How many times has the term “Big Data” appeared in one of the blogs or websites you read in the last couple months? Odds are that it has happened quite a few times.
The marketing industry is always looking for the next big thing and once they find it, brace yourself to see that term over and over again (“design thinking” anyone?). Big Data is certainly on its way to becoming one of these new trends.
The Age of Big Data
The concept of big data holds a great deal of promise for the business community. Utilizing the trail of innumerable data points consumers leave behind each day to make informed business decisions certainly signals a promising new era of highly targeted sales and marketing relationships. Retailers are already finding value (and some controversy) in big data while other industries struggle to catch up.
How can you incorporate this advanced business intelligence into your B2B marketing efforts? This is the question marketing managers and CMOs across the country are struggling to answer.
- Should you invest in more advanced analytics services?
- Should you hire a consulting firm to figure out how to use the data you have?
- Should your team have more analysts to help handle all your data?
All of these options are big steps and keep managers wary and unsure of which course to take. However, the most effective and affordable big data option is something you’ve probably already looked into: marketing automation.
Marketing Automation and Big Data Are Pals
By providing a single platform for collecting and storing data, closed-loop reporting, and dashboarding and analytics, marketing automation platforms are the most comprehensive solution for measuring marketing and predicting consumer behaviour on a small-business budget. Here are just a few of the ways marketing automation allows you to embrace big data:
ROI. The trove of new data and analytics collected by marketing automation platforms will allow you to be more visible with your marketing budget and ROI, a problem marketing has always struggled with. Comprehensive campaign tracking provides more transparency than ever before for the revenue contributions of marketing.
Behavioral Targeting. New insights into how your customers are interacting with your brand’s touchpoints will help you deliver more relevant and timely marketing material and content to help ease a prospect through the sales cycle. Drip marketing campaigns allow you to structure lead nurturing campaigns based entirely of your user’s behavioral data to ensure your marketing nurtures prospects into warm leads.
Sales Integration. Tight integration with CRM services like salesforce.com means a coherent flow of prospect data between marketing and sales. Improvements in revenue tracking and reporting will also drive sales and marketing collaboration to determine lead generation goals, revenue targets, and KPIs.
With 2012 already looking like a big year for adoption of marketing automation, it may also be the year of big data strategies finding their place in marketing departments of all sizes and industries. With so much power and insight now available to the such a wide audience, marketing managers and CMOs should stop worrying about big data and start acting on the data marketing automation has already put at their fingertips.