I like Big Data and I Cannot Lie

In the world of integrated marketing the goal is to always exceed your customer’s expectations. One area that has evolved is the discussion of Big Data. Specifically, what does it mean for us regular, every day folks?

Big data boom

We live in a world where the name of the game seems to be consumption. Our consumption of resources and information is astounding. From a consumer standpoint, the ability to capture, translate and leverage increasing amounts of consumer data—from consumer and shopper data, customer or retailer data, social media, and the real-time visibility of information—is critical to the success of any consumer-facing business. Data has become uber important.

But, how will big data impact consumers? Well some of the perks are already at the reach of your fingertip and you might not even know it. Sites like Amazon, Pandora and Netflix use sophisticated algorithms to understand and recommend things we may like to buy, listen to, or watch. Have you noticed that if you view an item on one retail site, it seems to follow your Internet movement? That is no coincidence. Devices like the Nike FuelBand or the Sony SmartBand lets people see how their diets, exercise routine and sleep patterns compare with others. The information that both bands collect help people create workout plans to help them meet their fitness goals. The list of apps and resources that uses big data is endless.

Companies that stand apart during the push for Big Data will be determined if they have invested in the necessary tools to help develop a deeper level of understanding of customers and products. Ultimately, who be will be able to interpret the date to increase sales and drive a competitive advantage. Additionally, companies that are able to analyze data the fastest will be ahead in the race to the finish line. These companies will be the ones that are able to speak and interact with their customers on various levels, based upon the amount of data they have on each of their customers. Using data to anticipate consumer trends and behavior will be vital. It goes back to my previous discussion on the rise of micro communications and creating a more personal relationship with consumers.

What does Big data mean to you?

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The SCommerce Takeover

In the last decade the popularity of social media has skyrocketed. A recent study shows that one quarter of the world’s population uses social media. Every minute, over 4.7 million posts are uploaded to Tumblr; 277,000 snaps are shared on Snapchat; and more than five million videos are viewed on YouTube. Brands have to be more unique and competitive than ever before to have their content standout with consumers. Especially in the e-commerce spectrum, which has evolved to SCommerce (social commerce). SCommerce is a term often used to describe new online retail models or marketing strategies that incorporate established social networks and/or peer-to-peer communication to drive sales.

It can be summarized as social media meets shopping. It denotes a wide range of shopping, recommending and selling behaviors.

SCommerce was just coined a few years ago (who coined it first is still up for debate), however, one thing is certain. It is here to stay. According to Gartner, 74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide their purchases. This new version of “word of mouth” marketing leads the way for a new shopping experience. More “likes”, “pin its” and “shares” are linked to online transactions with  current social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest driving traffic to other brands.

social-commerce

However, can you imagine what these capabilities would do for these sites? Can you imagine if the social behaviors of these sites were merged into to Amazon or to the efficiency of Walmart’s supply chain? Currently, both Facebook and Twitter are currently working on features to make it easy for people to buy directly through social media. What new words will be coined next? I’m sure– Fcommerce (Facebook Commerce) or Tcommerce (Twitter Commerce) will start to pop up shortly.

Shifting from Macro to Micro

Without fail, every morning from about 3 – 6 am, my cell phone buzzes. New email alerts. And every morning, on my morning train commute I check my email by scrolling through 50 – 100 emails from various brands that range from sales to promotions, etc. The emails that stand out me the most are the ones that include my name. More and more, marketers are started to personalize their messages to consumers.

This trend has reared its head more recently. Before, companies were more inclined to throw out a net with generic emails to see how many fishes they could catch. This globalization approach to marketing has worked; we see it with ads that range from TV to print that seem to speak to the masses. However, new tools are in place that allow for marketers to track our interests and behaviors online. Analysts predict a growing number of companies to adopt a consumer-centric approach in order to win customers’ hearts, leaving behind indelible impressions. Personalizing the customer experience is instrumental in creating a trustworthy brand that people can repeatedly return to. This helps with creating brand loyalist and shows customer appreciation. It exemplifies that extra touch of writing a “thank you” note and mailing it versus a text or email that expresses similar sentiments.

Personalized services and ads have been around a long time, especially when dealing with small businesses. I remember shopping with my grandma and the pharmacists and local grocers knowing her name and saying “Thanks again and we’ll see you next week, Winnie.” Larger companies and brands are adopting that “small business” mentality to engage and personalize messages to its customers.

Although, shifting from a macro approach to micro approach may not be as well received from a consumer standpoint. Let’s see what consumers are saying about receiving personalized ads and emails:

Mass-Marketing-Versus-Personalization-Monetate

At a high rate, consumers, myself included, prefer to receive communication that is specific to their trends.

Do you prefer to receive personalized communications from companies?

The Then and Nows of Media

Emerging media is a topic that I often ponder to see how it has influenced my own life. I turned 30 last year and took some time to reflect where the last decade went and what changes occurred in the world during that time. One point that came to mind was the media and how it has changed from when I was a child to now. I’m a 90’s baby, which means that I grew up in the 1990s. My days were spent playing outside, riding my bikes, playing in parks and playing Mortal Kombat on Nintendo64 or my Gameboy. The media was seen as something you watched or read. It was pushed at you or so it seemed that way.

It seems that the changes to the Internet was the gateway for the transformation in emerging media to take place. The Internet connected people like never before. A recent Debate.org survey showed that 71% of participants felt that the Internet brings people together. I have to agree, like never before I’m connected to my friends and family through social sites like FaceBook, Twitter or Instagram. I know what sales are happening at my favorite stores because I signed up to receive alerts in my email. I also am able to take tutorials on how to set up this very blog on sites like YouTube. The Internet has connected the various dots of life to ensure that people have access to people, places and things 24/7. The power to this access is in the push of a button on our phone, computer, tablet or in the dictation of our voices. I think this is an amazing accomplish, especially if you compare the then and now.

Then/Now:

Passing a note to a friend in 1st period/ texting a friend

Sending a post card of your summer vacation to grandma/ tagging grandma on your picture on Instagram

Calling to wish your mom a happy birthday/ face timing your mom on her birthday

Clipping coupons from the Sunday paper/ receiving discounts for checking into the locations on Four Square

What are some examples of your own “then and nows”?