What is Big Data and Why is it So Important?
Updated: Oct 18
‘Big Data’ is a hot topic in marketing and social networking circles right now. However, many business owners may still be wondering what exactly it is and why it matters so much. If that’s you, don’t panic – you’re not alone, and we’re here to demystify the latest buzz word for you.
Essentially, Big Data means collecting a large volume of information. It’s actually not a new idea, larger corporations have been collecting all manner of details from their customers for years, the current ‘buzz’ around the subject is more to do with the growing number of smaller businesses making the concept work for them too, thanks to the rise in online networking, social media and so on. Your small business may not have access to as much data as the ‘big boys’, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use the same techniques to your advantage.
The concept is actually very simple: Collect Data – Analyse It – Utilise It. The key to success, is knowing how and where to collect the data, and what to then look for in order to make it useful.
How Can You Collect Data From Your Customers?
There are a number of ways, such as surveys, competitions and promotions that require personal input to enter, open ended questions on social media channels and so on. Also, take stock of what you already know – every time you interact with a customer, you find out something about them. Look at their profiles on social media – can you ascertain their age, or their marital status? Do they have children? Do they enjoy travel? You probably already know more about your customers than you realise!
How to Analyse Data
Be Selective. Big Data is a powerful tool, but you should only harness information that is relevant in some way. Look for trends amongst your customers that could be useful in future marketing campaigns, try to define your different key demographics, is there a website that 70% of your customers link to on a regular basis? (If there is – you should be checking it out!)
How to Utilise Data
After combining your big data with the right analytics, it is possible to use the results in a number of beneficial ways. Your findings can help plan your marketing strategies and set out your business road map for the coming months. They can help identify the customers who are most valuable (and who you should be looking for more of!). They can provide insights as to what’s working well and what needs to be addressed in terms of marketing and promotion.
There is really no end to how your amassed ‘Big Data’ can help shape your company’s future.
Of course the collection, analysis and utilization is a time consuming and on-going process. If you simply don’t have the time, but wish to reap the rewards, talk to us today about how we can help. We’d be delighted to hear from you.