Understanding the Role of “Big Data” in Internet Marketing

Today, big data is changing the face of internet marketing.

Although it’s a phrase you’ve likely heard before, the concept of big data is not widely understood by many business owners, especially those who own small to mid-size companies. But like many aspects of technology, it affects you both as a business owner and a consumer.

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No matter what size your company is or what field you’re in, big data can be a game-changer for your internet marketing.

What Is “Big Data?”

To understand the concept of big data, consider your own digital footprint.

footprint

Think about your Google searches, your Amazon purchases and the places you check on social media. Virtually everything you do online is stored in a database somewhere.

Have you ever searched for something in an online store, only to have ads for similar products show up in the articles you read or in the sidebar of Facebook? That doesn’t happen by coincidence.

What about the coupons that print out with your receipt at the grocery store or pharmacy? Maybe you’ve noticed that most of those coupons are for a product competing with one you’ve purchased before. For example, if you regularly buy Crest toothpaste, maybe you received a coupon for a Colgate product.

All those customer loyalty cards you carry around are tracking your purchasing history and recording it for posterity. Companies who want to improve their internet marketing results can purchase your data — and that of millions of other consumers — to look for trends.

How Is “Big Data” Used in Internet Marketing?

Even a decade ago, all marketing — including internet marketing — was generally limited to a mass marketing paradigm. If you wanted to advertise your business, you could buy a mailing list and send out postcards to everyone on the list. You could buy print ads or TV or radio time and run a commercial.

You had some ability to target specific markets by choosing a publication that your prospects likely read, for example. But marketers had limited options for narrowing the focus of an ad campaign.

ad campaign

However, Google, Facebook and even retail outlets soon figured out that your shopping, purchasing and internet browsing habits produced highly valuable information. In fact, both Google and Facebook exist today for the sole purpose of capturing consumer data. You may think they’re providing a valuable service, but in reality, you’re the one who is valuable to them.

Today, you can tailor a data-driven internet marketing campaign to such a specific target demographic that it almost boggles the mind. The result is better ROI for your marketing dollars, and ideally, more sales to boost your bottom line.

Even Small Businesses Can Leverage “Big Data”

Are you tracking your own data? Because, used correctly, it can be more valuable than most of what is available to you for purchase.

Companies should be tracking two types of data.

Marketing Data
If you maintain detailed data on your various marketing campaigns — both traditional and internet marketing — you can identify what worked and what didn’t. But this means you’ll also have to track your customer behavior.

Purchasing Data
Tracking your customer data can provide valuable insights about what sells to whom and when. And when analyzed in conjunction with your marketing data, you can get a better idea where your prospects come from.

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Now, armed with what you know about where your customers are coming from and how they’re reaching you, you can design future marketing campaigns to leverage your new knowledge.

How Can You Put Data to Work in Your Internet Marketing?

In a perfect world, you should use a combination of your own data and purchased data, at least until you have accumulated enough of your own data to identify trends.

The biggest challenge for most business owners is figuring out how to make sense of the data.

Large corporations employ marketing data analysts to do complex statistical calculations and provide data-driven marketing insights. Some vendors are working on data analysis as a service (DaaS), but even these affordable analysis tools won’t help if you don’t have someone who knows how to use them.

You can use a business analyst to handle the data mining for you, which can produce good results with minimal cost.

Or you could choose an internet marketing company that can handle all of that for you.

Be Locally SEO leverages the power of big data in building our pay-per-click campaigns, choosing SEO keywords and designing customized internet marketing campaigns for our clients.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can build your business using the power of internet marketing.

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