Data vs. Big Data

Delivering a positive ROI (Return on Investment) is the focus of every marketer. They are wrestling with integrating multiple marketing channels to deliver a marketing message that will spur purchases. And, marketers need to be able to not only gather useful data, but understand how to mine it and use it to generate that return on investment.

When we hear the term “Big Data”, the name itself can scare away small to mid-sized organizations. We hear questions like:

  • What does Big Data mean?
  • Do I currently have the ability to collect Big Data?
  • Once I have it, how do I effectively use Big Data?
  • Can my organization afford to gather and execute with Big Data?

What small to mid-sized organizations need to understand is that data is data. Lots of data is Big Data. In fact, Wikipedia defines Big Data as, “an all-encompassing term for any collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand data management tools or traditional data processing applications”.

But, do you really need Big Data, or is just having some data enough? I personally think just having some data is enough right now. After all, how many of us are effectively using the data we have? And, if we’re currently not using it effectively, why in the world would we need more?

It is most likely that you already have relevant data on your current clients. You know:

  • The company name
  • Your buyer(s) name(s)
  • Location
  • Vertical industry
  • Industry challenges
  • Current marketing challenges
  • What they purchase from you
  • How often they purchase
  • What they currently do not purchase from you

Just having that information is a lot of data that you can use in your marketing efforts. As for the information that you have on your prospects, if your sales team has done their homework, you will know:

  • Company name
  • Buyer(s) name(s)
  • Location
  • Vertical industry
  • Industry challenges
  • What they currently do not purchase from you – which is everything because they are not yet a customer.

Are you using the data you currently have to reach out to your targets with relevant and timely messages? For example, you know when a current client usually orders the widgets. So, consider sending them an offer on a complementary product that will enhance the widgets they currently purchase, and that can ship with the widgets, saving them on shipping costs. That’s called cross-selling!

By personalizing your marketing communications, offline or online, you are telling your targets that you know them – that you’ve paid attention to their business within your organization. That you value them. And, who doesn’t want to be valued?

Also, consider that every interaction with a client or prospect should result in additional useful data. Make sure your sales team understands the type of data that the marketing team needs to develop relevant, personalized and timely offers. Once the sales team understands that Marketing is bringing them additional business or warm leads based upon that data-driven communication, they’ll be more than happy to share information.

We all want to “see” ourselves in the marketing messages that we receive. Think how you can use the data you currently have to help your clients and prospects “see” themselves in your marketing and be open to building that relationship with your organization. If you’re going about your data collection in the right way, you will have lots of useful data to draw from. Just having Big Data is useless unless we understand the basics of what using data correctly can do for our revenue stream!

Visit our Resource Center to download “Data And Its Uses”.

About Debbie Simpson

President of Multi-Craft in Newport, Kentucky.
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