On an average day, how many of the following Internet activities do you perform?

  • Purchase a retail item
  • Watch a movie
  • Update your "status"
  • Use your GPS
  • Post a video

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Every day, we are creating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. But what does it matter?

As a marketer, do you dig Big Data? Certainly as a smart marketer you strive to learn as much as you can about me… the consumer. But what is a marketer to do with Big Data? I suggest, “Dig” it! Think about using Big Data for marketing from these perspectives:

            D  = Directionally

            I   = Individually

            G  = Geographically

D = Directionally

It’s all about identifying patterns in Big Data. As a smart marketer, you’ve practiced recognizing behavioral patterns in your customers for decades. Now it’s time to expand your observations to social media. Although there is anonymity in social media, there is much to be gleaned from listening – to being in tune with what is being said about your organization. Social media listening in earnest provides “direction” for real business decisions based on a broader appreciation for your brand in the consumer empowered Internet.

I = Individually

In this “Age of the Customer” it is critical to recognize your brand evangelists and detractors. Today, organizations must be listening to their customers and be responsive to outspoken individuals. It’s about customer care opportunities. Certainly, you can name the headlines that individual consumers have made as they rallied thousands of consumers into retaliatory action with well-placed posts. But there are also brand evangelists and product reviewers that “care” about you and your organization – truly a marketer’s dream opportunity.

G= Geographically

Imagine that you are opening a new store location. Now listen to the “chatter”…the sentiment about your entry into a new community.

Smart marketers are listening and matching sentiment data with traditional data to more effectively enter new markets. Others are listening intently to uncover unmet customer needs to stay competitive in tough markets.

Are you “geographically aware”? Do you listen to strong individual influencers? Do you see the patterns to set direction?

Are you digging for gold?