Should Your Digital Marketing Agency Understand Big Data?

digital marketing and big data
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By mrmohock

Big data is changing the role of the digital marketing profession. Companies can use big data to improve the effectiveness of their ad targeting, streamlining the user experience and measure the ROI better.

Nicole Martin talked about the relevance of big data in digital marketing in her Forbes article. Smart businesses should make sure that their digital marketing agency knows how to leverage big data effectively.

Big Data is Key to the Success of Digital Marketing

The internet is everywhere. You can log onto the web in Los Angeles and navigate the same websites as you could in New York City. For that matter, you could go to the Philippines or Estonia and also find the websites you know and love, as long as you can find Wi-Fi that is. So, if the internet is everywhere, does your business need to bother finding a digital marketing firm close to you — or can you get by with  hiring a bargain-basement firm with budget prices? Do you need an agency that knows how to use big data effectively?

Digital marketing is a crucial element of successful business in the 21st century, when more than 80 percent of shoppers go online to research products and services before reaching out to businesses. Digital marketing firms assist businesses with services like content creation, social media management, search engine optimization, ad placement and more. Big data is being used in all of these practices. If you can cut your digital marketing costs with big data but receive the same impeccable services, why wouldn’t you?

Some business can get away with hiring a digital marketing firm from some far-flung foreign country, but most should stick to hiring a digital marketer that is at least somewhat local. Here’s why.

Local Companies May Understand Big Data Better

Digital marketing expert Neil Patel has talked about the importance of big data in marketing. He talked about four major retailers that are using big data to reach their customers.

The ROI of big data is huge. You will find that local companies tend to know more about the benefits of big data.

The Internet Isn’t the Same Everywhere

While you should be able to access most websites no matter where you travel in the world (except for totalitarian nations like China, where much of the internet is blocked by the state) the truth is that search engines, Google especially, doesn’t operate the same regardless of where you are. You might not realize it, but Google works hard to know where you are and deliver search results that are more appropriate given your location. That’s why when you search for “dinner restaurants,” your search engine doesn’t tell you to visit a pizza shop 200 miles away.

Fortunately, the same thing happens for your customers, which can be convenient if geography is an important marker for your audience. Unfortunately, that means a digital marketer that isn’t based in your area might struggle to provide SEO services because it won’t be easy for them to identify how their efforts are changing search results for your geographic audience. In other words, a digital marketer in Dubai probably won’t see the same thing as a customer in Arizona. If you need SEO services, Phoenix-based digital marketers should be your priority.

Google uses machine learning to know more about its customers and provide relevant, local results. Digital agencies that know about big data understand this and ensure your strategy is optimized to reach local customers.

Audiences Aren’t the Same Everywhere

People who live in New York City have different tastes, behaviors and dialects than people in Jersey City; in fact, people who hail from different boroughs within NYC are proud of their distinctions from one another — that they act differently, speak differently, think differently. If one relatively small geographic space can have so many divisions, imagine the gulf of variance in culture between where you operate your business and a digital marketer who lives states or countries away.

Agencies that use big data can create machine learning algorithms that curate content for your local audience. This is cheaper than creating custom content from scratch for every locality you are reaching and more effective than using the same generic copy everywhere.

If your audience is local, you want a local digital marketer who understands both big data and the pervading attitudes of people in your region. Though the general SEO tactics don’t change immensely based on where you live, the details do. For example, if you operate in the American South, you might need to optimize your site for keywords involving “y’all” or “fixing to” or “can’t never could.” However, a digital marketer based in the Pacific Northwest would likely have no clue about Southern dialectal vocabulary. The same can be said of sense of humor, style preferences and other inclinations based in culture. Again, if you aren’t trying to appeal to a general audience dispersed around the globe, it might be beneficial to choose a digital marketer close by.

Digital Marketers Aren’t the Same Everywhere

Finally, not all digital marketing firms are created equally. These days, most everyone can read a few blogs about SEO and hang a shingle advertising their SEO services — but your business deserves better than a self-taught expert. SEO is a field that changes rapidly and significantly with relative frequency, so it is important to have an SEO partner who can rely on substantial education and experience to guide your business to success.

The chances of you partnering with a rickety SEO operation are increased greatly by choosing services from different countries, especially those with bargain-basement pricing structures, like India, or less-than-stellar reputations for digital security, like Russia or China. Plus, trying to work with digital marketers in different time zones is a headache, and the headache worsens if you are trying to communicate through a language barrier.

Not every business needs to have a digital marketer in the neighboring office or even in the same region. If you operate nationally, or even internationally, you should utilize whatever firm makes sense for your budget and needs — perhaps you should even hire an internal marketing staff to manage your larger marketing workload. However, most small businesses should strive to find a digital marketer in their city or geographic region, who sees the same internet, understands the audience’s culture and language and has bona fides to impress.

Big Data is a Huge Part of Digital Marketing – So Find an Agency that Understands It

Big data is crucial for modern digital marketing. You need to find a digital marketing agency that utilizes it.

Ryan Kh is an experienced blogger, digital content & social marketer. Founder of Catalyst For Business and contributor to search giants like Yahoo Finance, MSN. He is passionate about covering topics like big data, business intelligence, startups & entrepreneurship. Email: