Discovering the new answer to the age-old question of “How can I generate more sales at a lower cost” will be key for marketing managers to master in 2019. More than ever before, this year data will lead the way.
Without a doubt, the future of marketing is intimately connected with the future of Big Data. At this year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show) it was noted that 2018 really was the culmination of a number of key tech breakthrough into the mass market (like AI and 5D), and observing how they will play out for business.
In 2019, tech and marketing experts say we’re moving from a focus on connecting people to the Data Age to a new phase, one in which the way consumers behave will determine the way we use technology to engage with them. For sure, being able to use the latest data advances to sell more products and services in 2019 is top-of-mind for smart B2C and B2B marketers everywhere. This article discusses some of the data trends you’ll want to be aware of – and begin to implement – during 2019.
One thing is certain: This data age is generating mountains of data; so much so that many marketers are downright overwhelmed. That means one of the first objectives is to get some semblance of control of the data that are generated through various means, and then connecting to and managing those data.
Well, tools are arriving to help in the quest. For instance, the main objective of any Data Management Platform (DMP) is to analyze mounds of data – such as demographics and psychographics – in an automated fashion to determine the exact factors that attract customers, get them to say “yes”, and then to remain as customers.
Below are three Big Data trends to keep in mind during 2019 with regard to Data Management:
Trend #1 – Adopt a multi-department, integrated approach to data-driven marketing.
In the past, the way that businesses operated caused them to collect and store a lot of different data from a lot of different departments, such as marketing, sales, IT, accounting, etc. 2019 will signal the end of a silo approach and the beginning of an integrated data approach. A prospect doesn’t see or care about the distinction between the various departments in your company, so analyzing your data shouldn’t be compartmentalized either. Involving employees from different departments to collaborate on projects will be more commonplace as they discuss and find ways to leverage all of the data for good.
Trend #2 – Focus more on what happens on a customer’s second and third touchpoints.
In the past, so much of marketing has been focused on how to make first contact with a prospect. Though marketing is still important, initiating contact between your customers and your sales, project and customer success teams will contribute to long-term traction for your company more than ever before. As CEO Jeroen Kuppens of MTA writes: “It’s about having one team, one cohesive (customer) conversation, and one goal that’s all driven by what your data tells you about your customer. That’s the key to revenue and the key to happy customers.”
Trend #3 – Communicate conversationally across all channels.
In the early days, collecting and analyzing data focused mainly on how prospects behaved on your website. But now, with video and live streaming gaining momentum in reaching prospects, especially Millennials, your marketing campaigns need to be reach beyond your website to be effective. Channels like YouTube, for example, allow customers see and respond to more messages faster, and require that you adopt an authentic, conversational tone to be believable. To be essentially everywhere, while remaining within your budget, will likely be your biggest opportunity and your biggest challenge this year.
If you are looking to select or improve your data platform in 2019, some of the most promising systems to investigate include:
- Amazon Redshift
- Google BigQuery
- Microsoft Analytics Platform System
- Cloudera Data Warehouse
- SAP HANA Data Management Suite
- Oracle BlueKai
- Adobe AudienceManager
- IBM Db2® Hybrid
- Lotame Data Management Platform
In addition, look for additional shifts or iterative enhancements. For instance, it is likely that Hadoop will be modernized, that there will be an increase in approaches such as using data lake tools for relational techniques and even AI modules, and for metadata to remain the primary approach to data analysis, perhaps enhanced by the use of the data catalog.
In 2019, it’s a given that marketers must be more expansive. They must learn to explore Big Data more – to actively uncover and use all of the new tools available to reach customers across all of the digital platforms where they live and work. They must also balance the tendency to value their own opinions more highly than with what the data say, and use both creativity and data in developing their 2019 marketing messages and campaigns.
Whether a large company, mid-sized firm, or an entrepreneurial start up, being an early adopter of the latest data techniques is imperative in order to thrive in our rapidly changing business environment. A “wait and see” attitude just won’t cut it anymore. So, be bold, put your data to work, and experiment.