Using big data on a personal level to gain greater consumer buy-in

Using big data on a personal level to gain greater consumer buy-in
As the Director of Sales in Northern Europe, Richard is responsible for running Enterprise and Corporate sales teams for Gigya, a Mountain View PaaS vendor which provides B2C Identity Management for some of the largest sites and brands on the web. Richard began his career in digital marketing in 1997 when he joined internet advertising pioneer DoubleClick where he ran sales teams in Europe and the US. The business was eventually acquired by Google Inc. for $3.1Bn. More recently Richard headed up sales to media and publishers in the UK for ExactTarget. The business was acquired by for $2.5Bn in 2014.


As consumers, our lives and identities become more and more digitised every day. The more time we spend on the Internet, the more data we produce. In 2014, Facebook users shared 2,460,000 pieces of content, YouTube users uploaded 72 hours of new video, and Yelp users posted 26,380 reviews. These statistics are not per week or even per day — they are per minute.

With every online purchase, media stream, or click-through, consumers are generating new data points that help define their online identities. For businesses, this data can be used to create more personalised and relevant experiences, which lead to higher conversion rates and revenue.

Similarly, whenever a consumer registers with a business using either traditional forms or social authentication, and then takes certain actions on the brand’s website or native mobile application, the user is giving the organisation access to valuable first-party, permission-based identity data. This can be used to customise the user experience in meaningful and accurate ways.

However, not all marketers have an intuitive way to make sense of data. According to a recent Teradata survey, 87 % of survey respondents consider data to be the most underused asset in marketing.

The sheer amount of data consumers produce certainly provides a challenge, but there are other hurdles preventing brands from being more data-driven, including the nature of the data itself. The data that provides personal insight into customers, their interests, activities, favourite brands, life events, and more, is all unstructured. The vast majority of databases lack the ability to reconcile these types of data points with structured, relational information (gender, age, location, etc.) in a way that makes it easy for marketers to query, segment, and utilise the data.

Because many marketers also lack a visual representation of the exabytes of customer data being created and captured, brands face the risk of never being able to leverage rich information to power strategic business and marketing decisions. In fact, a recent study reveals that only 16 % of respondents agree that all employees have a user-friendly way to conduct relevant data analyses via, for example, customised feeds and dashboards.

Once marketers are able to put in place the required tools, they can effectively use the vast amount of data to personalise consumer experiences. Consumers today are inundated with marketing-related stimuli. From display advertising and email newsletters to push notifications and sponsored posts on social media, the average consumer sees nearly 250 marketing messages daily, and probably doesn’t notice half of them despite the exposure.

With so much information constantly fighting for consumer mindshare, it’s easy to see how business messages could simply get lost in the shuffle. The key to breaking through the clutter is by delivering personalised and relevant communications to consumers. In fact, 90% of marketers see individualisation as the future of marketing – moving beyond segmentation to true one-to-one personalisation in a real-time context.

Though achieving this level of individualised marketing may seem daunting, the immense scope of technologies available today makes it entirely possible. 86% of consumers say personalisation plays a role in their purchasing decisions. Consumers are openly acknowledging the fact that businesses can influence them by delivering relevant messaging and making shopping experiences more personal.

Brands that continue to send cookie-cutter marketing correspondences and treat every consumer the same are missing the opportunity to create lasting, valuable customer relationships.

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