by: eXelate Marketing
The stages from browser to buyer that consumers embark on has been talked about frequently these days as the customer journey. There are several forms that journey is believed to take, from funnel to loop; however, the more important factor is what that path is paved with – data.
Marketers of the past operated with much less information available to them than we have today, and their target audiences, as well as the impact of their efforts, were largely unknown. Data has been the defining factor in turning those unknowns into actionable insights that make marketing more efficient and effective, and there is a wealth of it at our fingertips.
According to Gartner, big data investments in 2013 continued to rise, with 64% of organizations investing or planning to invest in big data technology compared with 58% in 2012.
Market research simply can’t provide the real-time insight and response that marketers need to turn prospects into buyers. What we think of as “big data” is a massive cache of information gleaned from sources such as online behaviors, social media and demographics, not to mention campaign data such as impressions, clicks, click through rates, views, view throughs, downloads, tags, follows, likes, etc. As you might imagine, parsing that information in real time and reacting to that insight in a timely fashion is a Herculean task.
Market research is still an extremely valuable business tool; after all, the best way to know where we’re going is to know where we’ve been. However, in today’s world of shorter attention spans and instant gratification, marketers have to strike while the iron is hot, and do so armed with the insight necessary to make that message count. Powerful insights can be gleaned by brands that learn how to use the right marketing tools to derive meaningful value from the mass amounts of data available to them.