July 16, 2013
Let's face it, using big data is, well, hard. Three questions marketers mostly have around big data still are:
1) Where is it?
2) What do I do with it?
3) How do I measure success?
Because marketers can't answer these questions very easily, they are taking a pass on making big data work for their brand and are actually creating a competitive disadvantage for their company.
That is because every marketer feels the need to take a giant swing at big data, and so is whiffing due mostly to the fact that it is insanely hard to hit. When I was at eBay, we had a ton of big data and figured out multiple ways to tear through it to create the right type of marketing actions for each browser segment. But most brands don't have the money or technology fire power to create this type of infrastructure.
The answer? Play small ball. Don't try to hit it out of the park... just try to connect, by finding a few high-potential customer segments that help you get on base and advance. Focus on the data you need, but even more so on the ability to take action in the digital moment with the shopper. Speed of action typically trumps depth of data. Improve a customer's experience by knowing only two things: how they shop your site, and what type of marketing actions you want to put in front of that shopper, in the digital moment, that will help you monetize this and/or a future visit.
It’s more than worth it—ecommerce companies that are currently playing small ball with big data are growing at a rate of 19%-22% versus a market rate of 15%.
And even though we now have a new acronym, BDaaS, for the big-data-as-a-service technologies coming to market, most brands still aren't playing. In fact, in a global marketing survey only 4% said they are doing it right.
Stop whiffing on big data. Play small ball, create competitive advantage, gain market share, and become the marketer you’ve always wanted to be.
Baseball image courtesy of Shutterstock. Zack Wheeler strikeouts animated GIF courtesy of Eric Simon.