Finding The Right Tools
"If you build it, they will come.” This was the approach that many businesses took to marketing their wares in the pre-digital era. And necessarily so, since information about the market was hard to come by and generally anecdotal at best. How things have changed. Today, we live in a world inundated with information in which the customer journey can be tracked on a person-to-person basis in near real-time. This is the era of big data.
Even small businesses today have substantial data caches to help guide their marketing and customer management efforts. These are drawn from CRM systems, web analytics, mobile apps, transaction data, and call tracking – basically from any of the increasing number of digital customer contact points. Data is also available from public sources, including social media platforms, especially open sources like Twitter. Tech giants, such as Google and Facebook, are also beginning to sell data they have collected from their platforms on the behaviors of specific types of customers and businesses.
The real challenge for businesses large or small looking to leverage big data is not finding enough information, but effectively collecting and processing the data they already have access to. Luckily, there are a growing number of cost-effective solutions to help businesses meet this challenge.
If your business is considering making greater use of big data in its marketing and operations, you might consider exploring the following tools:
- Data integration tools: Data integration software connects multiple data sources for information, such as CRM systems, web traffic, and social media search engines, and puts the aggregated data in one easily accessible location, whether on in-house servers or in the cloud.
- Data preparation tools: These tools make data usable by properly formatting and correcting it and by combining disparate data sets.
- Data analytic tools: Data is useless unless it can be effectively analyzed and presented in understandable ways to users. Several companies, including many leading tech firms like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google have solutions for enterprises of various sizes to decipher and present actionable findings from large data sets. There are also targeted solutions available that will connect findings from data to actual use strategies like targeted email programs and other marketing initiatives.
The volume of data is growing exponentially. Google alone handles 8.5 billion searches every day.* But as the volume of data grows, so does the number and sophistication of the tools available to collect, process, manage, analyze, and apply it. And the ability of these applications in bringing businesses closer to their customers is proving to be invaluable.
If your business is exploring how to best leverage big data, we are here to help as you identify and allocate the resources you need to succeed.
* Big Data Statistics 2022; Facts, Market Size & Industry Growth, Earthweb, July 25, 2022.
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