In a recent post from eMarketer about the importance of companies managing their big data, there was not even consensus on the definition of big data. And 21% of those surveyed admitted that they weren’t really sure what big data meant.
IBM defines big data by example. “Everyday, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data–so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data comes from everywhere: from sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos posted online, transaction records of online purchases, and from cell phone GPS signals to name a few.”
As digital communications, in all forms including social media components, grow for B2B companies, more and more data is available to make better decisions. The biggest challenges cited by companies related to resources, especially manpower and time required to sort through the data, and the volume of data.
The top three uses for analyzing data are competitive monitoring, brand monitoring and pricing/product information. These are key elements of a marketer's job. What are my competitors up? What do customers and prospects think of my brand? How are people responding to my company's products and pricing?
It is no longer enough to rely on interns and anecdotal data. B2B companies, even those who have not started social media marketing plans, need to implement formal data gathering processes and dedicate the analytical brain power to determining the business ramifications. There have been several large consumer brands that have recently responded to a large social media backlash regarding pricing charges, including Netflix, Bank of America and Verizon. If your company were in a similar situation, would you have had anything in place to collect and understand the reaction?
According to a McKinsey report about big data, it “will become a key basis of competition, underpinning new waves of productivity growth and innovation.” The report includes seven insights from their research in five domains—healthcare in the United States, the public sector in Europe, retail in the United States, and manufacturing and personal-location data globally.
What have you done to address the gathering of big data for your B2B company?