big data jobsBig data is the term that has been on everyone’s lips and fingertips for the past several years – and for a good reason. Personalization is changing the face of business, it determines what your Google results page looks like, it even changes the way we interact with one another on the web.

It certainly does not take an expert to recognize the sheer magnitude of the digital footprint we all leave behind by simply going about our daily tasks: searching for information, purchasing things online, leaving comments on friends’ photos on Facebook. We are steadily transferring increasingly big chunks of our life onto the digital realm, and for those who have the acumen and the resources it signals the time to harness, analyze, and utilize the huge amounts of such data. In other terms, it simply means that a completely new playing field has opened up for advertisers and marketing specialists.

Advertising and marketing used to be quite generic. You develop a product with a specific target audience in mind, possibly using feedback from arbitrarily selected focus groups in the process. Then you dissect your target audience, analyze it, and try to determine what is most likely to resonate with this particular group of people. Finally, you design an eye-catching but still generic enough advertising strategy supposed to appeal to as many of your target customers as possible and promote your product.

Imagine if you could drive sales up by employing a more targeted approach: subdivide your target audience into two or three subgroups, define more specific drivers for each of the subgroups and build several, more personalized ad campaigns. Or you could go even further and try directing your marketing efforts at very specific small groups, adapting your multiple strategies accordingly – provided, of course, that you have a vast pool of resources, time, and an incredible deal of insight about how and when to engage with your audience.

Impossible, you say? Five years ago the answer would have been ‘yes’. Now, however, we have big data, so we can safely say ‘it’s very possible, easily available, and you really should start employing it ASAP’.

What big data essentially did was to hand advertisers an incredibly valuable tool of microtargeting. With our technical capabilities beginning to catch up with the volumes of information at hand, it has become financially feasible and promises big profits. Using this information, advertisers can take a peek into the customer’s head, pick the factors that drive them, and utilize these factors for their business purposes.

Crucially, this can also help to improve the customer’s experience, since it dramatically reduces the time necessary to find what better suits each person and can make you feel like you are not just a face in the crowd: you matter, your needs and wishes are being addressed directly, efficiently and with a personal touch. The advertiser has the means to reach to the consumer, hold their hand throughout the whole engagement process, leave them satisfied, and earn their loyalty, making sure they return.

So, as we can see, the main advantage of big data management and analysis is an opportunity to create a portrait of the customer and use the information received to plan advertising campaigns and budgeting. When we get to know for whom we work, we get to know how to work. That is why the companies with the hard-earned experience in big data processing are the key valuable parties that can give an edge over competitors.

The world keeps changing, now faster than ever. The amounts of data continue to grow at a frightening rate. Therefore, in order to stay relevant and effective, advertisers have to make sure they don’t miss out on the opportunities big data can provide.

The post is by Eugene Rudenko is a senior online marketing manager for Oxagile, a big data consulting and custom software solutions company headquartered in New York, US.