privacy are reasonable, and large-scale data mining has introduced a wide range of applications to provide a smooth user experience and protect personal data in the case of an attack. As your business collects more data, it becomes more crucial to keep customers informed about how you store their information and what actions you're taking to adhere to privacy and data protection rules.
Four Types Of Big Data Analytics
Different types of data require different techniques. The four main categories of big data analytics are:
1. Predictive Analytics: Predictive analytics, the most frequently used type of analytics, uses statistics, modeling, data mining and machine learning to forecast the future and zero in on proposed trends. It is generally used to anticipate the results of various problem-solving scenarios.
2. Descriptive Analytics: This strategy is the most time-consuming and often yields the least value, but it helps identify trends within certain customer groups. Descriptive analytics offers insights into past trends and identifies patterns worth investigating further.
3. Diagnostic Analytics: Diagnostic analytics provides an in-depth examination of the root cause of a problem. Data scientists rely on diagnostic analytics techniques, including drill-down, data extraction and recovery and churn-cause analysis, to understand the reason behind a certain outcome. This type of strategy is advantageous when investigating factors contributing to churn indicators and use patterns among loyal customers.
4. Prescriptive Analytics: This form of analytics provides a prescription for resolving a certain issue. Prescriptive analytics utilizes both descriptive and predictive analytics and is often based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. You may use prescriptive analytics to discover the optimal solution to a problem.
Best Practices For Big Data Analytics In Advertising
Start with these best practices to get the most business value from big data analytics:
• Use analytic innovation to your advantage. Big data processing and analytics innovations revolutionize how companies extract value from their consumer data. We're witnessing a transition from techniques that provide periodic snapshots in descriptive reports and dashboards to comprehensive platforms that continuously analyze inbound data to create real-time forecasts and prescriptions.
• Use a range of analytical approaches. You’ll need a flexible architecture that welcomes variety in order to create a cohesive production environment from multiple analytic models. Integrate models created by various tools that have extendable libraries, web applications and standards.
• Balance expertise against automation. Even as technology expands, human knowledge is still required in big data analytics. Work with well-trained data scientists who have analytical skills informed by deep domain knowledge to construct successful prediction and decision-making models.
• Build a big data analytical pipeline. Big data provides additional ears and eyes for your marketing and advertising campaigns, empowering you to respond to audience activity and influence consumer behavior in real time. You now have the tools and know-how to develop effective big data advertising campaigns, thanks to cloud technologies like Amazing Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.
The growth of big data analytics offers advertisers new opportunities for forecasting trends and solving ongoing challenges. Embrace the power of big data to analyze real-time data and customer insights and create targeted advertising and content that hit the mark with your audience.