Right now our ability to capture massive quantities of data is mind-blowing. For a marketer, it’s like attempting to take a sip from a firehose. With more data available today than every before, our success is contingent upon not only data mining and predictive analysis but swift execution.
Brand success demands making sure our increasingly data-centric workforce has the skills to turn insight into action. How do we turn our insights into action? We reach out and engage with the customer.
There is much talk about Big Data, but the truth of the matter is the future will be won by those who can effectively analyze and use the data they have quickly, thus the concept of Fast Data has been born.
Reaching out to be helpful is Sexy! Being invasive is Creepy. Sexy says, I remember you liked action thrillers and I thought you might enjoy this. Creepy says, I’m watching you, I know what you just ate, I know where you live and I know what you did last summer.
The market is so competitive today that it’s not enough to know ABOUT our customer. Today we have to PREDICT what they want and reach out to them in real time.
Timing is everything with respect to the balance between creepy and sexy. The way we reach out to a customer can be perceived as welcomed or invasive. Targeted advertising is powerful when used intelligently so as to support a customer’s needs, wants and desires without invading their privacy or divulging too much personal information for other’s to see.
Everyone knows we are capturing personal information, but it’s another thing to be reminded about just how much is known about us through using our credit cards, driving our cars with computer chips , GPS tracking on myriad devices, and of course…social media.
Like no other time in history, we have the ability to harness information about our prospects and customers and leverage that into prosperous relationships.
Sexy brands doing a fabulous job of this today are Brands like NetFlix, Amazon, and e-harmony.
Netflix tracks what entertainment you like, when you got bored or fast forward, when you didn’t finish a show and what you watched more than once. E-harmony already knows what you think is Sexy and will select the best match for you and know who you should marry before you do. Amazon knows suggests the next book, gluten-free cookie or wrinkle cream you might like to add to your cart based upon learning your preferences and buying habits.
The opportunities are endless as we project into the future. Consider a future company using data shared from the Internet of Things (IOT) enabled devices in your home. Purchasing software knows your last jar of pasta sauce has just been emptied as you make dinner. It knows you enjoy eating pasta 3 nights a week, tacos on Tuesday, and pizza on Friday nights. This future company cares about you and your family and knows you need more shells, sauce and pasta, triggering a drone to be dispatched to your door, replenishing your groceries.
Imagine entertainment designed uniquely for your experience. Consider the idea that you and I can watch the same movie and mine will end different according to my preferences than yours will. Suddenly we will experience a shift even in how we experience community events with each person targeted for a unique message.
Big Data is attempting to do what we intuitively do as human beings…building relationships by anticipating needs, and serving. We want our partners to read our minds… in a sexy way, but not a creepy way. It’s the same with respect to brands, we want this same kind of care without creeping us out.
Brands who utilize Big and Fast Data that mimic loving, sexy, relationships will become irresistibly attractive. The brands which understand the kind of power in an engaged relationship to their prospects and customers will write the future.
(In an effort to be fully transparent, IBM paid for my travel costs to attend IBM Amplify as an IBM Futurist)