Are You Buried in Big Data?

Let’s face it, no one is going to stop the torrent of structured and unstructured data filling our brains, computers, and Marketing Dashboards. Facebook alone is generating 100 terabytes of data every day, uploaded by the social media platform’s 750 million worldwide users. Globally, businesses created 1.8 zettabytes of data in 2011, according to IDC, and is growing approximately 62 percent annually.

It may look like a big hairy monster of content, but for marketers, the rise of Big Data and its associative technologies may prove to be the biggest opportunity ever—to better understand consumers, communicate in “right-time” with customers as they are making decisions about your brand, and to optimize profitable, long-term relationships.

Marketer’s today have technology to converge data sources, targeting solutions, and advertising delivery platforms at their disposal. It is easy to get mired down in the data—examining ROI, the size of social networks, and sell-through statistics. Let’s face it, automated, multichannel marketing may someday take shape.

But all of this data and analysis is useless without remembering two core components of effective marketing 1). Humanize your people 2). Showcase your brand DNA.

Humanize Your People.

It is easy to forget what all that data represents. Every email list; every comment; every Facebook friend; is a person. Yes, “people,” not consumers, users, or customers. At the end of the day, “people” are evaluating, buying, engaging and recommending your brand.

I suggested spending time with your people—either virtually, or in real life (IRL in Internet parlance) every day. Take 30 minutes or an hour to think about that data that’s presented in front of you, and remember that all it represents how “people” think, feel, and interact with the products, services, and brand reputation that makes-or-breaks your business success.

Showcase Your Brand DNA.

Your brand DNA oozes out in everything you do, so use the Big Data you have to help identify, than optimize your brand DNA. I propose that the more you know about yourself, the better you will be in connecting with your customers/users/consumers—“people.”

With all of that real-time, rules-driven, audience-centric marketing that’s driving transformative improvements in both marketing effectiveness and efficiency, don’t neglect a true deep understanding of the core brand DNA. Whether you like it or not, your “people” see you based on your behaviors, and your behaviors are always generated by who you are at your core. It is a pointless pursuit to try to present yourself in the marketplace in a way inconsistent with your core values. Don’t try to “create” a brand personality, “showcase” your personality. Take a look at the data—your people, through behaviors and audience-generated content. They’ll show you what you truly are. Then, add to the conversation by “showcasing” your true brand.


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