The Evolution of Marketing Data

Marketers are in an ideal position to benefit from today’s data-rich environment. Not only do they have an opportunity to capitalize on the availability of more consumer buying channels but they have easy access to growing data about consumers.  Thanks to the Internet and mobile technology, marketers have a pathway to consumer behavior like never before. They now have a clearer glimpse of consumer behavior and their habits and preferences. With this knowledge, marketers can tailor advertising campaigns and ensure maximum impact.

Yet while marketers seem to have it easy, they actually have a plethora of information to analyze when determining the direction of their marketing and advertising efforts. In fact, according to this week’s reading, From Information to Audiences: The Emerging Marketing Data Use Cases, in 2009 the world produced 5 exabytes, or the equivalent of 25 quadrillion Tweets, every two days. Without even seeing more current research, I think it’s safe to assume that today that number is much higher.

Indeed, marketers have endless data at their fingertips but in order to make the most of this fortuitous situation they will have to develop the right capabilities. In particular, according to the organizations that produced the aforementioned reading, Winterberry Group LLC and the Interactive Advertising Bureau, marketing organizations need to focus on five areas to succeed in this rapidly changing environment: rules-driven integration of disparate data sets; improve their operating infrastructures; build a strong network of data-centric technology and service partners; and establish marketing data governance.

The most interesting part of the reading was within the audience optimization section, where an organization called Catalina Marketing is highlighted as claiming to collect and analyze in-store purchase data covering 80 percent of the U.S. population. This is an incredible feat—hundreds of millions of peoples’ purchased are being studied, including perhaps, yours and mine! Also, this organization is now combining offline and online sales data to help its consumer goods make better choices on their promotional offers—ultimately to improve optimization of their audience.

 Questions to readers:

 -What marketing practices look like they will become standard in the near future (based on technology and growing data about consumers)?

 -How do you use marketing data (whether in your work or for research)?