Article Review: Big Data Is The Future Of Marketing

We ask the question to further expand on this article:

What if you took that unstructured “Big Data” and combined it with other structured data, such as Digital Marketing, Mobile, and CRM, into a single integrated platform? The additional insight could only help marketers create and refine their cross-channel marketing campaigns and report their performance quanitatively to those in the C-Suite!

A couple excerpts:

“Big data analytics finally allows marketers to identify, measure,  and manage what is positively impacting their brand.”

“The single biggest issue is measurement. Without sound measurement  marketers lack the ability to judge the effectiveness of their work and speak  the language of CEOs, CFOs and CMOs around the world.”

Big Data is the Future of Marketing

by Jeff Dachis, Dachis Group

In the last 12 months there have been $76 billion dollars in social business  IPOs and more than $1.5 billion dollars in social business acquisitions. LinkedIn, Facebook,  BazaarVoice, Radian 6, Vitrue, and Buddy  Mediaare now all either part of large companies or have become well-funded  public companies in their own right.

Yet, with each major event the market finds itself doing some soul  searching. Doubts about either valuation or value creation hound every  conversation, and despite the attention lavished upon social media by hundreds  of millions of consumers and businesses alike there remains a debate: are we  engaged in mass delusion or mass enlightenment?

Personally, I have never felt more certain that the naysayers are  100% wrong. Here is why.

We are in the middle of one of the most dramatic shifts in the  history of the communications landscape. Cheap processing power, ubiquitous  network access, mobile computing, and the democratization of the tools of  self-expression have given almost everyone the ability to share their thoughts  and ideas for free, worldwide. Through the trust and respect of your friends or  followers, network effects ensure that every idea has the potential to reach and  influence an unimaginably large audience.

Increasingly, the home of this activity is a collection of  centralized platforms that enable consumer interaction at greater volumes and  with less friction than was possible even 36 months ago. To no ones surprise,  once it became apparent that Facebook, Twitter  and other social networks were going to be viable consumer engagement platforms,  marketers began to salivate over the prospects of reaching these enormous  audiences with targeted and relevant messaging.

There was, and is, a problem however. The history of modern  marketing has, primarily, been the history of brand marketing. For 100 years  marketers have sought to combine the best ideas, with the best copy, and artwork  to create objects that are magnets for consumer engagement. Brands then seek out  an optimal mix of mass audience attention via magazines, radio, television and  outdoor, place their beautiful work product… and wait for people to show up in  stores. In aggregate this kind of activity resulted in a $500,000,000,000 market  for brand advertising in 2011.

What is shocking to anyone under the age of 30 is that the amount  of money spent on traditional brand advertising has not really changed very much  since the advent of the Internet. Despite all the upheaval of the last three  decades, just 10% of the world’s total marketing spend is placed online. This is  not because brand marketers are stupid, old, or lazy. It is because over the  last twenty years the Internet has failed brand marketers at every turn. To put  it simply, the Internet has proven to be the perfect direct response marketing  medium, but a wasteland useless to any marketer that cannot sell their product  directly online. If Pampers, Coca  Cola, and Nissan could have spent more money in digital they would do so.  They just never could. Until now.

Enter Social.

For the first time since the Internet became available hundreds of  millions of consumers are consistently congregating in a single place. At the  same time, consumer behaviors are rapidly shifting toward an ever more  permissive model of sharing and privacy. Individuals want to share their lives  online. They want to interact with companies they approve of. They want to tell  their friends about the latest and greatest piece of content they have found.  The opportunity to unlock the $500 billion brand engagement opportunity online  has finally arrived and it has come in the form of social media. Facebook knows  this and so does Google.  Brands that effectively unlock this opportunity will have an unparalleled  competitive advantage: they will be the first brand marketers to succeed via the  Internet. It will happen.

