big data

By Annie Qureshi

Big data is touching our lives in numerous ways. By the year 2020, nearly 1.7 trillion megabytes of new information will be generated every second. The big data revolution is playing a tremendous role in the future of online marketing as well.

Here are some ways big data is a boon for the Internet marketing profession.

More Granular Approach to Optimization

Whether companies are trying to generate leads, boost Facebook or Instagram likes or focus on direct selling, they need to collect plenty of data to optimize their campaigns. Creating successful online marketing campaigns requires extensive testing and optimization. The more variables you track, the easier it is to improve your campaigns.

Before major advances in server technology and cloud computing, brands had to restrict the data they monitored, which limited their ability to optimize their campaigns. Today, big data allows them to retain much more extensive records of their marketing campaigns, which makes optimizing campaigns easier than ever.

Provide Better Targeting

Every experienced marketer agrees that targeting is the most important part of online marketing. Targeting your ads to the right users has a greater impact on your ROI than your landing pages, ads, day parting and virtually every other variable you can picture.

Big data has opened the door for more targeting options, particularly for social media advertisers. An infographic from WordStream highlights all of the targeting options advertisers have on Facebook, which include the following:

  • Age range
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Education level
  • Place of employment
  • Living situation
  • Generation
  • Ethnicity
  • Familial status
  • Political views

Marketers that understand their audience can fine tune their targeting to reach them carefully. Split-testing different targeting options can drastically improve your ROI.

Forecasting Demand

Too many marketers believe their only role is to come up with clickable, converting ads. While this is a crucial part of the job description, there are other things they must do.

Identifying what customers really want is equally, if not more important as advertising. Harvard Business Review interviewed a number of experts that said too many brands fail to understand their audience well.

“Listen to the feedback from the customers and reshape your idea and your product to fit what they actually want,” one interviewee told them.

Another interview had similar feedback: “It’s really all about understanding what the pain point is in the marketplace, and the best way to do that is to talk to prospects and validate, validate, validate your idea.”

There are multiple ways to listen to your customers. Obviously, the easiest is to collect primary research data by conducting surveys. However, the data you collect will be limited.

Big data has opened new doors for companies that need to assess demand for their client’s services. They can track engagement data to see how customers responded to similar ads and brands. They can help their clients develop product packages that align with their customers’ needs.

Kristian J. Hammond discussed these benefits in detail at HBR.

“If we’re going to really capitalize on Big Data, we need get to human insight at machine scale. We will need systems that not only perform data analysis, but then also communicate the results that they find in a clear, concise narrative form.”

Paves Way for New Advertising Solutions

New advertising platforms are launched every year. Unlike traditional advertising (such as banner ads), these new platforms are heavily dependent on data to provide advertisers with detailed analytics and optimization capabilities.

Internet Marketers Must Embrace Big Data in 2017

Big data has changed the Internet marketing profession in extraordinary ways over the last few years. It will continue to transform the industry in new ways for years to come. Every marketer worth his salt will take the time to learn about the impact of big data and welcome it with open arms.

Annie is a passionate writer and serial entrepreneur. She embraces ecommerce opportunities that go beyond profit, giving back to non-profits with a portion of the revenue she generates. She is significantly more productive when she has a cause that reaches beyond her pocketbook. Twitter: @annierqureshi.