Big Data continues to befuddle marketers, and those in the retail sphere are no exception. With consumer information constantly flowing into the organization, it can be rather difficult to keep everything under control and remain vigilant in case concerns arise. But, as Don Patrick, president of Infogroup Targeting Solutions, says, without proper data hygiene practices and analytics, Big Data is no more valuable than the sum of its parts."Retail companies have traditionally been one of the most sophisticated marketers," Patrick adds. "However, the plethora of data generated daily across channels has significantly changed the game. Data is no longer difficult to obtain, but rather harder to wrangle and interpret. Marketers across sectors are faced with mountains of data, and within many organizations and categories, best practices are still emerging. The failure to capitalize on Big Data and the insights contained are due primarily to organizational structure and antiquated methods of interpreting data."
If marketers truly wish to tackle Big Data and glean insight into the customer experience, they must embrace the technology and processes of the most successful companies in the space. Here, Patrick offers four tips for addressing the primary Big Data trends in retail today:
Because storage prices have decreased drastically, such matters are rarely an issue for retail marketers today. However, collecting every bit of data available won't reap rewards. Marketers must acknowledge that the era of Excel has ended by investing both time and capital in data management and analytics.
While unsophisticated marketers are likely to think of the channel before focusing on the given campaign's goals, successful marketers remain channel agnostic, putting the consumer at the center of all strategies. Marketers must concentrate on compiling and analyzing behavioral and transactional data to form a complete picture of the customer.
Personalization has become the cornerstone of engaging customer experiences, for such strategies prevent consumers from tuning out off-target messaging. Yet, if companies, particularly online retailers, hope to recreate the appeal and quality service of the old-fashioned shopkeeper, they must actively pay attention to purchase and behavior patterns in order to replicate the experience as closely as possible.
Marketers will agree that there's no such thing as a single traditional customer. The challenge, however, lies in finding the most profitable segments. Because it costs more to acquire new customers than retain current consumers, marketers must combine past purchase behavior, analytics, and demographics to maintain existing relationships and maximize their value.