The Dog Bowl of Big Data

Big data continues to confound the average marketer. The issue surrounds comprehending the data that matters.

Marketers need to understand how to use the technology. Big data has no value unless you can mine information sets to achieve better business outcomes.

Which data sets make for richer relationships with prospects and customers? How will it impact business? What should a marketer look for?

Go back to key performance indicators (KPIs). One worthwhile KPI might be return customers. Let’s apply that to both a hypothetical B2C and a B2B scenario.

If you are a retailer, instead of examining the immense amount of data produced from web site and social interactions, intentionally predetermine what will matter to your company. One thing we know about social media is that People Love Pets! They post pet pics, talk about them incessantly, and like everyone else’s pet pics.

See if you can find out how many of your potential customers own dogs. This might be available through Facebook targeted ads that reach not only your businesses topical area (e.g. fitness) in your region, but also dogs. Use your call to action (some great offering) to drive people to your web site and capture their email addresses.

If the response is significant, you may want to consider adding water bowls outside of your store, as well as complimentary dog treats at the counter. You K-9 loving customers will love it!

Image by Inside the Perimeter

But let’s say you are a B2B provider, perhaps an accounting firm. You run a similar ad campaign, and also find out that many of your potential clients own dogs. You can  add a survey question that asks customers if they own a cat or dog, and keep this data in your CRM or SaaS solution.

Now that your database information includes what kind of pets your customers have, be smart. Send your valued clients a dog or cat bowl branded with the company name and URL. Assuming they like the bowl (e.g. don’t be cheesy), every time your customers feed their animals, they’ll see your brand.

Both consumer and B2B examples show how “big data” can be leveraged to strengthen customer relationships. In both cases, you can measure return customers and see how the dog bowl initiatives are impacting loyalty.

Big data intimidates many marketers; in fact, 45 percent consider analyzing it to be their biggest digital marketing obstacle. But you don’t have to get lost in that sea of information. Just go a small step further.

A version of this post ran originally on the Vocus blog. Featured image by Nick Howells.