The Death of Business Intelligence

Big data revolutionizes marketing

Posted in Business, Business Intelligence by neilwilson1984 on October 3, 2013

Business intelligence (BI) is radically altering the way marketing functions, according to a major new research report from GfK.

The research carried out exclusively for The Guardian Changing Advertising Summit has shown how the marketing sector is adapting to the unstoppable rise of big data. According to the authors the sector is both excited and apprehensive about the opportunities presented by the proliferation of consumer data. Harnessing this data through effective BI solutions will prove essential.

The survey found 86 per cent of marketers considered that big data was changing the marketing function. Over half (53 per cent) said it was now ‘very important’ with 62 per cent saying their job had already changed as a result. Marketers presented a picture of being squeezed by the rise of digital media on one hand, and pressure to deliver financial results on the other.

With greater access to data come greater expectations of marketers. Marketing professionals believe consumers will expect marketing messages to be more targeted to their needs. Marketers expect increasingly to mine big data to create relevant, personalized campaigns.

Skills are a major hurdle, with only 30 per cent of marketers saying they were well qualified to handle the challenges of big data. As one respondent said: “How many marketers currently even know what an algorithm is – let alone how it can determine product development, placement, price etc?”

Another task facing marketing professionals is that of explaining how they use data. Almost half of the consumers polled (47 per cent) admitted to a poor understanding of what is being collected, although most understand data would be used for targeting them with offers.

Meanwhile it seems marketers need to significantly improve how they handle and act on data. The research revealed that the majority of people are not always convinced by the personalised offers they currently receive. Just one-third (34 per cent) said they were ‘happy’ when companies suggested products for them based on the information they know about them.

Colin Strong, GfK’s managing director for business & technology says:  “Whilst companies can see opportunities for cost-efficiencies and media cut-through, the people we surveyed were often underwhelmed with the personalised messages they had received as a result of campaigns using big data.”

Data needs to be better understood and applied, he suggests: “With the use of big data in its infancy, the marketing industry has to become more sophisticated in its use of the information it collects to convince consumers that relevant, accurately targeted offers do actually make their lives easier.”

The research also found that 81 per cent of consumers said they were more likely to give their business to companies that use their personal data appropriately.

As with any new technology, sensitivity is important and marketers need to prove they can be trusted with people’s personal information, adds Mr Strong. He says: “Those that don’t risk not only ever decreasing business returns, but reputational damage if marketing messages are considered inappropriate or intrusive.”

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