Big data

Size matters: Big Data

Significant data (big data) can be derived through customer analytics, giving organizations insight on their audience’s online traffic and behaviors. This information allows digital marketers to optimize their tactics and personalize their users’ experiences.

Marketers’ main goal is personalization – being able to provide customers products and offers that represent their needs. Forrester’s white paper Use Customer Analytics To Get Personal (for Customer Intelligence Professionals) lists the analytical techniques used in personalization and popular applications of web personalization:

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Benefits to using customer personalization

  • Customers are acknowledged and served appropriately (through knowledge of past interactions)
  • The ability to offer relevant content and offers to enhance customers’ experiences and promote customer loyalty
  • Increased customer retention, and new customer acquisition
  • Increased returns from growing customer base

The New York Times article, How Companies Learn Your Secrets, is a story about how through the use of analytics, marketers discovered that “new parents are a retailer’s holy grail.” It is hard to change a person’s brand loyalties and buying habits, but new parents are overwhelmed and preferences can be easily swayed.

The article explains how “timing is everything. Because birth records are usually public, the moment a couple have a new baby, they are almost instantaneously barraged with offers and incentives and advertisements from all sorts of companies.” One of Target’s statisticians was able to predict when women were pregnant based off of their purchases. This was an advantage for Target because they could personalize offers towards women during their pregnancy, beating their competitions’ offers they were to receive after the birth of their child.

The Wall Street Jounral’s article, On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels, is another example of a company turning information into insight. Orbitz, an online travel agency found that “people who use Apple Inc.’s Mac computers spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels.” Orbitz started personalizing offers towards Mac users, who would be shown “different, and sometimes costlier, travel options than Windows visitors.”

Even Obama’s 2012 campaign used big data, to come up with the probability of swaying votes one way or another. With this information they were able to personalize the campaign and capitalize on their digital marketing. Read more about it in Time’s article, Inside the Secret WOrld of the Data Crunchers Who Helped Obama Win and the Wall Street Journal’s article Crovitz: Obama’s ‘Big Data’ Victory.

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