Understanding Big Data
Thanks to technology, reams of customer data available from customer relationship management systems (CRMs), and even more is being collected on social media platforms and generated by users in the form of ratings and reviews.
Big data is a valuable commodity for marketing. It lets you see data patterns that you may have missed and allows you to make predictions about the content your customers want. But you need to ask yourself a question before you launch a big data effort.
That is, what are the business goals for the data you are collecting? Your content needs to tie in to your overall business goals — and your big data effort needs to tie in as well. You want to be sure that the questions you want your data to answer are crucial to the success of the business itself.
Looking at different kinds of big data
The answer is that there is more data now than ever before. Smartphones, social networks, websites, and factories with data sensors on machinery, and more all have data.
Looking at problems with big data
Aside from the types of messages that can be extracted from big data, you also need to recognize that you are dealing with two different categories of data — structured and unstructured. Structured data has been around a long time, but unstructured data has become available with the advent of social media.
Uncovering the Role Big Data Plays in Content Marketing
When you think about your content, you probably focus on what topic to write about and where you will distribute it. Those are important questions. The way you answer those questions, and many others, is by analyzing your data. When content marketing was in its infancy, many companies flew by the seat of their pants. They believed that they instinctively knew what kind of information their customers wanted.
They proceeded to send steady streams of content, only to find that much of it was greeted without enthusiasm. That’s when managers decided that big data really did matter. Now they know that they need to use data to tell them how to beat the competition and get customers’ attention. There’s no time to waste sending content that doesn’t hit its mark.
Using real-time content
Obviously, the desire by marketers to provide customers with exciting real-time content is strong. It’s a way to capture attention and customers have come to expect it. The key to using this content effectively is to keep your customers at the center of all your efforts.
The focus of this book is the idea of creating content that speaks to specific personas on the buyer journey. Don’t get sidetracked by providing real-time content that doesn’t speak directly to your customers.
Discovering the Internet of Things
Are you curious about the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it relates to data? You’re going to hear more about the IoT as time goes on. The IoT is a network of items that communicate their data to people and things without the need for human interaction. Included are such things as sensors in machines, appliances, and electronics.
Impacting content marketing
To help you understand how the IoT will affect your customer’s experience, here’s an example to consider. Your customer can receive your content in a myriad of places. She is no longer confined to gadgets such as her laptop and iPhone. For example, her refrigerator can alert her to problems with food temperature. This capability affects your touchpoints (points of contact between the customer and the company) and the customer journey, and requires you to develop new messages for customer consumption based on the device customers are coming from.
So how do you decide whether your data would lend itself to one of these visualization types? One way is to ask yourself the purpose of your visualization. Jim Stikeleather writing for the Harvard Business Review, laid out three reasons to visualize data.