Written by: Andrew Lisa
Once reserved only for the biggest companies with the most resources, big data is now wildly popular even with small and mid-sized businesses. A loosely defined concept that deals with the collection and analysis of massive data sets, big data initiatives are exactly what the name implies. By using customer data as the tea leaves by which future customer behavior can be predicted, big data is removing emotion, hunches and gut instinct from the sales process.
Big Data Takes Guesswork and Emotion Out of Sales and Marketing
As discussed in the article " Is Big Data Demystifying the Marketing Industry? ," businesses no longer have to pray for a "flash of brilliance" from someone on their marketing team. Instead, they gather and analyze big data to gain actionable information about their current and potential customers. Big data takes the guesswork out of marketing by helping customers predict who their most likely potential customers are. It also enables companies to help predict when those people are ready to make a purchase by identifying markers that indicate when a person is doing more than just browsing.
Big Data Can Identify Shopping and Searching Patterns
Big data initiatives can help even smaller businesses better understand how their customers search and how they shop. Some customers may do all or most of their shopping on mobile devices, others may shop in physical stores, but in conjunction with mobile-only deals and coupons. Some buyers swamp review sites and blogs before they buy, while others conduct simple Google searches. This information is crucial because it helps businesses target the right platforms with the right ads and promotions, all while helping them prevent wasting money on campaigns that aren't relevant to their customers' habits.
Big Data Can Predict Companion Purchases
Everyone who has ever shopped on Amazon or watched a documentary on Netflix understands the power of if-you-liked-this-then-you-might-like-this marketing. Suggested companion purchases are an excellent way to turn one purchase into two. Big data is the driving force behind this strategy. For businesses, this means beefed up landing pages and confirmation pages that entice customers into considering products or services that they are likely to already be considering.
The concept of big data has empowered airlines, oil companies and government entities. But no industry has benefited more from big data than marketing and sales. The sheer volume of data created by customers and buyers has become a product in and of itself. Collecting that data, analyzing and understanding it has become the skill that lets businesses take the guesswork out of selling.
Andrew Lisa is a freelance marketing writer. He covers, digital marketing and data analysis.