Social marketing, and more specifically authentic engagement at  scale, is proving to be the key to unlocking and achieving the brand outcomes  marketers are desperate to find in digital.  As a result, meaningful  budgets are being allocated to social marketing and engagement. Even GM, who famously pulled  all their Facebook advertising on the eve of the IPO, continued to spend three  times its ad budget on developing earned and owned engagement with consumers via  Facebook.

So what’s wrong?

The single biggest issue is measurement. Without sound measurement  marketers lack the ability to judge the effectiveness of their work and speak  the language of CEOs, CFOs and CMOs around the world. Unfortunately, sound  measurement has been hard to obtain in social at any price. Rather than  correlating social engagement to well-defined brand goals, many marketers have  attempted to justify spending in social by reporting on followers and likes.  Others have employed weak proxies like ad equivalency spend or simply transposed  the math from search and banner campaigns in an attempt to attribute  conversion.

These approaches diminish – or entirely miss – the true impact  that social engagement at scale has on brand-based business outcomes. Trying to  bolt on television or performance measurement models to social just won’t  work.

Fortunately, after nearly half a decade and thousands of articles  calling for a return on investment in social marketing, we’ve finally reached  the point where we can stop uselessly calling for an “ROI of social media” and  get on with the business of measuring it.

How? Welcome to the era of performance brand marketing where  measurement of social engagement using big data will transform the way brand  marketers view the internet.

After collecting and analyzing the real time social engagement of  over 30,000 brands, hundreds of millions of social accounts, and over 15 billion  social signals a month through our Social Business  Index at Dachis  Group, I’ve seen it. I’ve seen client’s eyes pop and jaws drop when  we show them the detailed information of their customer, employee, and  partner/vendor advocates worldwide. It. Is. Exciting.

Big data analytics finally allows marketers to identify, measure,  and manage what is positively impacting their brand. Social media activity  harvested from the entire open social web with technologies like Hadoop,  Cassandra, Mahout and Pig combined with advanced analytic techniques like  natural language processing, semantic analysis, machine learning, and cluster  analysis can reveal the true consequences of marketing actions online.

These developments enable a whole new world of brand measurement  for digital marketers. Unlike most approaches to web analytics that can only  attribute directly measurable consumer action, big data analysis of social  performance offers campaign data that correlates with impact on brand. For  example, in Super  Bowl XLVI we used big data to analyze the actual engagement of all the Super Bowl ads during the  game. The traditional measure provided by USA Today AdMeter suggested that  Coca-Cola had done rather poorly, yet when we examined the actual levels of  consumer response and engagement Coca-Cola’s was top of the charts.

The insights that these new measurement techniques creates must  then in turn inform campaign execution that helps brand engage authentically at  scale. The challenge is daunting.  A typical brand’s extended social  ecosystem of company, employee, partner and advocate accounts ranges into the  hundreds of millions of potential unique contacts. The sheer number of people,  accounts, and permutations in the data make the opportunity to engage  meaningfully with that audience almost unfathomably large.

To reach the promise of authentic engagement at scale, many  forward leaning brands are beginning to coordinate these voices to amplify and  focus the brand’s identity.  IBM  is reported to have 30,000 employees authorized to tweet.  New York Life  supports and helps coordinate independent insurance agents across the  country.  Companies like Red Bull and Nestle drive world-class advocacy  programs.  And Nokia  runs a best in class influencer management program to support and educate  experts in the mobile space. The list goes on and on.

This fundamental shift in marketing can only happen with the use  of big data to foster engagement at scale. The world of brand marketing has  shifted from brands communicating at people through mass communications, to a  world where brands are created, built and amplified to communicate with people  through a mass of communicators.

Ultimately, big data will enable brand marketers to genuinely  understand, measure the impact of, and effectively targeted investments against  their efforts to engage in social; and thus allocate meaningful brand marketing  dollars to social engagement initiatives amplified by paid media support. I  believe that this impact will more than justify a huge valuation of not only  Facebook, but whichever other social platforms are eventually able to offer  brands not yet another form of advertising, but the ability to truly engage at  scale.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/big-data-is-the-future-of-marketing-2012-7#ixzz21TCJxkvY

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