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Marketing and big data: Finding that needle in the haystack

We once measured our audience using demographic buckets, especially with the use of age groups, gender, and financial ability as keys.  Classic marketing teaches us that this is the best way to define our audience, and to make appropriate pitches that will elicit favorable response from the target audience.

Still true, but with a big twist.

Using big data that has been mined for specific information, we can now market to Needle_haystackindividuals within classes, some of whom will not fit the stereotype and would have been missed with more generalized efforts.

[Email readers, continue here…]  Consider the soon–to–be grandmother checking for gifts for her pregnant daughter.  She visits your site for information but does not buy and doesn’t leave an email address for information.  She doesn’t fit into the demographic mold, and she will be missed when using any of the traditional marketing methods of communication.

But a good use of the log files you may not even know you keep might surface this person and permit a one–to–one marketing effort with a call to action.  Fifteen out of seventeen business sectors each store more data per company than the entire Library of Congress.  And global data storage is growing at an astounding rate of forty percent per year.

You may not be aware of all the data your company stores, or whether it is usable at the atomic level – by source location or name or IP address.  Make a short list of all the places you know you accumulate information about your customers and prospects.  Spend a little time with your tech resources understanding the form and accessibility of that data. Then decide whether there is unmined gold in those undiscovered places.

Big data – thick data – will be a competitive battlefield in this next generation of atomized marketing.


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