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The phrase of the day is 'Big Data', everyone talks about how it can boost your business and make you a successful organization.
But how can big data help a small business? Can you still use it to drive decisions and optimize your business?
The answer is: yes you can! In this post I will provide a few tips that can help SMBs to get up and running with data analytics.
Let me tell you, it's more than just the excellent doge.
Last year I started writing for the Econsultancy blog and it’s allowed me to go to a lot of cool conferences and learn about some new things, from Google Glass to big automated email and CRM systems.
Here are some of the things that stuck in my mind from last year and perhaps a few things you might not know about digital and the interweb.
For regular followers of our interweb anti-format post (crazy stuff from across the web), don’t worry, it will return next week.
Yesterday I was invited to the UK launch of a new personalised video platform, created by Dutch company Rednun.
Rednun claims that if you want the biggest impact possible for the maximum number of people, you can’t do it by producing just one video and uploading it on a shared video platform. You need to personally tailor each video for every individual viewer.
The user provides their personal information to a company, the company provides that database of customer information to a production company. The production company creates a video specifically for every customer, providing maximum relevance and complete personalisation.
Rednun claims the rewards are higher conversion rates, brand loyalty, visibility and engagement rates.
I'm naturally skeptical of most things, especially in terms of the technology needed to achieve mass personalisation and the above goals promised by the company, so here's a rundown of the presentation with a few of my own thoughts peppered throughout for balance.
In late 2012, Econsultancy published the latest edition of its Marketing Attribution Management Buyer’s Guide, at a time when attribution was a particularly hot topic for marketers.
Vendors were furiously marketing their attribution platforms, and there were blog posts galore on the subject. Since then, talking about attribution, particularly in the same breath as the dreaded term ‘big data’, appears to have gone somewhat off the boil.
Or so I thought, before attending a recent Econsultancy roundtable on the subject of marketing attribution, where discussion and debate was as lively as I have seen at a roundtable.
Advertising on the internet and mobile has increased by 17.5% to £3.04bn in the first half of 2013 according to the IAB, an increase of £607m compared to 2011.
Analytics has played a key role in this growth by helping marketers accurately measure return-on-investment (ROI) and justify reallocating traditional media budget to digital marketing. However, with the amount of data now available to digital marketers via analytics, they’re in danger of becoming data squirrels that hoard data but do nothing with it.
There aren’t enough analysts in the world or hours in the day to manually analyse all the available data, and crucially, turn it into actions which optimise revenue outcomes.
First off, what is it?
Well don’t let anyone tell you it’s down to sample size, or about measuring everything. It’s about combining datasets (sometimes ‘dirty’ ones), contrasting them in different ways, and doing it as quick as possible.
Sometimes this necessitates great computing power, but not always. You can read more about such technology as Hadoop and GreenPlum in this nice little article).
Datasets are multiplying as we measure lots more than we used to. This means our thinking has to broaden – no longer is ‘what can we do with our database of email addresses?’ the question, rather ‘what data can we look at to give us the best idea possible of a customer’s stage in the buying cycle and what they’ll be receptive to next?’
The definition of big data isn’t really important and one can get hung up on it. Much better to look at ‘new’ uses of data.
So, here’s some examples of new and possibly ‘big’ data use both online and off-.
Richard Branson’s Virgin empire incorporates a broad range of brands and companies that take in travel, TV, music and spaceships.
All these disparate businesses have their own websites, but the overall corporation is represented by Virgin.com.
This site has undergone a huge transformation in the past 10 years, morphing from a simple web portal into a content-rich site that aims to epitomise the Virgin brand experience.
At Econsultancy’s JUMP conference last week, which formed part of the Festival of Marketing, Virgin’s Bob Fear described how the site was redesigned by the content team working hand-in-hand with data scientists.
Fear’s team consists of journalists and writers, so the thought of working with big data appeared somewhat confounding at first.
Here are some of the most interesting digital marketing statistics we've seen this week.
Stats include mobile adspend, hotel search volumes, jobs at tech startups, Google's dominance of web traffic, big data, retargeting and social media.
For more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.
I've started rounding up notable posts each month, with aim of ensuring our dear readers never miss a useful article, or a blog post that can make you feel a bit more of a jedi.
Here's the roundup from September, with 10 posts for you to bone up on SEO, analytics and the like, and three posts to sit back and enjoy with coffee.
In my last post, Three reasons why Big Data is a big load of baloney, I threw a stone down the streets of London and New York and wound up hitting a few Big Data advocates.
And it is abundantly clear that Big Data arouses passion in people (or at least, as much passion as one can humanly feel for data.)
The thing about Big Data is that it can be interpreted in many ways. In this post, I take a step back and look at how Big Data is affecting digital marketing as a whole, and how maybe, just maybe, it’s not a cliché but a fundamental shift in how we do business.
As promised, here’s part two in my series. Is Big Data all it’s cracked up to be? Read on to find out more.
Over the last couple of years, Big Data has been unavoidable. It’s not just big, it’s massive. If you throw a stone down the streets of London or New York, you’ve got as much a chance of hitting a big data guru as you do a social media guru.
Undoubtedly, there is great power in data, but is Big Data all it’s cracked up to be?
50% of my brain thinks Big Data is great, and 50% of me thinks it’s a neologism. I’ve found it difficult to reconcile all of the varying information out there about it.
So join me for the first part of a two-part series looking at Big Data. In part one, I’ll look at Three reasons why Big Data is a big load of baloney. And next week in part two, I’ll look at Three reasons why Big Data is awesome.
You don’t need me to tell you that big data is big news. It’s one of most talked about topics of recent years, as marketers worldwide battle to make sense of all the data generated across their business.
Insight gathered from big data is enabling businesses to focus their investments in everything from sales and marketing, to customer service and research and development, more intelligently.
At Hotels.com, we’re using data from across our business, website and apps to better understand what our customers want from us and how we can improve the experience that we deliver to them.
So, how are we doing this? We started by making sure that we were tracking all data from across our business, be it analytics from our website, booking information from our apps, or customer enquiries in our contact centre.
By improving our understanding of how our customers interact with us and what they’re looking for, we have been able to optimise the design of our website and apps to ensure that we are consistently delivering an excellent experience.