Big data is as essential as data analytics, and it’s critical for understanding what people think about, well, almost anything. When combined with marketing research, Big Data can help you get valuable insight if you know what to look for.
You can read articles about it, and many researchers say that it’s the thing that will replace traditional surveys. Big data provides businesses with a vast pool of data on which they can run their market research without asking any questions.
While there may be some truth to this claim, things are not always as they seem. As a business owner, you still have to call your clients to get direct feedback, find the right focus groups, and hold interviews to get a clear picture.
However, Big Data does have the power to improve the results you get from standard surveys and direct communication.
What is Big Data?
But before we get into the details, we have to answer one question – what is Big Data exactly?
Many people don’t have a clue what Big Data means, even those who should know everything about it. That includes C-suite marketing executives, corporate researchers, and research suppliers. All of them have a different view of what Big Data represents.
Most of them think that it’s something big and that it deals with a lot of data. The details are then interpreted differently by everyone, leading to a lot of disinformation.
Everything you or anyone else does online creates data. Every Google search, every website subscription, every single email you send creates valuable data. That means that all actions taken on the internet create traceable data that can be used to make all kinds of stats and extract useful information.
Big Data can be broken down into two primary categories:
- Predictive analytics data
- Social network data.
Both categories provide useful information that can help businesses improve their online strategies and create campaigns that will attract more customers. Let’s break it down.
Predictive analytics data
Everything we do, every move we make on the internet generates data. All of that data is collected and stored to be used by analytics software and specialists for many purposes. For example, every bank has a list of credit scores.
Every first online shop remembers what you searched for, so it predicts what other products you might be interested in.
The world of analytics is mostly dealing with predictions. The entire idea is to pinpoint the targeted audience that’s likely to buy something you’re selling. That leads to increased sales and more revenue.
Social network data
Social networks have become a window into the world for billions of people. We leave comments and exchange information between ourselves for free. Large corporations and big companies have realized that they can use all of that information to improve their market standings.
Brands employ entire teams of people whose only job is to monitor and possibly control what the general public thinks about them.
The practice has led to new fields like Social Media Network Analysis, and Sentiment Analysis. Many software solutions were created to make sense of all that available data, hoping to use what they can to improve businesses and their offers.
Big Data and Marketing Research
Marketing research has been used for decades, and it has set the way for modern consumerism. However, the techniques for researching the markets have evolved. Instead of finding new methods for marketing like before, marketing research is used to answer specific marketing issues.
For example, it’s used to figure out ways to segment shoppers in large retail companies. Some businesses use marketing research to create or improve their products. Others use it to figure out what price to put on a product or what type of campaign has the most success.
The reason why Big Data can’t give you all of these answers is the lack of specificity. Big Data is packed with useful information that has to be segmented and deciphered before it can be used. Marketing research helps business owners find out where to start looking.
You can use different analytics techniques to get a sense of what the general public thinks about your company or product. That will help you create surveys with accurate questions, which will give you a better understanding of what people think.
So, Big Data is the missing step between understanding consumers’ needs and improving your market strategies. It has massive value when it comes to developing marketing campaigns because it allows you to find the issue and improve it.
Although Big Data isn’t exact, the two aspects we discussed above can help you run extensive marketing research that will provide you with amazing results.
Large companies with massive customer information databases can extract the right information, apply them to surveys, and get segmented feedback from customers.
It does take a lot of time and effort, but if you create custom reports and stats, you will get only the information you need to improve conventional marketing research techniques.
Such a thing has incredible value for any business because it improves the quality of the extracted information. Instead of sending out extensive surveys to everyone, you can create custom, segmented surveys and send them to the right people.
You will then get feedback from every group, and once you analyze each survey, you will have a clear picture of the entire marketing process and its results. It’s a powerful tool that will change the way we do marketing forever.
Exciting Future for Marketing Researchers
Big Data is like a gold mine waiting to be found. Even if you know that there’s gold lying in the ground beneath your feet, you won’t be able to get it without the right mining equipment.
That’s exactly how Big Data works. It’s just like the gold in the ground, and if you can get to it, you can use traditional marketing research methods to turn it into jewelry.
The process is slow and painstaking, but if you combine the two sides perfectly, the potential information you can extract is far more useful than either side can provide alone. Big Data and marketing research will give you all the answers if you know where to look.