In the not-so-distant past, big data was exclusively available to big businesses and large corporations. Today, most online marketing platforms tap on big data in some way or another, making it accessible to companies and organizations of all sizes. With Singaporean consumers getting smarter by the day, marketing initiatives need to be tailored to their interests in order to be effective. As such, big data has not only become an integral tool for any digital marketing agency in Singapore, but also the backbone of every successful communications campaign executed locally and/or around the region.
Data gathered from organic and paid searches, social media marketing, content marketing and many other sources has become a key variable in the online marketing equation. Marketers are using this information in a variety of ways from finding the best way to offer a consumer value to tailoring their campaigns to suit their targeted markets. Owing to such precision in marketing, big data has been subject to criticism due to breaches in the privacy of users. Still, this has not deterred online marketing agencies in cities like Singapore and they continue to leverage on big data to create highly targeted marketing campaigns for their clients.
Some sources of big data
With the adoption of big data by marketers all around the world, its effectiveness is undeniable. However, before we look into how big data can be used in your marketing, it is important to understand where the data actually comes from. Here are several obvious sources:
1) Web mining
This is basically data compiled by, as the name suggests, mining the Internet. Web mining uses automated tools to extract data (such as browser activities, page contents, site and link structure etc) from servers and applications. From the analysis of these data, businesses gain interesting insights into usage patterns that can be used for a wide variety of digital marketing purposes as detailed below.
2) Data from social networks
Social media has penetrated virtually every aspect of life today. Statistics show that every average internet user today spends around two hours on social network sites every day. Marketers can harvest a wide range of data including brand mentions, personal tastes preferences, and much more simply by tracking posts, comments, shares, and likes. There is a massive amount of data digital marketers can get from social media that can be computed with other big data sources and used later on to create highly targeted marketing campaigns.
3) Data from crowdsourcing
From a macro perspective, crowdsourced data is derived from the process of gathering information from the general public. Practically speaking, simple methods such as online surveys and polls can be used for the purpose of generating highly accurate information on people sharing common passions and interests. By computing and analyzing such data in detail, marketers get a good picture on their behaviors and preferences.
4) Transaction tracking data
Both online and offline transactions (for financial or logistics purposes) run by businesses provide useful data about users. While it may be straightforward to leverage on online data, offline data will have to be transferred to an online environment through a process known as on-boarding.
Raw transactional data can be extracted from a variety of places such as insurance claims, online purchases, deposits/withdrawals, bookings, reservations, credit card transactions and much more. Once computed and analyzed, these transaction tracking data are especially effective for consumer businesses as they allow marketing departments to gain deep insights into the activities and preferences of prospective and existing customers.
How is big data useful to digital marketers?
For any marketing strategy, regardless whether digital or traditional, shooting in the dark had never been effective. This is especially so in an interconnected place like Singapore where brands and businesses are constantly fighting for their customer’s attention. Hence, many of them have started leveraging on the insights that a solution like big data can provide. There are numerous ways online marketers can use big data to improve their marketing campaigns, here are a few examples:
Remarketing has become an extremely popular marketing strategy in recent times. It is quite common today for a digital marketing agency contracted by a business to place a cookie on a website visitor’s computer that will later deliver ads or related content when the person visits other sites. Marketers are relying on big data to retarget customers based on the websites the customer visits as well as the items he or she viewed.
2) Creating customer profiles
Big data is also being used to create customer profiles. With the detailed insights that are made available to businesses for each of these profiles, it ensures that every marketing effort is tailored accordingly. Such profiles allow marketers to ensure that blog or social media posts are not only geared to a specific keyword, but also the behaviors and interests of that target group.
3) Creating customized paid campaigns
In case you were not aware, common platforms such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads have substantial elements of big data in them. Think of how Facebook Ads allow you to select extremely precise demographics that are down to a person’s interests; this is an obvious usage of big data that taps on the information in users’ Facebook accounts. Hence, by seeking for as much data as possible about your target demographics, you can be assured of reaching out to a highly relevant audience through these platforms.
In a vibrant market like Singapore, marketers are seeking for almost every bit of information about consumer behavior and their purchasing habits in order to make better decisions and bring success to their brands or businesses. With big data allowing just that, it has grown to become an important part of almost every business decision. Similar to the world wide web during its early stages, big data is expected to grow in influence and dominate digital marketing circles for a long time to come.