Once upon a time big data was viewed as the domain of IT. Today, however, its potential to deliver game-changing potential means its very much a front-line, customer-facing phenomenon. And that means marketing, sales and service.

Marketing, Big Data & the Big Data Marketing Professional: What to Know

To put it another way, more effective programs often deliver the ROI at the core of the big data marketing business case. As one industry observer and contributor to Forbes.com put it:

Marketing is the best department at the organizational level to take the leadership position in charting that course … to a customer’s heart (and pocketbook) through meaningful and relevant personalized communications.

Big data was the main reason Gartner has famously predicted that marketing will spend more on technology than IT by 2017. It’s also the main force behind the transition of power from CIOs to CMOs.

What Big Data Marketing pros need to know

All of these factors point to a new reality: winning with big data starts with effective marketing. And that’s why companies need data-savvy marketing executives – true big data marketing professionals – to lead them into this brave new world.

This is a big change for marketing. New skills and knowledge are necessary for success in the next generation. Great intuition about what customers want, clear grasp of consumer trends and how to position brands must now be supported by deep data knowledge, greater familiarity with technology options and the ability to engage directly and collaboratively with IT leaders and data scientists. It’s about becoming fluent in tech-speak and helping IT teams get excited about how the smart use of big data can lead to breakthrough performance gains in marketing.

So what skills are necessary? The optimal big data marketing pro gets the strategies and mechanics of attracting, engaging and keeping customers. They understand that the end game of customer segmentation is one-to-one personalization. And that real-time and omni-channel capabilities have become competitive baselines.

Data-driven marketing leaders must also have a handle on the technology big picture:

  • The core components of effective big data ecosystem and a unified architecture that make data easier to manage, access and navigate
  • The importance of integrated solutions for campaign management, digital marketing and marketing operations
  • Why complete and integrated customer data is the starting point but process integration and automation are critical to producing breakthrough results
  • How to use advanced marketing analytics tools creatively in segmenting customers and targeting offers.

Most importantly, big data marketing professionals know how to bring current capabilities to bear in serving their unique customer base and product set. Plus, they must have a vision for using big data in driving revenue growth, increasing loyalty, promoting successful product launches, increasing upselling performance and otherwise fulfilling core marketing objectives.

Again, why is big data so important to marketing and vice verca. Because marketing, as much as any other function, is where the big data action and value are.

Because marketing, as much as any other function, is where the big data action and value are.
Data-Driven Digital Marketing Leaders

Data-Driven Digital Marketing Leaders

The combination of big data expertise and marketing chops – the essence of data-driven marketing – is especially powerful because it drives performance improvements in many different ways as many digital marketing leaders have shown:

  • Tracking Customers across Channels: American Eagle is mastering multi-channel marketing and boosting engagement based on a “full and single” view of a customer. For instance, personalizing and segmenting email communications has led to dramatic improvements in open rates.
  • Email Marketing that Delivers Personalization at Scale: Hertz tailors real-time offers to tens of thousands of customers – including personalized follow-up message to those who have responded to offers without completing a transaction.
  • Enhanced Customer Intelligence for Increased Engagement: Procter & Gamble has data from more than nearly five billion customers worldwide. With the right unified architecture and a strong ecosystem, P&G can focus its analytics efforts on specific customer behavior and personalizing messages and interactions for stronger online engagement.

In the future, as big data becomes a norm, data-driven thinking and data-driven decision making will no longer be viewed as new or different ways of managing a business. In fact, they will become synonymous with management itself, as well as a hallmark of highly effective leadership.