Big Data: Is it worth it? Yes.
This blog post can be summed up by its title, which ideally should be enough to convince you that in this era big data is a must, but for those who need a little more persuading we will delve deeper looking particularly at how big data can help your business acquire and retain more customers. Simply imposing your ideas, products or marketing message on consumers does not suffice anymore. One of the factors that can lead to business failure is companies assuming that they just know what consumers want based on the perspectives of a select few people, most of whom work within the organisation. Consumer needs are evolving rapidly and it is difficult to truly capture the reality of the market based only on opinions brought up in a boardroom. That is not to say these opinions are invalid, but why rely on subjective input when you can get objective insights on what is happening in your market – that is where big data comes in.
The most obvious point to address first is, what is big data? You have probably already heard the term being tossed around but we will give a brief explanation just to make sure we are on the same page. As the name implies, big data is a large amount of information, or data. It is used to analyse key metrics around things like customer behaviour such as where they buy, when they buy, what they buy, how much they spend, etc. At face value, this information may seem random and disconnected but humans are generally creatures of habit. There are often links, or correlation, between different consumer decisions and big data analytics seeks to identify those links, as well as other market or industry relevant links, so you can leverage them to make great decisions.
One of the biggest advantages of big data analytics is its ability to significantly increase customer acquisition and retention. Consumers have never been more spoilt for choice so just putting a product into the market does not work anymore. You have to be strategic about what you put out, how you put it out, and where and when you put it out. An ill-timed release or bad placement can impede the success of even the greatest products, and big data helps you avoid these pitfalls. Devising the best strategies no longer has to rely on trial and error, strategies can be intentionally optimised to ensure you get the best possible response from customers thereby increasing customer acquisition; and by consistently being in the right place at the right time with the right offer, you can also increase repeat customers. So with big data you can essentially kill three birds with one stone – you get to understand what consumers want, informing product development; you know when and how to best reach them, helping with your marketing plan; and you know where to place your product, in what quantities and at what times, which can optimise supply chain management.
Big data brings numerous other advantages to the table such as helping to improve risk management, and in this day and age data is king. However, as Baker Tilly Digital we believe that knowledge (or data) is not power it is only potential power. Data is only useful if you know how to leverage it in your decision-making and that is why our team does not just collect, analyse and hand over data, we help clients use that information to come up with tailored strategies that align with their goals and strengths. The world around us is changing fast and our decisions as companies have to keep pace if we hope to succeed in the long run; understanding our markets through big data is a key component of that and is no longer a nice to have, it is a necessity.