Big Data – future fuel to Marketing

The human needs and desire are ever evolving. In this “age of customer” wherein deciphering and understanding a nascent unrevealed consumer need is the key to success for all the leading businesses, Big Data is gold. It provides enough ground reality to make products and services which could be termed as breakthrough or just something which was always there but never thought of.


Every one minute on the internet reveals 640 TB of data which gets transferred by the consumers worldwide, approximately 2 million queries are searched online on google and over 204 million emails sent. With the amount of intelligence being registered on digital platforms online, it is compelling for consumer behavior analysts, anthropologists and marketers to analyze this set of big unorganized data to create insights to propel businesses forward.


Taking an example, Google could predict flu outbreaks based on the regions/countries where people searched for it.

This graph shows the how google tracked cases of flu over a period
Graph on Google flu tracker


One such example is of Facebook, where researchers predicted the correlation between age, gender and the language used.

Facebook's research on correlation between age, language and gender
Facebook’s research on correlation between age, language and gender


The effect of Big Data on Marketing

While more and more customers go online, consumer behavioral data aggregation has become a necessity. The need for understanding the customer and his psychographic and behavioral trends is not something unheard of but with the business landscape becoming saturated with new & old competitors, it is the need of the hour to come up with better insights to provide better and new services to differentiate one’s self.


Market leaders in most of the industries are gaining better consumer loyalty and engagement through the insights gained from big data analysis. By tracking the likes, dislikes, purchase trends, pages visited, long term desires etc., marketers are going above and beyond to acquire, retain and reward the consumer.

Enterprise Marketing Technology Components Support Systems Of Insight And Engagement
Enterprise Marketing Technology Components Support Systems Of Insight And Engagement


Nielson in its effort to understand the market, tracks and maintains the data from various retail stores day on day that provides better insights into market shares, distribution, sales volumes and promotions. Marketers at these retailers can come up with interesting discounts and schemes to drive up the bottom line and get ahead of the competition.


Basis a recent study with the CMOs, it was found that 54% of them believe that big data analytics will be beneficial in the long term strategy. According to them the major areas where big data is used for making informed marketing decisions are mobile and mail marketing and SEO/SEM.

Areas of Marketing where Big Data has the maximum impact
Areas of Marketing where Big Data has the maximum impact


Big Data analysis helps in optimizing go to market, new product development and sales strategy. It helps in Geoanalytics and target selling to reap maximum profits by aligning strategies basis an individual, region or territory.


Most of the E-commerce companies capture data and track your purchase and interest trend to offer you products and services from their gamut. I am sure a lot of us would have seen certain ads of the products which we keep checking online, following us on every site we login to.


An E-commerce giant, with the help of trend and pattern analysis and geoanalytical targeting, gives differential prices at a customer-product level to the same login if the person sits at home vis-à-vis when he sits in his plush office cabin in some big investment firms.


A major ticketing portal in India, having over 10 million transactions a month, is now using data mining and analytics to drive acquisition and loyalty. It tracks customer’s online activity in real time, providing them with ads for the purchasing merchandise of their favorite sports person, discounts on the movies of their favorite movie stars releasing over huge time intervals etc.


Diagram on how Big Data impacts targeting for Marketing and Sales


Integrating marketing and communication plan with insights drawn from big data can help organizations make a big impact in the following areas –

Customer engagement: It tells you where your potential customer base is, how they want the products to be, and how to reach them to dispense the service.
Customer acquisition and retention: It helps in discovering the traits which make a customer loyal and how to retain them.
Marketing performance: It helps in determination of optimal marketing spend and also continuously optimizing marketing programs for better impact.


Impact of Big Data on content Marketing:

For Content marketers to know what passes for a good content, they need to do analysis of their target segment and figure out their taste and preferences. This involves continual tracking and listening to voice of the customers. Through sentiment analysis from social media and other platforms, businesses can get a concrete sense of what kind of content customers like to consume and what they respond to.


The rise of brand’s as publishers – and are examples of drawing insights from consumer needs and behavior and publishing the content the customer needs. is an ecommerce platform that churns out blogs by hired writers and sometimes its consumers itself.

They request for feedback, track the online activity and draw insights of the data gathered to become one of the major ecommerce content publishing site. Consumers deem them as relatable and interesting.


