Big data: The overused buzz phrase of the last few years. Everyone talks about it--the concept of what it is, what it’s not, and how critical it is.
The truth is, big data exists in every sector--more so within our industry, as much of this data surrounds the understanding of our customers and human behavior and how it relates to our clients. As marketers and advertisers, it’s abundantly clear that this is vital, and we all continue to invest in acquiring more and more data in order to make better decisions.
But do marketers really understand and realize the full potential of this data? How do we distill past the noise and make it actionable? What’s next?
For marketers, it’s important to first understand the underlying core idea on why it is used or why we should use it. It is simply about optimizing the value of a single ad dollar. Through the ability to harness big data, we can identify how products react and perform, what key events or scenarios they’re influenced by, and how they build relationships with our clients' customers. With this insight, we can then anticipate adjustments in how much to spend and when.
Historically, everyone has learned to use past data to identify campaign trends and performance in order to predict consumer behavior and to reach for the best ROI. However, a larger opportunity is not behind us, but rather is happening right now: real time data. An understanding of rich, real-time qualified data allows us to approach unique real-time bidding strategies that maximize ad spend. This creates a substantial competitive edge and allows us to pinpoint distinct trends based on live events.
Furthermore, these events can be broken down into recognizable moments--like the pre, during, and post stages of a football game or the timeline of events for a winter storm. These are called “moments in time,” and by leveraging automated technology and algorithms, we are able to react as they occur.
The ability to harness real-time data was a tremendous step toward realizing the full potential opportunity of big data. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Today, our technology is learning to both maximize market exposure and better inform ad campaigns through future data.
What do I mean by future data? As I stated earlier, so many campaigns (and platforms) predicate optimization on previous performance and trend data. Instead, imagine applying qualified future data to our programs, based on the goals and businesses of our clients. Imagine applying indexes based on a 10-day weather forecast to your campaign, specifically tailored to product types. Or looking ahead at an NFL team schedule, automatically building out keywords and messaging strategies based on their standings.
This all means delivering increased relevancy to customers. And imagine being able to control and fluctuate strategic algorithms through a singular platform around this future data, pushing out to media providers in real time.
Finally, what if you allow real-time social conversations to funnel through it? Learning to combine empirical information from data, plus insight from human interactions--that’s where the real value in big data is. And that’s one of the many reasons why we use it. As technology continues to evolve, it’s clear that data can drive everything. It’s why you see technologists and data scientists working alongside marketers, SEO strategists, and content writers. The art and science worlds of marketing are converging--and for good reason.