Big Data is the biggest game-changing opportunity for marketing and sales since the Internet went mainstream almost 20 years ago.
Organizations today face overwhelming amounts of data, organizational complexity, rapidly changing customer behaviors, and increased competitive pressures. New technologies as well as rapidly proliferating channels and platforms have created a massively complex environment. At the same time, the explosion in data and digital technologies has opened up an unprecedented array of insights into customer needs and behaviors.
Some companies are already turning that Big Data promise into reality. Those that use Big Data and analytics effectively show productivity rates and profitability that are 5 – 6 percent higher than those of their peers. McKinsey analysis of more than 250 engagements over five years has revealed that companies that put data at the center of the marketing and sales decisions improve their marketing return on investment (MROI) by 15 – 20 percent. That adds up to $150 – $200 billion of additional value based on global annual marketing spend of an estimated $1 trillion.
The companies that succeed today do three things well:
1. Use analytics to identify valuable opportunities. Successful discovery requires building a data advantage by pulling in relevant data sets from both within and outside the company. Relying on mass analysis of those data, however, is often a recipe for failure.
2. Start with the consumer decision journey. Today’s channel-surfing consumer is comfortable using an array of devices, tools, and technologies to fulfill a task. Understanding that decision journey is critical to identifying battlegrounds to either win new customers or keep existing ones from defecting to competitors. Marketing and sales leaders need to develop complete pictures of their customers so they can create messages and products that are relevant to them.
3. Keep it fast and simple. Data worldwide is growing 40 percent per year, a rate of growth that is daunting for any marketing and sales leader. Companies need to invest in an automated “algorithmic marketing,” an approach that allows for the processing of vast amounts of data through a “self-learning” process to create better and more relevant interactions with consumers.