If I wasn’t my agnostic self, I would be holding a ‘love in’ for Big Data. This doesn’t mean that I’m not embracing it, quite the opposite, it just means that I think many of the true implications of its value are still in the shadows. I have been involved in endless research and meetings with cutting edge tech companies regarding big data and how it’s best utilised.
From a digital perspective, there are many channels and areas that big data can give you a true advantage. I haven’t said that for a long time. So how can we currently utilise it in digital?
Let’s take a few channels. Display advertising, email campaigns, customer services, UX. A varied part of the digital mix. We’re all aware of Gordon Moore (emperor of all things digital) so assuming you’ve read his research from the 60’s, big data was not only probable – it was inevitable. So if we take Gordon’s assumptions even further, you may agree with me that this is the start of a new technological revolution.
We have improved data laws on the Internet so people are better informed that they are being ‘watched’ – that’s the government’s bureaucratic box ticked. Let’s be honest about this, how many people actually click ‘don’t agree’ when they hit every site that has cookie consent? Everyone clicks agree, and nobody really understands the implication. If they did, the Internet would grind to a halt.
If we start with display advertising, possibly the most infuriating type of paid traffic driving known to man. How do you make this your digital marketing ‘golden bullet’? Enter the smart pixel. The most cutting edge agencies are now rolling out systems and algo’s to capitalise on anyone who doesn’t click ‘don’t agree’. Using smart pixels and big data, agencies are now tracking around 200 data points on everyone who lands on any one of tens of thousands of sites that they can place the tag.
This means that every downstream site you visit, every transaction you make, every hour you spend on-line becomes a part of your ‘profile’. In the context of display, this will allow me (as a digital strategist) to target you to display any advertising I wish based specifically on your habits.
In display advertising terms, this will allow me to know that A) you like streaming movies, but more importantly B) you’ve never visited my client’s site or indeed subscribed. If I allocate my budget to only display to prospects like you, I can be far more effective in growing new customers. This is of course a simplistic example but the scope within display can rejuvenate this underwhelming channel again.
This also works for email campaigns. Segmented is a word often used but even more often incorrectly? Using big data we can truly track and store usable data on our customers. Link this in with the ERP/CRM, implement a dynamic campaign tool and you can have laser focussed messaging with your product and proposition.
The same hold true with UX and customer services. Big data allows you to humanise data. If your customers/visitors are dropping off on a certain page, how can you truly understand why? Big data technology companies such as ClickTail allow you to replay user sessions on your website in real time. Every mouse hover, every button missed, every frustration there in front of you. This is true value.
My opinion? Big data is going to change the digital landscape so you will embrace it or be left wondering what hit you.