The growth of analyzing big data has certainly been the theme for 2013. It should be no surprise that retailers are starting to be at the “front lines” of the analysis trends and challenges. Sears for example has leveraged its Hadoop expertise into a consultancy – see this All Analytics post I wrote in 2012 about Metascale. Much of Sears’ NoSQL databases interest belies its strategy in meting the big data challenge and developing its corporate strategy as a result.
Monsanto has collected the latest insights on Big Data and created a working guide for retailers. See below to learn more on big data’s impact on the retail industry.
This latest webinar from Webtrends features Forrester data and a great overview of how analytic is changing the face of new digital devices. Play the webinar below, and see how any of the concepts can respark your analysis approach. If you’re stuck regarding how to regard your web analytics results, consider how your metrics reflect the digital data inputs or correlate to your business data. How relevant are the results to your business today?
Great webinar by the Webtrends team and wonderful support from Forrester.
This infographic explains the best strategies for better social media results. Created by the Awareness Network (Thanks to Marshall Sponder for sharing in Pinterest), the graphic notes the currently analytic tools available. But again keep in mind most tools still can be siloed – a tool for Pinterest is telling about activity, but not enough by its self to indicate value to a business. It is up to the marketing team to establish what activity is sought on a social media channel. Infographics like this one help clarify what is possible.
Back in 2008, I saw this post — an interview with Rob Murray, President at iProspect. He was also one of the keynote speakers at the 2008 Search Engine Strategies expo, held in San Jose, California. The interview appeared in SEMGeek, an online blog that covered the SES Expo, as well as issues on search engine marketing. For more, check out www.semgeek.com.
I liked his comments, but one statement which particularly caught my attention is the need for an alignment in offline and search marketing efforts (see Rob’s response to Question #4 in the post). He was not the only one who has identified the need back in 2008.
At that time, I also discovered a Harvard Business Review ideacast (#42) in which Duncan Watts, a business researcher, talked about his research on viral online campaigns. He noted that in order to have effective virtual marketing, the initial seed of “carriers” – consumers who use word of mouth – would have to be large to reach a substantial number of potential customers. The epidemic analogy typically used for the concept of viral marketing is somewhat flawed because an epidemic seed was smaller than that needed for an effective marketing campaign.
The researcher was advocating the usage of traditional media and online marketing as a hybrid viral method to help drive a message from a big seed, even when the message is burning out over time. The traditional media is used to create the seed; the online marketing tools gives the “carriers” a means to pass the message along. Proctor and Gamble used this method to market an Eco-friendly version of Tide, which Watts studied.
It is this mix that companies large and small must seek to best market products and services. Given the increasing use of mobile and tablet devices, monitoring attribution is increasingly key for developing useful marketing strategy.
(originally posted August 17, 2008)
Avoid vendors selling lists of email addresses, Twitter followers, and Facebook fans.
Ok, this post will be more elaborate than that sentence, but I wanted to keep this message simple. I am standing by the statement.
I am sure you’ve seen them in your email – an unsolicited offer to purchase hundreds of email addresses. The email starts with some line like:
“We are a Global Multi Channel Stupendous Some-Terrific-Radiant-Humble Marketing Database service company. We specialize in lists for B2C and B2B firms in all major Industry verticals. We have over 20 Million records of double verified Emails, all opt-in and ready for your business to use….”
These offers are appearing increasingly, with all kinds of lists available. Many firms sell buy Facebook fans or Twitter followers, promising such a choice will make your company look more popular online. With social media now an influence on search engines results, the temptation to buy social importance is great.
But purchasing lists creates more strategic and operational problems than they are worth. Let’s review a few concepts on why this is a negative:
• Creating a flood of followers that your team does not interact with makes your business appear to have poor service capability. There is power in numbers, but people do not solely buy your service or product just because x thousand people are following you.
• Adding a fake list overlooks an audience who can give real feedback on your business – increasingly people are going to social media to comment on their product or service. So why have a set of fake followers when real ones can yield genuine interactions that your business team can feel good about?
• Purchasing lists is simply “anti” analytics – good analysis begins with the best data possible and solving real problems, not something created just to make the company look good.
• Better methods are available to build an audience – Your analytic solution can be linked to CRM to increase your understanding of which aggregate traffic source is responding to your content. Moreover, plenty of social media analytic dashboards like Crowdbooster and Sprout Social indicate which Facebook Fans or Twitter Followers are engaging with your content – so how valuable is the data if your fan base is fake to begin with? (Answer: none)
• Good savvy customers will notice that your social media fans, Twitter followers, and email communication are not real. Accurate verifying tools such as StatusPeople’s Fake Followers are increasingly appearing Savvy customers will vet your customer references, so why build so many arbitrary unreal contacts?
• Customers do not automatically become customers because your business has their email address. They become your customer because of the quality of engagement your business provides. Using social media and adding events hosted by your company can generate a more valuable list of contacts.
• Purchasing lists can seem to create immediate value when it actually becomes a valueless activity. A long list of items will become another set of tasks that will consume valuable time – maintaining a list that really is not valuable and diminishing hours from profitable activity.
• Lists also do not have any value without implementing the business development and marketing strategy to the information. It’s difficult for a company to vet the right customers from a manufactured list without an in-depth conversation with those customers to understand what they need business.
Develop a marketing and social media plan in which you and/or your team can comfortably follow up with the potential customers you meet. Building awareness of your customer pipeline or sales process brings your data to “life” – your business will better understand the steps needed to build an active email list or social media followers. If you need help while running other operations, seek a good consultant or have a trusted employee periodically review your effort.
Your business can then implement some steps to cleanse and update contact information, as well as plan some adjustments in marketing. You’ll find your business with a more serviceable customer database, which is the essential secret sauce to your analytics – and business – success.