Last year, there was quite a buzz around Big Data. We had statistics thrown at us like: by 2020, there will be nearly as many digital bits as there are stars in the universe. Now, not all data is created equal. There's a lot that doesn't do anyone any good, and sometimes it's hard to find the gems in the haystack.
But now, some of the frenzy around Big Data has died down, as brands find meaningful ways to sift through the piles of useless information and get right down to the good stuff. We're learning to apply it to specific silos within a business, from accounting to operations. But let's not leave anyone out. Here are five areas where marketers and public relations professionals can really shine using Big Data.
A few short years ago, "targeted emails" meant you could automatically fill in the "Dear first name" field. We've gotten much more sophisticated since. Now you can map personae to each email contact and deliver exactly what they want. You can customize an offer for a single customer, rather than a group of subscribers, and get a better conversion rate as a result.
Get to Know Your Customers Better
And speaking of customers, you can leverage data to get up close and personal in ways you couldn't in the past. Using customer relationship management (CRM) software, you can track everything from behaviors on your website or emails (did they click a link? visit a particular page?) to what they're talking about on social media. Take this information and customize your marketing and PR campaigns.
Create Smarter Press Releases
Today's press release is full of useful goodies. Once your release is published through a press release distribution site, you get a report that tells you how many people clicked on it to read it, what site they found it on, and what keywords they searched to find it. This data can help you tweak your PR strategy to deliver more of what people are looking for.
Monitor What's Being Said on Social
Social media is such a great resource for data, even beyond what your contacts are talking about there. You can monitor who's talking about your brand, your competitors, or your product category and respond appropriately. You can conduct market research, or get ideas about how to improve your product.
See What Your Competitors Are Up To
There are even Big Data tools that let you see what your competitors are doing in terms of keywords on their website, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, and marketing campaigns. Knowing this can help you strategically make your own play in those spaces.
There are so many ways that Big Data makes marketing and PR (and beyond) better. It's a matter of finding the data that really helps drive your strategy and making that data count.
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She's written three business books: DIY Press Releases: Your Guide to Becoming Your Own PR Consultant, 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, Small Business Trends, The Marketing Eggspert Blog, and Tweak Your Biz.
ReachForce helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data management problems. We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like marketing automation, personalization and predictive marketing better. Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce can unify, clean and enrich prospect and customer lifecycle data in your business, and do it at your own pace.
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