Why Brands Need Big Data to Survive in the Information Economy

Big data can be used to keep an eye on the competition.

June 7, 2017
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Gaining a competitive edge in today’s economy can seem impossible at times. You need to utilize every resource at your disposal.  Big data has proven to be highly beneficial for brands trying to stand out in the market.

How Big Data Can Give You a Strong Edge

Erik Larson was the first expert to describe the benefits of big data in the late 1980s. Larson said that businesses were already using data to monitor their competitors, even though they claimed they were only storing it for their customers’ benefit.

Larson predicted that big data would be even more beneficial in the coming years. His claim came to fruition by 2010.

Here are some ways that big data has shaken the competitive landscape to its core.

Creating More Synergy Between Teams

Fragmented organizations have a much more difficult time competing in the information age. Unfortunately, fragmentation is a problem even for many multinational corporations.

Big data has broken down the barriers that often separate teams within an organization. According to an analyses from the Ivey Business Journal, 25% of all information brands used was shared between different teams within the company. Creating more transparency and open communication with big data gave them a powerful edge over their competitors.

Improving Effectiveness of Advertising Campaigns

Digital advertising has a much better ROI than traditional advertising channels. Digital advertising costs less a third as much as traditional media. However, in order to make the most of digital advertising, brands need to take advantage of big data.

Big data gives brands unique insights into the minds of their customers. It also makes it easier to track the performance of their ads and run split-testing campaigns. By combining big data storage technology with digital tracking platforms such as Prosper202 or CPVLab, they can determine the advertising targeting options and creatives that offer the best ROI.

Big Data is Key to Building Better Mousetraps

Most industries are shifting from oligopolies to fragmented competitive environments over the past decade. Since competition is greater than ever, you need to develop the best possible solution to stand out amongst the competition.

Southard Jones of Birst wrote a great article last year on the value big data plays in research and development. He points out that if employees can see data in full context, they can make much more informed decisions regarding research and development. They can also develop better solutions for supply chain management, including using real-time data to improve efficiency.

Looking at Long-Term Trends is Key

Identifying long-term trends is also crucial for brands trying to stand out in an ever-changing environment. This is even true for dynamic platforms such as social media.

“Social media campaigns can deliver great deal of value to any brand. However, social media marketing doesn’t transform your business overnight. It could take few months to see any real growth or measurable results through the campaigns. But that doesn’t mean it’s not working, it just takes time to see the results,” states Eddie Madan, CEO of Edkent Media, a social media agency.

Collecting the Right Data is Critical

Big data is unquestionably helpful for brands trying to stand out in an increasingly competitive global economy. However, big data needs to be implemented properly. Max Shron, founder of Polynumeral,  told ZDNet that the biggest mistake brands make is placing too much emphasis on the quantity of data they collect.

“It’s not how big the dataset is, but how detailed (or fine-grained) it is,” Shron said. He suggests that companies collect all the data they can cost-effectively collect. “Don’t double your capex budget to do it, but if you can [collect the data] fairly cheaply, then do it.” You can always pare down a dataset, but you can’t go back and get it. And no matter what type of data or how much you’re collecting, Shron said it’s critical for organizations to be able to identify customers across all their internal systems with a unique identifier, such as an email address, user ID, or cookie.”

It is important to qualify your data sources and make sure the data you are collecting is relevant to your campaigns. You need a viable strategy in place, rather than focusing too heavily on the quantity of data that you collect.

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