Bullseye: How Big Data has helped Marketing hit the target every time


At its core, marketing is about effective communication. How to deliver the message about a product or service through the need assessment, past the decision-making process and into the hands of the consumer. Seems simple enough, right? Wrong. The mediums by which the message is moved through the communication channels have been fragmented by the internet and mobile devices. It is much harder to reach the intended target when they are constantly on the move.

The rules of engagement for marketing are the same: The right person with the right message at the right time in the right place. The challenge now is finding the right place. Television has always been the key medium to deliver high quality images and sound to a captive audience. And for the most part, television still is. However, the way people watch television has drastically changed. More and more people are using television on-demand to watch programming whenever they want and not during prime broadcasting time slots. Adding in the fact, a growing majority of people are not gathering around their televisions but watching it on their laptops or mobile devices. This has created more static than a strong signal to the channel.

With all of this fragmentation of time and place, what is a marketer to do?

The answer is data. Big Data is the collection of all the tiny fragments brought back together to create a very clear big picture. Here is how the same old rules are used in the new game of marketing:

The right person: Social media has opened many doors for marketers to walk through and into the audiences’ homes. No longer is the target audience a female, age 30-55, living in North America with 2.3 kids with an annual income of $69,000 to $75,000. She is Jennifer who lives in Calgary with her husband, son, and daughter and drives a Toyota Sienna. Social media has helped brands create the deep personal connections with their audience. Relationships that used to take years to establish with traditional advertising alone. Now, brands can see the faces of the people they serve and engage with them on a more personal level.

The right message: Have you ever looked up a new song on the internet and then all the advertisements on your sidebar for the next week are for the album that song appears on. That nifty occurrence is Google’s AdWords and predictive analytics at work. No longer do you have to struggle to find the message that will appease to your needs. The message will find you.

The right time: One of the things that makes the Super Bowl the best sports event of the year are the commercials. For one night a year you can see the best, longest, and most dramatic commercials that are on-par with sitcom episodes. In a perfect world, marketers would want it to be the Super Bowl every day with an undistracted viewership. The reality is, life is busy and full for distraction. Especially, if most households have multiple televisions, computers, and Smartphones. The audience is no longer at the mercy of the advertiser’s or mediums schedule. With the use of data in social media trends, Nielsen rating reports, and growing number of Smartphone ownership, marketers are better able to time the likelihood that their message will be seen, be the most effective, and actionable.

The right place: As it was mentioned before, the mediums are drastically changing. This leaves marketers scrambling to keep the audience they have and attract new ones. “Spray and pray” is a term marketers used to describe the costly uncertainty that comes with blindly leading a marketing plan and execution.

Mobile devices and application are probably the best thing to happen to marketers since the television. With the use of geo-targeted advertising through location tracking and brand’s offering fun and engaging mobile applications. Today marketing is so precise and in real time that when a customer enters a shop they can receive promotions on their phone and increase the chances of action.

Although, there are many choices as to what medium to use to deliver the message, the use of data in marketing has taken the guessing out and made execution more effective. Marketing messages are no longer being shot in every direction at random targets. With today’s data information refining the process of the right message to right the person at the right time in the right place, marketers can hit the bullseye every time


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