BIg_Data_ROIThere is perhaps no industry that has taken to big data like a fish to water as much as marketing. It seems that every marketing tool from social media scheduling to content management solutions to email automation is making use of big data. The reason is very simple: the best advertising has always relied on measured data. Now, big data makes the acquisition and analysis of that data easier and cheaper.

The History of tested Advertising

Data-based marketing is not new. This type of marketing is called “direct response marketing” and has existed for over a century. In fact, John Caples’ classic Tested Advertising Methods was first published in 1932! In it, Caples expounded on the virtues of targeting specific buyers, measuring ads for conversions, using free reports as lead magnets, and retargeting previous buyers. All actions that we use today in digital marketing and sales. So it follows that marketing is a natural fit for big data.

Better leads with Big Data

Big data enables marketers to make every decision faster, cheaper, and with higher accuracy. Targeting a very specific type of buyer is easier thanks to ad tools inherent on every platform. Gone are the days where the only available information was through SRDS. Now, marketers can use information available via keywords, competitor site analyses, their own website data, and various platforms to target buyers where they are. And prospects are more likely to cheaply self-identify thanks to lead magnets and email opt-ins that abound on the web.

Before the advent of big data and digital advertising, marketers had to put out an ad or send direct letters offering a report or offer. That initial campaign would cost thousands. Then, marketers would send a follow-up report and possibly call. This would take weeks (if not months) of time and cost tens of thousands of dollars. Data was slow to acquire and even slower to refine.

The internet and big data sped up this data gathering process. Now, prospects self-identify by opting into an organization’s email list, buying their books, and attending their webinars. It’s easy to fill your CRM with many interested and qualified prospects when prospects self-identify themselves so readily.

Higher conversions with big data

With better prospects comes increased conversions of those prospects into buyers. Prospects who enter the CRM also come with a wealth of data. For example, if a prospect joined an organization’s marketing funnel via a lead magnet on network security, sales will already know a bit about the prospect and what he wants. Sales can send follow-up emails related to network security. The sales person could send him relevant case studies and use cases that aligned with his industry. And sales members could do it all much sooner in the sales process. Once the salesman has spoken with the prospect, he can further refine pitch decks and proposals which improve the likelihood of converting the sale.

Organizations are able to use this data to market to prospects better than ever. Instead of sending email blasts to everyone on a list, for example, marketers can target specific buyer types within their lists. Marketers know when prospects open emails, which emails they open, and when they click on email links. This digital footprint is used by smart marketers to segment email lists and craft targeted offers to each segment. This refinement leads to personalized automation down to sending an email at unique times for each list member based on data about when they’re more likely to open it. Other tools allow marketers to A/B test different subject lines to find the ones which convert the best. This laser focus maximizes conversions and reduces overall marketing spend.

Takeaways for you

If you’re not using data in your marketing you’ve missed the boat. Big data allows you to craft better marketing messages at every stage of the funnel. Creative advertising has never worked and especially doesn’t now in the age of big data. Simply put, you’ll see better marketing results when you use data. Whether you’re using data to fill your CRM with leads or create better Facebook ads, big data is where it’s at.