For me, 2012 is not the year of the mobile, nor has it been the year for digital integration but the year for “big data”. With technology companies and analytics platforms all working to create more data for analysts to evaluate, the objective is widely a single customer view. Marketers have a new toy, but are we making the most of it?
General opinion is that some data is good, but more data is better. Do we, in reality, suffer from too much data already? All data needs to have a purpose, and many businesses have jumped on the big data bandwagon before really contemplating why and what business/marketing issue it solves.
It is not a new idea that sales and marketing teams should be working together to identify ways of generating a high volume of profitable leads. With this challenge in mind, many data geeks have taken on the challenge of integrating data sources.. At 4Ps Marketing, we have been involved in a number of analytics and CRM integration projects over the years, leading to more efficient and streamlined marketing campaigns. This single customer view throws up a whole host of challenges; from cookie policies to marketing attribution and, of course, multiple device usage. Is help at hand?
Google Universal Analytics
This week, Google has released a new technology beta that is set to bridge this gap, creating a customer centric platform rather than a visitor centric one. Known collectively as “Universal Analytics”, it will now allow you to integrate your own data sets. This might come in the form of offline conversion data points, on-site variables (now known as custom dimensions and metrics) or marketing cost data.
The typical user uses multiple devices to browse the web and interact with brands in many different ways. For most large businesses, there are infinite sources of data already available, posing a real challenge but also a huge opportunity. Google and many others in the market, including 4Ps Marketing, have been looking at how to understand this connection for years. Attribution of marketing spend relies heavily on data and with multiple data sources and inputs, Google aims to create a master data set to help markets understand what their impact on the brand has been. And I’m not just talking about online.
What’s the Impact of Big Data?
More data does not necessarily mean better data, and it certainly does not mean guaranteed marketing strategy performance. Big data has unlocked a lot of potential, but it has also created new marketing and analyst roles. These are the people our industry will need if big data is to make a big difference to marketers. This is especially true for digital strategies, as they already rely so heavily on data.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, big data was a top topic. A report, “Big Data, Big Impact,” declared data a new class of economic asset, like currency or gold and with companies like Google taking real steps to provide businesses with this intelligence, you can understand why.
The fundamental changes Google and others are adopting essentially lead the way in the analytics world for customisation of data. This increased data can, with the right people and data management, lead to highly successful and long-term marketing solutions. I for one cannot wait for big data marketing to become the norm!