Will 'Big Data' Have An Impact On Digital Marketing?

The concept of Big Data is quickly taking over the world of digital marketing.  While there have been numerous trends and concepts around which marketing teams in global businesses have made decisions for many years, Big Data is seen as one that could have the biggest difference.

However, is Big Data infallible to the point where it will become the central driver of every decision made by marketing departments around the world? After all, if knowledge is power, this is surely the best way to have more of it than ever before.

Big Data Have An Impact On Digital Marketing
License: Creative Commons image source
Analytical Problems
While there are plenty of people around the world who live and die by the mantra that statistics never lie, the truth of the matter is that statistics can often be misleading and, even in the most detailed examples, not tell the full story.
People want to believe in Big Data; they want to believe that everything can be measured and that there is no market research in the 21st century that cannot have a huge sample and be 100% accurate. However, look at social media as one example.

Some huge businesses are committing massive percentages of their marketing budgets to social media, but do not really have a way of measuring how much revenue they are generating from it. Social media is where the action is, or so we all believe, so businesses blindly commit to it regardless.

Social Specifics
We are going to keep our focus on social media, but the fact is that businesses are at risk of using Big Data to fit their objectives, interpreting information in the way most convenient to them.

The obvious danger here is that businesses, in effect, could be saying to customers in the coming years, “If you are not on social media, we are not interested in you.” Big Data is potentially going to create a paradox where we believe we live in a consumer led world, but businesses are actually using it to manipulate consumer behavior how they wish.

Using Big Data Effectively
The trick for all businesses is that they are going to have to be wholly honest with themselves about the way in which they are using Big Data. Sometimes, statistics show us things we do not like or were not expecting, and we do not know how to react to this.

One problem is that businesses believe they have to use all of the data available, without actually thinking about whether it is relevant to them. Pinterest, for example, is widely seen as the coming power of social media, but its photo based platform means it is still very much a niche site.

The sensible business will ignore Pinterest if their brand cannot be showcased through the site, not use an obsession  with Big Data to waste time and money targeting something where they will see limited success.

The Future With Big Data
Big Data is definitely the present and the future in terms of digital marketing, whether that is social media, general SEO, local SEO, PPC, or anything else. The successful digital marketers will be those who can use the information most relevant to them, and not be taken in by the noise that will not necessarily help them.

Gerry is a technology and SEO enthusiast who is intrigued about the possibilities of Big Data. Gerry is also mindful of the potential risk areas involved, and is passionate about discovering these and how businesses can deal with them.


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