Having access to big data technology is one thing; making it usable is another. For businesses, especially those in B2B sectors, the potential benefits of big data for marketing are clear – improved lead generation, lead nurturing, and information gathering give companies that use them a significant edge. Making use of that data, though, hasn’t always been straightforward. Marketing automation that’s fueled by big data is just the first step. Marketers also need to put their data to work, scale it to fit, accelerate it, and use it to stay ahead of the pack.
Making Raw Data Actionable
Organization is the difference between a library’s shelves and a pile of books. Without a systematic way of organizing information in ways that make it easily accessible and comprehensible, no amount of data can mean much to your marketing activities. With an ever-increasing torrent of information pouring into marketing departments, their challenge was finding a way to make sense of it all and put it to work. Enter marketing automation with its ability not only to gather information, but also interpret it. Dashboards that reveal results in accessible, actionable formats are built into marketing automation platforms so marketers can turn big data into big revenue.
Marketing techniques that work for a few dozen leads may not work for a hundred or a thousand. Connecting with prospects as a business grows is one of the greatest challenges smaller businesses face as they grow. Tracking customer data as a start-up is straightforward, but what happens when it becomes an established firm and eventually an industry leader? Maintaining a high level of customized, personalized service even on a grand scale takes big data technology. With it, companies can continue to have conversations with their clientele even as their audience grows exponentially.
Before email marketing, A/B split testing of direct mail took weeks to provide results. The email revolution pushed marketers to find solutions that gave them answers in days. Now, even a wait of a few days is too long for businesses that serve a highly mobile, well-educated, and sometimes capricious audience. The volumes of incoming data have also changed; while marketers might once have looked at test audiences of a few hundred, they should now have access to much larger test groups for more accurate results. The challenge, then, was twofold: Researchers had to find a way to handle incoming data quickly and to give clear results in real time. Marketing automation software that uses in-memory processing and supports mobile-first design gathers information quickly and produces virtually instant results so you can send out test messages and get answers in real time.
Staying in Front of the Competition
Big data marketing technology used to be only for the largest organizations, the ones that could afford to custom-build an in-house solution for their information needs. Thanks to email service providers that offer increasingly sophisticated testing options, search engines that give site owners access to powerful analytics, and marketing software that handles a larger volume of data than ever before, that’s no longer the case. Marketing automation takes siloed software and puts data gathering, processing, and interpretation in one place. It’s no longer just for the early adopters, either – marketing automation is going mainstream in some industries, and others are likely to follow.
Big data potentially pays big dividends, but only once you’ve solved the challenges implicit in working with huge volumes of information. Automation is the most efficient way to translate all that data into action, bring it up to scale as you grow, and gain a competitive edge.
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