Many of us are familiar with the words ‘big data’, but how ‘big’ is ‘big data’? How do big data related to marketing? How should marketers handle big data?
Big data are data sized between around 1000 terabytes and around 1000 petabytes. However, the word ‘big data’ has become a general description to describe a huge amount of data. It is hard to use traditional software like Excel to manage big data. The reason why big data are so ‘big’ is that everyone’s every action on the Internet is possible to be recorded, including you who are reading this article, there will marking down your action of clicking into this website.
Every Internet user is a potential customer, their activity log is extremely important to marketers in different industries. Yet, all data are meaningless, unless marketers digest and analyse the data carefully. Therefore, companies should find out the problems that they want to solve or information that we want to further study as the first step before starting the analysis.
Take an online shopping platform as an example. Generally, customers are required to register an account and enter personal information including name, email or date of birth. All these can help the company identify different types of customers for more detailed analysis in the future. After logging in, the computer will record the activities of the members on the website: keywords used, products viewed, time spent and so on. If a member search auto accessories and look for relative products for an hour, the system will record this activity and later recommend more products that are related to auto accessories to the member. Apart from collecting data of members’ online activities, the company also has to collect both internal and external data, like information announced by the government, which many of them are worth looking into. This large amount of data can help marketers better understand customers’ preferences and sales status to interpret the trend. Marketers can also form more effective marketing strategies with reference to the trend.
Companies on one side should make good use of the data for strategy adjustment, and on the other side, the companies ought to secure the data. Some companies choose to store their data and server in warehouses while some use cloud storage to store the data. If companies store their server and data in warehouses, they need to face some storage problems, as the temperature and humidity of the warehouses can seriously affect operation. With the increase of the data, storing data in a physical way is a temporary action instead of a total solution. While using cloud storage can avoid problems caused by weather and the increased amount of data, it may also lead to a data breach as the data may need to pass to a third party for upload. Many companies are worried about the issue of a data breach, therefore they choose the traditional physical storage method. No matter which kind of storage method you are using, data security is always crucial to protect companies and clients’ interests.