Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How Do You Use Big Data Now; What are Your Big Data Plans for 2013?

Getting good data and then being able to turn it into something of value will require the ongoing dedication of attention and resources in order for marketers to benefit.
-emarketer , Nov 29, 2012

Every company is gearing up for 2013 to figure out how they can maximize results from Big Data. Recently, emarketer surveyed executives worldwide to see where they feel companies should focus on Big Data to improve performance. They measured where companies are currently with data implementation and ideally where they would like to be in 2013.  Across the board, data acquisition and analytics are becoming the focal point for sales and marketing organization in 2013.  So the questions are: How does your company measure up, and how are you going to achieve your goals?

First you need to determine what user category you fall into: Low-Level, Mid-Level or Power User.  In order to do that, use emarketer’s guide to decide: if you aren’t yet using data to improve in these areas, if you are already using Big Data, but want to capitalize more on the data’s potential, or best-case scenario, you are exceeding the average current percentages for analyzing and implementing best data practices.
  1. Customer insights, segmentation or targeting
  2. Budgeting, forecasting or planning
  3. Operations, service delivery or supply chain management
  4. Customer service/support
  5. Performance management and transparency in internal operations
  6. New product strategies
  7. Pricing
  8. Automation of common or straightforward decisions
  9. Improvements to R&D processes

Are you a Low-Level User?  This means that you have limited engagement in Big Data.  Here are some things to think about that can help elevate you to a Mid-Level User:
  • What areas do you want to see performance improvement through the use of data? Give yourself a percentage rating based on your current processes to help determine what your ideal goals are for 2013?
  • Are there areas that are missing from this list?
  • What are easy implementation solutions that can get you a higher engagement with your data?
  • What type of data do you need? POS? Behavior? Social? Event? All of the above?
  • Prioritize which data will give you the most return based on your resource.

Are you a Mid-Level user? You are engaged in data acquisition, but haven’t analyzed results to create a more comprehensive strategy. If you fall into this category the most important element is: Organization and Task Management.
  • Evaluate your current process for marketing automation and segmentation.
  • Are you reaching your desired audience and at the right time?
  • Do you need to augment your current process with technology add-ons that can help reduce the amount of data, but hone in on the best data for your sales and marketing teams?
  • This stage is about deciphering best practices and maximizing your team’s strengths to glean the most valuable information with the tools that you already have in place and at your disposal.
  • Decide if there are any amendments you need to make to those tools.

Are you a Power User? You have comprehensive systems and automation in place to hone in on relevant data that drives more sales.  If you fall into this category, well, you are pretty much kickin’ butt! Way to go.  You are early adopters who see the value of every type of data, but of course, there is room for refinement. So ask yourself:
  • Are there processes that you are leaving out?
  • Have you incorporated and accounted for all types of data that is best for your growth strategy – POS, Behavior, Social, Event?
  • Are your sales and marketing teams doing the best they can to capitalize on the analytics?

Data is only as good as the user.  Start small and then grow.  You don’t need to go from zero to 60 in 2.4 seconds like the 2010 Bugatti.  Slowly accelerate through add-ons to your existing technology. Remember, knowing that a lead, both downloaded a white paper, attended a webinar and also signed up for a demo are all well and good, but if their company just reported bad Q3 earnings then maybe the deal isn’t going to be as big as you think, in which case you may have to dial back.  The point is that all of this data matters it creating a seamless buying process that is custom fit to your buyer.

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