Despite the hype surrounding big data, three quarters of North American bankers are dissatisfied with analytics technology, according to research from Aite Group.

As the volume, velocity, and variety of data available continues to grow exponentially with social, mobile, and location-based data leading growth, smart marketers are looking to harvest consumer insight in ways that allow for better targeting and relevance. These strategies often involve significant IT infrastructure, systems, and new methods of modeling and analytics - often more of an investment than a company can take on.

With all this attention on "Big Data", it's easy to lose focus of simple, and often underutilized uses of traditional data. Even basic commercial segmentation products allow marketers to target messaging and imagery for better relevance.

Consider a consumer loan offer where the target audience is selected from geographic footprint, household income, and FICO score range – a typical data set. Personalization from that list would probably contain salutation, personalized interest rates, and perhaps terms variable by locale. Now imagine introducing age, online or offline preference, traditional or high tech propensity, housing type, presence of children, and other affinities. Consider what a copywriter and creative team could do for better relevancy with that readily available data. Sounds basic… and it can be.

Today's digital print technologies have brought full color variable imaging in range for high ROI campaigns. Digital channels, like email, inherently support highly variable content with little incremental cost. The key is understanding what's readily available and then thinking creatively.

Some key points to think about:

Little Data
  • Many marketing service providers have hundreds of data points available for append to existing customer lists or even purchased acquisition lists to describe and target consumers
  • Segmentation models are an easy way to customize messaging and images for better relevancy without the complexity of advanced modeling
  • Analytic engagements to determine and test the impact of variables in personalization often provide significant ROI
  • The only way to determine impact for sure is through structured testing

The integration of “Big Data” still needs to be on the radar for every progressive marketer, but can’t forget the “Little Data.” As you lean on your marketing partners for support, don’t forget the impact and simplicity of basic personalization through readily available, traditional data sets.

Little Data yields big results. Big data is the continued evolution to consumer insight.