But “we’ve hardly skimmed the surface,” says Neudesic, a firm specializing in custom data management and CRM solutions. The firm predicts analytics that seem familiar now will look very different by decade’s end.
While just about all structured data (like that in databases and spreadsheets) can be collected and analyzed, even some types of unstructured data, such as social media, can be sorted. Solutions currently exist that allow companies to identify and extract attitudes toward a brand, thanks to multi-channel customer engagement.
As the number of social channels has grown, companies have had to adapt to respond to customer preferences and deal with sometimes very public feedback. Smart integrated marketers have begun using this information to create smarter marketing campaigns that lead to greater customer engagement and conversions.
Where Is Data Headed
Big data is only going to get bigger. Thanks to the Internet of Things and the information being collected about its users, Neudesic anticipates an “exponential increase” in the amount of available data. By 2020 there may be over 28 billion connected devices, spanning everything from wearable tech to household appliances to city infrastructure. All of these devices will be creating data, many while communicating with other devices.
Looking For Insights
Before your head starts spinning from the thought of more devices creating even more vast amounts of data, Kieran Hannon offers a bit of advice. The CMO of Belkin andWEMO suggests that integrated marketers need to step back to see the bigger picture. “In this era of connectedness, data isn’t the problem because it abounds plenty. Discerning patterns and insights within the data itself is the bigger opportunity.”
According to Hannon, effective marketers need to be “constantly listening, interacting, questioning and probing.” He sees this tack as the “first step on the path to being an agile marketer.” Revisit our Big Data archive for practical posts about how integrated marketers can make use of existing data, and how to start collecting more of the information you need to make smart marketing decisions.