Big Data is Watching You
Have you ever seen a Facebook ad that is tailored so specifically to your interests that you look over your shoulder to check if someone is watching?
The first time it happens, it’s a bit unsettling. By the third or fourth time, you’re just happy to be seeing ads that are relevant to you. It sure beats the commercials aimed at senior citizens that you used to get while watching cartoons.
How does Facebook do it? How do they know exactly what you want to see when you want to see it? They do it by harnessing the power of big data and turning it into actionable tactics.
What is Big Data?
Big data sounds intimidating — as if it is something only enterprise-size companies can have access to — but using data to make decisions isn’t something exclusive to the big brands.
When we talk about big data, we mean the sets of information that company’s gather about customers during their time online. The websites they visit, the links they click, the games they play, the products they buy, the surveys they complete… you get the idea. All this information is used by forward-thinking companies to offer products specifically tailored to their audience’s interests.
Imagine if this same ability existed for grocery stores. Instead of pushing your shopping cart through endless aisles of other people’s groceries, you could stride confidently through the door knowing that the five items you need are right there waiting for you at check out!
Or better yet, with the emerging Internet of Things, you might soon have a refrigerator that knows when you’re on your last egg, and can order a new carton right to your door. That means no more spending Sunday afternoon fighting the crowds at Costco. (Bring! It! On!)
A Big New World
This sort of world is only possible through the data companies and machines have about you and your habits. The term “big data” only emerged a few years ago, but already it’s a concept that is changing how retailers think and interpret the information they collect.
Whether you are a brick-and-mortar business, an international eCommerce business, or a SaaS business, you need to be prepared to think about the ways your data can elevate the customer experience. Examples of this include:
- Optimizing web pages to keep users from bouncing off your website
- Building a relationship with your customers through targeted email marketing
- Reintroducing customers to the products they have come close to purchasing
- Tracking the success of social media campaigns
- Analyzing data patterns to predict future customer trends
- Empowering your customer success team with detailed backgrounds on customers
Unlock the Power of Big Data
The ability to market to a customer’s interests has never been more direct. However, the data sets being collected has never been greater; and there is an increasing need to have access to this information in real-time.
So, how do you start using data to make better decisions? Unfortunately, it’s not a light switch you turn on that will illuminate all your problems and automatically solves them. Because big data is so vast, it is up to you and your company to set the target and guide your data in that direction to reveal insights that would have otherwise been veiled.