As quoted by HBR, one of the hottest trends in the field of content marketing is data journalism.  This still-new form of reporting draws on the growing availability of data sets and data analysis tools to uncover and tell stories. E.g. Use of Infographics on Pinterest, Videos of Brightside on Facebook etc.


Impact of Big Data on Digital Marketing:

Big data is about data volume integrated with the speed of data usage. Optimal use of data by digital marketers means gaining opportunities for a better market and return of investment prospects.

Impact of Big Data on Return in Investment
Impact of Big Data on Return in Investment


• It helps in better lead conversion rates by telling us how and why certain factors are affecting customer behavior causing them to convert or not convert.
• big data can help marketers to deliver data-driven strategies to help optimize ROI while reducing the risks of failure. e.g. Amount time spent on website et al
• Availability of data analytic tools in order to implement a more systematic process of targeting specific data that matters for their digital marketing goals.


Major Challenges

• Security – With the volume, velocity, variety and complexity of the data, it becomes a matter of grave importance to protect it to avoid undue usage.
• Analytical challenges: What if the data is too large, too complex to be analyzed? The type of analysis requires high degree of skills and clarity on the end goal.
• Human resources: Since it’s a new field, it requires adequate man power of diverse skill sets such as technology, research, analytical, creative and interpretive.
• Scalability – Sharing of resources, running and executing jobs can be expensive!
• Quality of data to be analyzed may not be good and that may affect the end result.

Big data has already revolutionized the way businesses work. With such ability, comes great responsibilities. Marketers have to be attentive to the market and use the data appropriately and ethically to build value for both the business and consumers.



• Big Data and the CMO: What’s Changing for Marketing Leadership?


• Making Big Data Work: Biopharma, McKInsey & Company.





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22 thoughts on “Big Data – future fuel to Marketing

  1. Big Data is gradually turning out to be the most reliable inputs for marketing. Very precisely put across.

  2. Content and Digital marketing has surely received a big push from Big Data.It is surely turning out to be one of the hottest trends in the field of content marketing .

  3. These are some great insights, Sahar! I believe, while Big Data tends to solve complex problems the future will only become more complex. The new race will be to gather data and I see a huge market which could exist only by gather data. Larger companies would create trends which smaller companies with no data may tend to follow, even blindly at times. These are going to be some exciting times ahead. Many business may just boil down to the kind of data they have in volume and quality.

    These are some great insights to dwell on, Sahar! Looking forward to read more coming from you!

  4. Very well written, Sahar. This is extremely insightful and paves the way forward wherein Big Data will be used to solve very complex problems and as we all know data is the new oil is not an exaggeration but a mere reality in today’s world.

  5. Very well articulated Sahar. Traditionally we made predictions with the help of structured data, which compromised for only 20-30% of the total data available. Big data now focusing on un structured data had left us with new ways of interpreting it. Data analytics is helping the marketing teams to analyze and provide great insights related to the products. Product life cycle can now be explained in much better and precise way. Marketing strategies can be made accordingly targeting specific market segments.

  6. Very well articulated. With all the advantages of Big data, we also need to seriously look into the security and privacy issue it poses.I really appreciate that you have put forward this challenge in the article.

  7. Very interesting read.
    Big data is increasingly becoming important in this ever changing business landscape. Great article explaining the nuances of big data!

  8. Well written Sahar. Big Data is inarguably the most important breakthrough of the modern times. Your analysis of its effect on content marketing and digital marketing has been put across really well.

  9. Companies are sitting on a pile of data. The day we learn and use this data to our advantage at every turn is the day the market place will be saturated with competition. Good article!

  10. Having worked in a business setup that heavily depends on consumer purchase trends and market/competitive landscape – I believe there is a huge distance to be covered once we have skills and resources to uncover the true potential of Big data.
    Great article btw! 🙂

  11. This article touches the important aspects of Big Data! A good read indeed!
    Structured data can help unearth patterns/gaps/leaps which will change the face of the business landscape.

  12. Hey Sahar ! Great to read your perspective on Big Data, very insightful. Gaining insights out of data is the growing need of the market and structuring the data available makes it easier.

  13. Well written article Sahar
    Big Data is the next big thing to predict customer behavior.
    It’s the next big thing

  14. ⁩ Great insight! Lovely how you traversed the entire big data environment and covered all the major things to be talked about.

  15. Good article! The business environment is changing and so is the way we do business and Big data plays an important role in understanding businesses.

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