Consider the various ways brands have been urged to think about themselves: as publishers, as networks, and, of course, as marketers of their products and services. As terms such as engagement and concepts like consumer control permeate the social sphere, though, thinking like the audience is becoming a paramount condition for success.
There is certainly no shortage of consumer-related information to sort through. To the contrary, website traffic, online searches, banner advertising, social media, and smartphone use leave behind vast trails of personal data. It is estimated, for example, that 34,000 tweets are sent every minute. That comes to about 1 billion tweets per month, which is still far less than the 30 billion pieces of content posted on Facebook.1
Under the rubric of big data, growing numbers of companies are collecting all they can in hope that by tracking individuals throughout the purchase funnel—from interested party to eventual customer—they can generalize strategies for reaching a great many others. So far, however, the results have been mixed. Of a global sample of marketers queried by researchers at Econsultancy and web analytics firm Lynchpin, only 1 in 10 found the majority of their data helpful in making decisions.2
Mashing Up Strategy and Analytics
In most forms of marketing, strategy and analytics occupy separate spaces. The conventional planning process often starts with considerable and expensive survey-based research—or ongoing ...