Twenty years ago, sharing information with your family, friends and colleagues could be a time consuming process. You could not simply touch a button to express your opinions about a product or service. Today, consumers can easily broadcast their likes and dislikes beyond their immediate network of family, friends and coworkers. This ease of access is creating an enormous volume of data, which savvy businesses can use to their own advantage. In its whitepaper entitled “Capitalize on the Power of Big Data to Transform Marketing,” IBM offers advice on how marketers can effectively use Big Data tools to make consumers more receptive to their messaging campaigns.
To harness the power of data, marketers must first understand that consumers generate information through instant messaging, online forums and social media. They use PCs and mobile devices. Marketers need to collect and analyze vast amounts of unstructured data from a wide variety of sources. Although there is more information available to marketers than ever before, it does not mean that marketers can treat every consumer exactly the same. The whitepaper recommends going beyond broad customer segmentation to determine individual preferences and anticipate a consumer’s behaviour. By treating each customer as an individual, marketers can develop highly targeted promotions and determine the next best action for that person to deliver a tailored experience that improves marketing outcomes. IBM advises marketers to maximize the value of engagement at every touch point. As the number of channels available to a consumer increase, marketers must ensure that they are delivering a tailored experience across every single mode of interaction. Organizations need to anticipate what a customer wants and sustain his or her interest to convert a qualified lead into a new sale.
The whitepaper suggests using analytics software to maximize Big Data’s value and improve marketing efforts. Analytics programs, such as those offered by IBM, help marketers perform behaviour analysis and detect patterns in the customer’s history to accurately predict what he or she prefers and what action he or she will take next. With this information, marketers can craft more effective advertising campaigns. Real-time analytics solutions work in conjunction with behaviour analysis at every touch point, so marketers can gain insight immediately to enhance the customer experience.
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