Small data trumps its big brother

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The levels of hype generated around big data in recent years may mean that some marketers can no longer see the wood for the trees, according to a recent whitepaper from SDL.

For firms that want to drive up engagement levels and ensure that they are learning from each interaction with a potential buyer, ‘small’ data – that is, information focused on the personal foibles and attitudes of each customer – is more important than its big brother.

Over time this can become “the currency of engagement”, SDL claimed.

The company cited research from IDG Enterprise noting that 31 per cent of organisations expect to be managing more than one petabyte of data by the end of 2014.

Ultimately, this will mean that managing large amounts of information becomes a business imperative rather than an additional extra – but it is the way in which this data is processed and analysed that will make it valuable.

Having huge amounts of unexamined insight into customer behaviour will add no value to your marketing proposition. This data needs to be polished and honed into something actionable before it becomes a worthwhile investment.

“After all, unique customer data is the only data that can help you create the hyper-targeted customer experiences needed for a competitive edge. That’s why customer data will become increasingly vital; it’s what fuels the deeper, more intimate relationships that lead to brand advocacy, long-term customer commitment and higher revenue and margins,” said SDL.

This could become even more important in the future as customers become more web-savvy – 42 per cent of millennials polled for the SDL report were able to accurately identify specific types of digital information collected and tracked by companies, highlighting the need for this process to be transparent.

The bottom line is that businesses need to focus on engaging with customers more effectively on all channels, SDL concluded.

Redspire’s latest whitepaper on customer engagement is available here.

Customer engagement white paper