If anyone has any doubts that “big data” is real, please note that data worldwide is growing 40 percent per year, a daunting rate of growth for any business. Like all big challenges, there is big opportunity in all that data. A recent McKinsey study found that companies who put data-driven personalization at the center of marketing and sales decisions improve marketing ROI by 15%-20% percent or more.
It seems that the best way to think about applying “big data” to your marketing is to think in terms of how it helps you connect with customers. People today are increasingly comfortable interacting with brands across a variety of channels, devices and touch points. That data gives marketers a chance to get to know not just the digital footprint (what has already happened) but insights into where the path ahead may roam: the predictive analytics which increasingly will enable marketers to be where the customer is going, not where they’ve already been. Personalization is a big part of that connection.
A 2014 Infosys survey found that 86 percent of respondents said that personalization influenced what they purchase to some extent, and 25 percent of them said that personalization significantly influences what they purchase.
The same cautions about personalization still apply – never use data to personalize unless you are super confident in the quality and accuracy. Make sure personalization is valuable, not just showy. Don’t be too obvious – with customers or your sales associates. The McKinsey report authors share this advice and example in Forbes.com: “To succeed, companies need to shield the front line from the vast analytical complexity and deliver simple guidelines and recommended actions. One cargo airline, for example, developed a complex model that analyzed the frequently changing dynamics of the cargo industry and negotiating strategies based on supply and demand. What it delivered to its sales staff, however, was a simple “dashboard” with simple guidelines on flight capacity, corresponding pricing as well as competitor options. The result was a 20 percent boost in share of wallet.”
Mastering insights from “big data” and all marketing data will help you make 2015 the year of personalized, frequent and profitable customer interactions – the kind of marketing strategy that puts you in the #TopRight of your market.