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Is Big Data making marketing better?

Deepti Dilip J | Director – Marketing & Communications, Ashnik
Singapore, 15 Sep 2016

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Let’s go back in time when Big Data was an unknown entity. Marketers then relied upon all sorts of tools, knacks and even gut feelings to evaluate the success of their marketing campaigns. In our day, however Big Data has transformed the business scene. The marketing world that we live in now is swifter and evolving rapidly, literally in seconds. And this quantum data that is available is like a catalytic agent – the secret ingredient to a potpourri of insights and ideas. It’s not precisely the data that plays an important role, rather the insights derived from it that makes the big difference. And more importantly, the decisions made and steps taken acting on those insights is what delivers successful marketing and business strategies.

So how exactly can Big Data be used in marketing? There’s massive amount of data that enterprises typically collect from their own business processes and from their customers through different means and channels. The important thing is to fit this data together, because it’s pointless having all that data sitting in unrelated systems throughout an organization. When integrated and leveraged intelligently, this data will reveal remarkably effective trends and patterns which can lead to huge improvements in a company’s approach and its various strategies. Say, by tuning in your organisation’s big data insights with your go-to market approach, your organisation can make a sizeable impact essentially in these 3 areas:

  • Customer engagement and retention: Big data can deliver insights into who your customers are, where they are, how they want to be contacted and what they need. Plus, you can determine what influences a customer’s loyalty and what makes them come back time and again.
  • Optimizing your Marketing efforts: Big data can establish effective marketing spend across your organisation’s various channels, as well as improve marketing initiatives through testing, measurement and analysis.
  • Outdoing your competition effectively: With Big data giving you such terrific insights in your customer behavior and optimizing your channels better – you will be better equipped to improvise customer relations. This will lead to getting a tighter grip on understanding of customer needs and the right approach for it. Automatically, giving your brand an upper hand in relevancy.

Did you know?

86% of people are willing to pay more for a great customer experience with a brand (source: Lunch Pail)

There are some really interesting case studies of how brands have utilized Big Data to upgrade their services or reach out to their end customers, sharing 5 interesting ones here (Source: B2C):

  • T-MOBILE: Has integrated Big Data across multiple IT systems to combine customer transaction and interactions data in order to better predict customer’s deserting their services. By leveraging social media data along with transaction data from CRM and Billing systems, T-Mobile USA has been able to “cut customer defections in half within a single quarter”. Big Data turns big savior.
  • RED ROOF INN: Produces 10% growth year over year helping people who are stranded due to bad weather. Their marketing department uses historical weather information, and begins a plan to target stranded airport passengers. With an estimated 2-3% of flights cancelled daily, 500 planes don’t take off and 90,000 passengers get stranded. The company uses Big Data to identify the areas of demand and uses search advertising, a focus on mobile communications, and other methods to drive digital bookings with personalized messages like ‘Stranded at O’Hare? Check out Red Roof Inn.’ A win-win for both customers and the brand, isn’t it?
  • KROGER: It is the largest supermarket chain by revenue and second-largest general retailer in the United States. It accesses, collects, and manages data for about 770 million consumers. Claiming 95% of sales are rung up on the loyalty card, Kroger sees an impact from its award-winning loyalty program through nearly 60% redemption rates and over $12 billion in incremental revenue by just using big data and analytics.
  • THE WEATHER CHANNEL: Is more than just a weather channel. By analyzing the behavior patterns of its digital and mobile users in 3 million locations worldwide—along with the unique climate data in each locale—the Weather Company has become an advertising powerhouse, letting shampoo brands, for example, target users in a humid climate with a new anti-frizz product. More than half of the Weather Company’s ad revenue is now generated from its digital operations. Talk about being effective!
  • TARGET: A famous example of this retail company’s coupon system, in which they data-mine their way to figure out what you like, what you need, and which coupons are most likely to make you happy. Basis which, Target figured out a Teen was pregnant before her father did. Check the detailed write here. Turns out, Big data does Target well.

There are a number of companies across industries who are using Big Data to upgrade marketing strategies and enable their customers to take actions that produce results. Like Peter Sondergaard from Gartner fittingly said, ‘Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.’ Are you making the most of it yet?


  • As the Marketing and Communications Director, Deepti oversees brand strategies, marketing initiatives and digital platforms at Ashnik for Southeast Asia and India. Drawing inspiration from her advertising experience, she brings to Ashnik her zest for creativity and design. She splits her time between a full-time gig at her job, lots of hobbies and dodging her 4-year old's odd tantrums.

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