The Modern Marketing Blog covers the latest in marketing strategy, technology, and innovation.

How Big Data is Driving Business Growth

Editor’s Note: Today’s Post comes courtesy of Daniel Newman, the President of Broadsuite, a company dedicated to helping companies be found, seen and heard online by tying together paid, owner and earned media to drive. Newman is the author of 2 Amazon Best Selling Books, "The New Rules of Customer Engagement," and "The Millennial CEO".  A regular contributor to Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post, an Adjunct Professor and advisor to some of the world's largest brands.

In the technology community, data has become likened to oil as the next great natural resource.

With millions of Petabytes of structured and unstructured data being created each year, the volume will only continue to grow exponentially leaving us as business leaders and consumers to figure out what potential lies herein.

Outside of the large enterprise, the application of Big Data has been somewhat stifled; at least in the most obvious sense of using big data as mentioned above. This is because the cost both human capital and in dollars is too great for most businesses to fully mine the entire data landscape when trying to make business decisions.

However, to some extent the biggest opportunity for many businesses large and small is to use big data to solidify the three areas of the marketing mix that comprise marketing and social media ROI; the development of community, the continued investment in keeping employees and customers satisfied, and of course the most sought after ROI metric, which is the revenue generated from your efforts.

Big Data Builds Community
In today’s social driven world, if you wanted to quickly build a community around your brand what would be more powerful than being able to quickly parse through all of the social data being created by social users? With products like GNIP, which allows its customers to do just that, companies are now able to visualize social behavior like never before. Pulling the data from not just Facebook and Twitter, but LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ and more to give access to keyword data and trend analysis to brands looking to understand what creates customers and makes them into brand evangelists?

The powerful trend of Big Data further laments itself into community building efforts as industries like Higher Education and Health Care embrace its powers to wield more tailored environments for students and patients. One great example of this is how Mount Sinai (NY) is using Big Data to predict disease, reduce patient visits and improve the keeping of electronic medical records. The improved patient experience will likely contribute to more loyalty among patients and improved recognition of the hospital for their innovative approach to health care.

Big Data Fosters Culture (Customer and Employee Retention)
When global technology giant Xerox set out to decrease employee attrition they knew they were trying to solve a big problem. These days employee loyalty continues to slide as the trend toward employability becomes more important than long-term employment. With some studies going so far as saying that employees are losing out in a big way by not changing jobs every two years or so, the need to figure out a way to keep their employees was a big problem for Xerox.

This situation provided a perfect environment to harness the power of Big Data. For Xerox, they enlisted the services of a little known powerhouse by the name of Evolv. Using their platform, Evolv is able to look at over 500 million data points from an employees social media activity to the price of gasoline to provide insights that can lead to improved employee performance and morale. According to reports released by Xerox, the utilization of Evolv’s big data service helped them to get ahead of when an employee may be looking to leave and ultimately reduced attrition by 20% since their initial deployment of the service.

Big Data Drives Revenue
For the smaller organization seeking to leverage Big Data to make more from their social, ERP and CRM data, another leading player in the Big Data space is upstart company Kaggle that turns data visualization into a competition drawing more or less a bounty for data scientists that can create useful information from data on a budget. For the small company you may picture coming up with a way to take all of your customers’ activity on your Facebook page and come up with a discernible trend within your budget of “X” thousands of dollars. Kaggle’s business model is built around this type of challenge and the results have reportedly been impressive.

Smarter ROI: Big Data, Better Decisions
With information at our disposal in volumes never before thought possible, these kinds of decisions can be drawn on for businesses large and small to drive returns that are measurable both in short spans and over the long haul.

The challenge to bring companies to build closer knit communities and to keep their employees and customers coming back have stood the test of time, but Big Data and its potential are proving to be a force to be reckoned with.

Is your organization orchestrating growth by prioritizing a strategic Big Data approach? Show off your marketing story by submitting for the “Best Data Orchestration” category for the 2014 Markie Awards. Click here to learn more about the Awards and other categories!


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