For some time now, data has been dominating the internet industry as its star-child. That’s not going to change anytime soon. Here’s why you should care and what you can do to make the most of it.
The obsession we have with being connected to WiFi – at all times, no matter where we are, what we’re doing, or who we’re with – has created an invaluable, and monstrous, vault of information and statistics, also known as data. Wherever we go online we leave a digital footprint of interests, behaviours and needs. This information might as well just be labelled G.O.L.D.
The top five most successful companies in the world today include Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Together, they have marketed data collection as possibly the hottest commodity in relation to the success of any industry. What do each of these companies have in common? They all provide unlimited amounts of information to the world, while at the same time collecting information about said world with each click.
When used to its full potential and properly analysed, data can be used to re-evaluate audiences, make services better for consumers, increase revenues, reduce risks and encourage new initiatives. This is because companies are able to learn exactly what it is their customers want based on the way their products are being used. It also allows companies to view the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors and customers, creating an ability to fine tune themselves into exactly what people want, or even need, them to be.
The Economist recently wrote an article stating “this abundance of data changes the nature of competition. Technology giants have always benefited from network effects: the more users Facebook signs up, the more attractive signing up becomes for others. With data there are extra network effects. By collecting more data, a firm has more scope to improve its products, which attracts more users, generating even more data, and so-on.” In addition to this, leveraging data properly can lead to huge improvements in a company’s business and marketing strategy.
Make This Data Work For You
So how can a business utilize this mass of information? Here are some ways that “Big Data”can be used to optimize your online marketing strategies:
1. Retargeting Your Audience
Being able to speak to customers in a way that seems like you’ve read their mind and come to their rescue can dramatically increase engagement. Say, for instance, someone is searching for an all-inclusive trip to Cuba on a certain travel website. By collecting and reviewing previous search history while on the site, the travel company in question can recommend certain vacation packages and resorts to that customer throughout their search without even asking for any information. Customizing your communications to fit the need of your consumers can increase customer engagement and site reviews, and make sure you aren’t going around in circles trying to figure out exactly what your customers are looking for.
2. Customizing Communication
By using demographic, geographic, behavioural, interest and intent-based data, you can really target your ideal audience. For example, if your product suits men between the ages of 18 and 35 who live in New York, you can set up specific parameters based on data collected to reach more people in this target area. Achieving precise audiences prevents companies from wasting time, and money, on ads that are hitting ineffective or irrelevant audiences. Retargeting allows your company to increase your return on investments when it comes to ads and makes sure you get the most bang for your buck.
3. Gap Analysis and Problem Solving
Through the collection of data, organizations can analyze the behaviours, habits, strengths and weaknesses of competitors and customers. Organizations can easily see what’s working – or not working – for others in the industry and change their marketing strategies accordingly. This tactic is changing what it means to be competitive, and requires companies to either be on the data-collection train, or risk falling behind in rankings.
4. Encourage New Initiatives
When gaps are identified, it can encourage companies to start a new initiative or campaign, based on what they have found. If a recycling depot sees that 80% of the traffic on their website is searching for the “battery recycling” page, they can create a campaign that focuses on this information to send out to their customers as an educational piece. As a result, they will likely get less unaccepted battery drop offs, reduce customer inquiries on the topic, and improve customer knowledge about the company’s services.
Does Big Data seem a bit too much like Big Brother for your comfort? There are a million uses for all this information, and it’s being used daily by businesses big and small, it’s just a matter of knowing what features to look for to best implement for your business.
Interested in reaping big rewards from big data? Contact us today to explore some possible solutions.