According to a recent article in Information Week Magazine, research firm IDC predicts that the size of data – what it calls the “digital universe” – will grow to 2.7 zetabytes in 2012, up 48 percent from 2011’s record year.  Data collection and storage is growing exponentially and the topic of Big Data is at the forefront of nearly every strategic enterprise discussion these days.

As Cindy Randazzo and I discussed in our recent Big Data webinar last week, Big Data as it relates to your customers and marketing can absolutely not be ignored. Like it or not, this data is readily available to those who know how to harness it and more and more organizations are realizing the potential and starting to incorporate customer-centric Big Data elements into their business and consumer marketing strategy. 

Disruptive technologies such as smartphones, iPhones, iPads, Tablets, PCs, and other Internet connected devices, which have overwhelmed us with a continual stream of information, are also the same devices that consumers are now using to enhance their buying experience and also give them a voice to other consumers in ways that were previously impossible.

Marketing technologies, such as social media listening or monitoring, social media integrated marketing databases, centralized marketing data warehouses, and location based service platforms, just to name a few, are changing the game for marketers. Marketing Technology in the era of Big Data is really about the science of structuring data into meaningful customer/prospect views and the art of creating a marketing platform for intelligent, measurable dynamic engagement.  It’s also about the science of analytics and the art of insights to drive smart marketing and deliver greater customer experience.

Like it or not, as marketers, we are now in the Age of the Consumer, and we have to make it a priority to successfully harness Big Data and listen to the new voice of the consumer to truly understand consumer-buying behavior and become smarter marketers.  We have to start pairing online engagement with our traditional offline marketing efforts in order to be effective and give consumers the truly personalized marketing experience they are starting to expect.  While print and mail are still very relevant, print and mail paired with mobile, social media, QR codes, PURLs and viral marketing is smart engagement which not only allows for cross channel integration and more relevant, customer-centric marketing, it gets us closer to the coveted single view of the consumer.   

If you missed our webinar last week check it out on our website and make sure to take a look at our recommendation for the 7-Step roadmap for Customer-centric marketing. If you need a little help learning how to harness and integrate Big Data into your current marketing strategy, please contact us, we would love to help.