The More You Know…
There’s an old public service announcement that ends with the line, “the more you know…” Each TV spot in the series offers a piece of practical advice and then connects it to this idea: The more you know, the better off you are.
This adage has proven to be true, at least as it pertains to marketing. The growing prevalence of technology in daily life has created a marketing landscape where there is no shortage of “things to know” about consumers. Today, nearly everything is done on the internet, and nearly everything done on the internet can be tracked and utilized for marketing purposes. Data mining has surfaced as a prominent industry, generating a wealth of consumer information that is there for the taking. The use of this information for business purposes is known, in a broad sense, as big data.
Big data has been effectively used by big companies to enhance marketing efforts. But would big data analytics be useful to a much smaller player like a startup company? Absolutely.
Big Data and Startups
Startups are often characterized as small companies going head to head with much larger competitors. They are categorically the underdogs. As small businesses are getting their feet on the ground, they would do well to consider the needed traction big data analytics could create for them in their fight for market share. Consider the following benefits of utilizing big data, especially for startups:
Customized Consumer Engagement
With the rise of data analytics, marketers now have access to more detailed information about things such as who their most valuable customers are, where they spend most of their time geographically, and how they behave on the internet and on smartphone apps. This knowledge allows them to focus their money and marketing efforts only on individuals who meet calculated criteria based on the data, rather than targeting homogeneous groups. Essentially, marketers can now cater to each individual.
For startups, this personalized approach can help them to acquire leads on a scale that at one time would have required many more advertising dollars or boots on the ground.
Big and On Time
A company is a living, breathing thing. Thus, it can be helpful to have one hand on the pulse – especially when a company is still in its infancy. Big data analytics can serve as a virtual stethoscope, providing startup marketers with live updates detailing what people are saying about the company on the internet.
Data analytics can answer questions like, “When people talk about the company on social media, what is the sentiment? Is it positive or negative?” and “Are there concerns or inquiries that need to be addressed?” If there is a time-sensitive matter that requires attention such as a negative review, customer comment or customer inquiry, monitoring features available through analytics allow companies to respond immediately after the post is made. This timeliness could give startups a leg up on competitors, especially those who are not data savvy.
The Future is Bright
Using data to personalize an online marketing approach is an impressive concept. Using analytics to gauge sentiment in real time is notable. But neither of these methods capture the most remarkable aspect of big data – the fact that we seem to have just scraped the surface. As technology presses on, the possibilities for its uses in data analytics and marketing multiply, creating innovative and unconventional solutions to a variety of problems.
One example of such a development is the advent of intelligent video analytics. Where once only text was sifted through and analyzed, now cutting-edge face and voice recognition programs comb through posted pictures and videos for marketing purposes. This same technology is used in retail to analyze how customers navigate through a store and even to identify demographic information about shoppers. If this stunning development is any indication of what is to come, the future is bright for startups and other companies investing in big data.
For a startup, intelligent application of big data analytics could be the edge they need to succeed in the uphill battle for market share. Knowledge of consumers is always an asset. You know what they say – the more you know…
Rick Delgado is a technology commentator and freelance writer.
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