What Do We Do With All That Data??
You don’t have to be a baseball fan or even a sports fan to get caught up in World Series fever, especially this year. The games played so far have been incredibly exciting and full of record breaking events. One amazing statistic after another has flashed across the screen as the game is being played. The ability to assimilate all the data so quickly and reflect that in the information on live television is nothing short of well, crazy! Big data is bringing big change to just about every activity, action or reaction almost as it happens.
While this is an extreme example of data analysis, similar data gathering, and analysis is taking place in every field (no pun intended there). This is especially significant in marketing and sales; customer behaviors are one of the most important indicators of the success of marketing activities. Sales are of course the key indicator, not to mention goal, of all marketing; but knowing what appeals and works with potential and existing clients is extremely valuable.
Today’s data not only goes far beyond the number of widgets purchased or returned, it can be as detailed as how far from a brick and mortar location a personalized, directed geo-add can have the greatest impact. Is it five miles, one mile, as you turn into the shopping center or as you enter the store? Does it matter if you are an existing customer or a potential new one? What about the time of day or day of the week, month or year?
The data being gathered in today’s world can answer all those questions and do it far more quickly than in the past. By providing actionable information businesses can quickly change to reflect customer purchasing. Does the volume of customers who purchase rotisserie chicken increase 23% on the second Tuesday of the month between 5:45 and 6:00 PM? The business responds by having 23% more chicken hot and ready to go at that time. Want to increase sales on Wednesdays and Thursdays, send geo-marketing reminders to shoppers near the business to drive up sales. If that doesn’t work, the business can consider adding a discount coupon the next cycle to increase buyers. In short big data provides enough information to change marketing behavior quickly enough to truly enable just-in-time production processes.
Using big data to impact marketing and sales is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ but is rapidly becoming a necessary part of business strategy whether online or a physical presence. Small businesses are joining the big guys in gathering and analyzing data to positively impact marketing, sales, business planning and their future.
I’m not sure how much it adds to the game to have the individual player statistics updated with every at-bat or pitch for this game, this series, the post-season, the regular season, the player’s entire career and on and on and on. But without a doubt it demonstrates the volume of data being produced and, what a game changer it is and will continue to be!
Oh, and me, I’m pulling for the Astros—Houston strong!
About the Author Leslie Riehm is the Vice President Corporate Communications at Digital Donations, Inc. Connect with Leslie and Digital Donations on Linked-In and follow her on Twitter.