Big Data — Benefits

As the Dunnhumby-Tesco saga and the developments surrounding big data suggests, customer behavioural data is the marketer’s gold mine. Some key strengths and benefits of disaggregate, continuous behavioural data are listed as follows:

  • The potency of the data is largely due to its complexion — continuous, disaggregate. Disaggregate data is far more revealing than aggregate data; therefore better suited for diagnosing consumer behaviour.
  • Size. These databases tend to be large enabling the data analyst to drill down into proportionately small customer segments. In particular, transaction data and big data allow for micro segments, or even personalized marketing (e.g. targeted promotions and communications).
  • Though not always representative of total market, the data is highly actionable. It allows for the execution of tactics at the customer segment level and at location — i.e. store or bank or website, etc.
  • Provides deeper understanding of consumers’ buying behaviour. Whereas aggregate data for instance, can compute metrics like market share, disaggregate data goes a step further revealing breadth and depth of consumption, brand loyalty, switching behaviour, purchase baskets and so on.
  • Reveals not only current and historical behaviour, it can also predict future behaviour. For example, techniques based on disaggregate data can accurately forecast market share of a new product soon after its launch.
  • Estimates growth as well as the sources of growth. (Disaggregate data reveals switching patterns. Refer to gain–loss analysis in Chapter Consumer Panels).
  • Uncovers the impact of marketing activities in the current time period as well as in the future. Reveals the long term impact of some of these activities.
  • Reveals most valuable customers.
  • The union of people’s physical and the digital world via data integration, yields valuable insights that help better target consumers.
  • Accurate and complete information provides for greater transparency and accountability.
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