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Home arrow Engineering arrow Engaging Customers Using Big Data: How Marketing Analytics are Transforming Business
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BOOK OVERVIEW

Using a series of case studies from pioneers, the book will employ the three propositions to show how each marketing function is undergoing fundamental changes: how personalized advertising is delivered using online channels where the marketers identify the specific customer and tailor their messaging based on customer behavior, context, and intention; how customer behavior is collected from a variety of sources across many industries and examined to identify micro-segments; how online and physical stores collaborate to provide a unified shopping experience and deliver product information. Then the book examines the tools and techniques for marketing analytics that support these capabilities. It projects the impact on statistical techniques, qualitative reasoning, and real-time pattern detection, to name a few. Based on these changes, the book prescribes the changes needed to update our skills and tools for marketing analytics.

In chapter 2, I will show how sophisticated customers, digital products, and crowdsourced data and technology sharing are driving enormous change in the marketplace. Customers are driving the generation of big data, empowered and incentivized by social media organizations, which offer free services to their users and use marketing and advertising as their funding model. The emergence of cloud computing has made it easier for marketers to source a lot more third-party data and use business partners to add additional value.

Chapter 3 discusses the first proposition-big data observations lead to an enriched customer profile. This chapter covers the first proposition as to how big data is significantly contributing to our ability to observe the consumer. It uses case studies to show how that factors into marketing research, customer segmentation, and delivery of marketing programs. It enumerates a number of big data sources, such as census data, social media, location data, web traffic, product usage data, and others. It also describes how marketers add value to the raw data using context and intent to drive customer insights.

Chapter 4 discusses the second proposition—automation and social media provide marketers with new ways of collaborative influence on the customer driven by personalized communication. This chapter describes how automation and social media are impacting our ability to communicate with customers, and these tools can be used to build collaboration across communities and build momentum for a brand. The success of a marketing organization is in its ability to strike a two-way communication, or a group communication in a community. A savvy marketer knows how to influence the creation of a buzz for a new product or a new message. In this chapter, I also discuss how customers’ touchpoints have evolved to generate that communication on terms acceptable to customers.

Chapter 5 discusses the third and final proposition-marketing orchestration to optimize and customize a marketing plan for each customer or micro-segment. This chapter discusses how marketing dollars can be pooled across the silos to influence a customer through the stages of marketing. Market leaders selectively advertise based on the current state of the customer and effectively use promotions and expert testimonials to bring the consumer to a purchase decision. Orchestration also brings disparate organizations closer to each other to integrate and leverage data, insights, and actions across organizations.

Chapter 6 introduces the technological enablers. The changes in business functions are driven by a set of enablers. These capabilities have evolved significantly in the last five years and are driving many changes in how we market. Many books and blogs have defined big data using three, four, or six V’s (velocity, volume, variety, veracity, and value, to name a few). In this chapter, I have restated those definitions as seen by the marketing community. Advanced analytics flourished in a big way toward semistructured and unstructured data. A number of machine learning techniques have replaced tedious manual processes for qualitative analytics. Experiment design has allowed marketers to convert their market into a gigantic lab for market experimentation, where product, pricing, and promotion decisions can be offered to smaller test markets and tested before global or regional launch. Customer identification and tracking techniques can help us identify specific customers or micro-segments across customer-generated events.

Chapter 7 shows how these changes are significantly changing marketing organizations-their metrics, processes, external business relationships, and people skills. This chapter looks at traditional marketing functions-marketing research, product management, advertising, pricing, media planning, promotions, and communication, and shows how these functions are being radically transformed by the three propositions. In addition, marketing organizations often employed shadow IT resources to conduct data integration, data mining, and visualization. These IT groups are increasingly investing into two roles-data scientists and data engineers. This chapter discusses how the analytical skills of the past, as practiced by marketing researchers, media planners, product managers, data modelers, database administrators, and marketing analysts, must be retooled.

The last chapter provides a focused view of corporate marketing and uses it as a special case to recount the main propositions in the book. Corporate marketing is, unfortunately, a comparatively underresearched area of marketing. However, it is going through its own transformation using big data, advanced analytics, and social media. The chapter outlines how corporate marketers are introducing these changes and how their changes are similar or dissimilar to consumer marketers.

I have tried to keep a narrative style in writing this book. One of my mentors in my early career days told me marketers are masters at storytelling and the best way to communicate with them is using stories. I hope you find the book informative and entertaining.

 
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