Imagine a world where you walk into a clothing store and everything inside of it is tailored to your every desire and need. The clothes are all your size, the ads show models that appeal to your tastes, no standing in any lines, and the sales clerk knows exactly what you want and more…
Well that all sounds great, and maybe one day that will be a reality, but as to anytime in the near future that’s not going to happen…. Or is it?
The internet is a rapidly evolving being that is only going to get more educated, more personalized, and more consuming of our lives. It has only existed for about 20 years and the growth has been astonishing. As professor Mark Staton pointed out in a recent class, “Look how far Television has grown since the 1940’s.” It is an almost completely different entity in a span of about 70 years. This is the day and age of the new and upcoming giant: data.
Going back to our original dream world of a ‘customization and adaptive’ store we can see that the internet is already there in some ways, and quickly heading that directions in other ways, all thanks to our friend data. For decades marketers have tried to use predictive modeling to reach a more specific audience with little success. As an article by Forrester points out, that is now possible due to advancing in customer data and analytics. Companies like Medio have started doing this for mobile users across large telephone networks. Partnering with large corporations such as T-Mobile they are able to provide real-time recommendations with improved advertising experiences for customers as they shop, serving billions of analytics yearly. This has proved to be majorly successful for the brands advertising as well as the consumer, giving them a completely customized mobile shopping experience based on multiple segmentation factors such as geographic, demographic, and psychographic variables.
Other businesses such as Orbitz.com have used broader segmentation techniques such as offering higher priced hotels to certain users. In a now rather infamous article, Orbitz found Apple users to be higher value customers typically spending more on a hotel, so they did what any smart marketer would do, offer Apple users more expensive hotels and rooms from the get-go. But of course when Apple users found out they were quite upset, which leads us to our an important tip on big data.
- It’s not necessary to tell consumers they are being tracked and targeted – People get a little weirded by all of that stuff
Another example of this going horribly wrong is the infamous ‘Target knowing a girl is pregnant before her dad did‘. I think it may be safe to stay away from bragging about what you’re doing with a customers data.
Perhaps one of the most successful attempts at analyzing big data was in the 2012 election. A Time article illustrates how Obama’s win was no luck, it was big data; the use of real-time analytics for direct email campaigns proved to be hugely successful in both fundraising attempts and targeting attempts. The $1-Billion dollar campaign was the largest ever, proving to be a presidential race based on spending, and he who had the deepest pocket coming out ahead.