One of the most common statement we hear from marketers is “consumers don’t know what they want”. If this statement is considered true which is in most cases, surveys and similar research methods might take a back seat on various occasions. Then the most common question which arises is what are our next alternatives ?
Big Data, the next frontier for innovation, competitive advantage and productivity, according to a research report from the McKinsey Global Institute. Big data is the term for collection of data sets so large and complex which are difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing application. The sources of data sets for market research about the consumers include weblogs, social media, smartphone analytics, POS (Point of sale) and even medical records.
Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Chennai Express, one of the biggest Bollywood grossers on 2013, used Big Data & Analytics solutions by IT services firm Persistent Systems to drive social media and digital marketing campaigns. “Chennai Express related tweets generated over 1 billion cumulative impressions and the total number of tweets across all hashtags was over 750 thousand over the 90-day campaign period,” Persistent Systems claimed in a release.
GSK, which owns brands from Sensodyne to Lucozade, is already tracking consumers online and repurposing the data to benefit particular brands. The company identifies people mentioning about their brands on public domains on social media and uses this information to build the customer profile .Some online businesses, such as Amazon, are already leading the field in this area. The site uses collaborative filtering technology, which allows it to develop automatic recommendations for customers based on their purchase history data.
Also in the B2B sector, Microsoft is using customer sentiment data to gain extra insights. Microsoft UK’s insight manager for the developer and platform evangelism team, Maxine Cook, says her brand can discover via the many online IT forums how the trade is reacting to a piece of technology and its competitors.
Retail is one sector that has great potential for big data. Its customer transactions, both on- and offline, conversations and intentions can all be brought together so that brands can better understand how to reach shoppers.
With trillions of bytes of information available for companies to collect about their customers, suppliers and operations, the brands that invest in big data now are likely to see big rewards.