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Is your marketing team ready for Big Data?
"Big Data" has become a hot topic within the marketing industry over the past year or so, but what is Big Data and why should marketing teams use it?
As the digital landscape develops at speed, marketers not only have the challenge of keeping up with industry and consumer use of digital channels, but also face the challenge of using the data to gather insights into consumer behaviour.
Why is Big Data important?
With so many channels available to marketers, it's more important than ever to understand where, how and when to engage with your customers. Big Data enables marketers to gain insights on their customers to help make more informed marketing decisions. Findings from the EIU Consumer Survey 2013 demonstrate this point well, as they suggest there is a gap between what marketers and consumers consider is the best way to reach them.
Unsurprisingly, social continues to be a large part of many brands marketing strategy, but the EIU research revealed 51% of consumers preferred to engage with brands via company websites, with only 4% preferring to interact with brands via social networks.
So what are the main benefits of using Big Data?
The EIU statistics clearly demonstrate the importance of marketers using customer insights to improve marketing performance. Big Data insights can help brands reach audiences via the most relevant channels, provide customers with useful content matched to their interests, and provide product reviews and promotions that match their buying behaviour. These insights will enable marketers to generate more lucrative leads and improve customer retention.
What's more, there's a wealth of digital data that marketers already have at their fingertips including buying behaviour, customer preferences from social media, previous campaign results and industry consumer surveys. However, one of the barriers for many brands will be finding marketers with the skills to interpret and analyse Big Data.
The Data skills shortage
According to EIU Findings the need for marketers with data analysis skills has nearly doubled in the last 5 years due to the mass and variety of data now available.
When recruiting, companies should look for marketers with data experience or backgrounds in market research or Customer Relationship Management, where they would be frequently involved in using a variety of customer data.
For current employees with an interest in developing data analysis skills, there are a range of courses provided by the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing, that give marketers the tools they need to confidently and effectively use the data held to inform future strategies.
EIU Consumer Survey Findings 2013
EIU Marketing Executive Survey Findings 2013
Experian Digital Trends Report 2013
Chartered Institute of Marketing
Chartered Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing
Data Defined: What is ‘Big Data' Anyway