Book Review: The Big Data-Driven Business

The Big Data-Driven Business: How to Use Big Data to Win Customers, Beat Competitors, and Boost ProfitsThe Big Data-Driven Business: How to Use Big Data to Win Customers, Beat Competitors, and Boost Profits by Russell Glass

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Big Data-Driven Business by Russel Glass and Sean Callahan give their perspective and examples around big data. This book was loaded with information. Here was what I will take away from this book:

The most effective strategy to get a 360 view of what the customers and prospects are doing is for companies to have a fully integrated marketing stack: MAP, CRM, Data management and Analytics tools. This will help serve up relevant messages at the right time and anticipate needs and create products the customer base did not even know they wanted. Companies benefit most when they bring all the data into one central repository. Other technologies to consider for big data in marketing are DSP, DMP, programmatic media buying, dynamic display ads and predictive leads scoring.

Over time we have seen the buyer’s journey has dramatically changed. In 2012, Forrester Research showed that a buyer could be 90% though the buyers journey before they contact a vendor. Buyers once relied on sales people for information, but now leverage the Internet to learn about products, read reviews and gain peer opinion through social networks.
Companies need to find commercial insights that can help position them as a solution different from what the others in the market are offering and create content to educate the customer.

Through the marketing stack, marketing has access to the digital body language of customer & prospects. We can use retargeting or make specific offers based on this digital body language. Analyze your data to find what data points indicate that a prospect is ready to buy or a customer is ready to upgrade.

Driving leads that are based on data is central to the way the relationship between sales and marketing is constructed. Marketing should build extremely targeted and customized communication plans for sales. Marketing also needs should focus tactics to drive users through different stage of the funnel. At the top of the funnel, use display ads to drive brand awareness. In the mid-funnel, engage and educate users using display and social media ads that promoted tools such as ebooks, whitepaper & webinars. In the lower funnel, use retargeted display advertising to offer a free trial of services.

Break conversions into “soft conversions” such as blog post reads, watch videos or interacting with online content without supplying email and “hard conversions” where the user shares their email to get a white paper or other asset. Analyzing individual content pieces can provide insight into which ones are the most influential in driving prospects through the marketing funnel.

Leverage attribution models to determine the effectiveness of marketing tactics. Last click attribution tends give too much credit to the lower funnel without recognizing the efforts that got prospects into the funnel in the first place or nurturing and educating them to move them further into the funnel. It ignores the buyer’s journey. Rules-based attribution tries to assign a values to a particular tactic based on predetermined rules or weights. Algorithmic attribution assigns values to each interaction based statistical regression to find the correlation between marketing activities and sales data. These data driven models typically provide the most accurate picture.

For big data, we should always be collecting and measuring. The enhanced measurement capabilities of digital marketing and the ease of A/B testing in digital environments enables marketers to put more money behind effective programs. Digital programs can be measured in real time and should be monitored on a weekly, daily AND hourly basis.

Stay on top of your data and processes around that data – technology is inextricably linked with a marketing’s goals. Strategy and software are bound together. Conduct a data audit and strive to integrate data silos- a data audit can help identify what we have access to and give a better handle on what data we actually need to boost revenue and profits.

It is also important to leverage big data to challenge your business to deliver offerings that are cheaper and better. It is better to develop these new offerings yourself before others do. It is better to cannibalize yourself than be eaten by your competition. Think Blockbuster, Borders and Tower Records.

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