01 Aug 2012

Priming the Pump – Data is the New Oil for Any Business


Data Driven Marketing for Any Business

You don’t have to be Experian or IBM to tap into the richness of data.  Even a roadside sandwich shop could be sitting on fuel that is the future of marketing.  According to the Direct Marketing Association’s acting president and CEO, Linda Woolley, “Big data is the coin of the realm in marketing right now, and everyone wants to know their consumer better in order to cater to their needs.”

Though the desire may be great, few businesses are leveraging data insights to drive strategy and even fewer know where to start.  According to a poll conducted in February at the Aprimo Marketing Summit 2012, only 11.6% of respondents are doing anything to integrate data into their promotional decisions, while 14.9% are still scratching their heads wondering “What Is Big Data?”.

Keep ‘Big Data’ Simple

big dataWhether you are a multi-million dollar operation or an up-and-coming entrepreneur, forget about the adjective ‘big’ for a moment and keep it simple.  Think about where and how you store information about your current clients and prospects.

In some cases, you may have to dust cobwebs off of trans-files, but more often you’ll be surprised in the sophistication of your databases.   Look to your contact list, transaction receipts, reservation software or customer relationship management system – – – anything that you can download into a spreadsheet containing at least a name and zip code is a resource.

The more insights within each resource and the ability to merge databases together is all the better, but in need not be complex. Instead, think in terms of statistically significant and all of a sudden ‘big’ becomes ‘manageable’, ‘attainable’ and ‘actionable’ if shared with a marketing partner, who can leverage your information into relevant, timely and measurable communications.

Find Yourself a Data Expert

Most companies do not have a team of statisticians, let alone a marketing department, who knows how to interpret data and utilize it in customizable, creative ways for outreach.  If you do, you are in the minority.  For your data to go ‘big’, it must be shared with experts for analysis and comparison to the universe of aggregated publicly available information from U.S. households, individuals and other businesses.  Then, and only then, can you make intelligent marketing decisions with regard to message, offer, media channel, and more.

Priming the pump and tapping into the ‘new oil’ is only one spreadsheet away.  Make data a driving force behind every marketing decision you make.






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