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What Does Big Data Have To Do With Content Marketing?

When we use the term Big Data, we’re just talking about information —  but it’s information on a massive, complex scale that the human mind can’t process without help.

Any action taken online, whether it is via social media or search, produces information that can help inform content marketers’ decisions based on user behavior.

We’ve  seen the stat, courtesy of IBM’s David Turek, that backtracking from 2003 to the beginning of time, we’ve created five billion gigabytes of information. As of 2011, we were generating this vast amount of data every two days, and by end of this year, IBM predicts we’ll be cranking this amount out every ten minutes!

Given the over-abundance of available information, content marketers are faced with the dilemma of how to properly capture and assess data to grow their business.

For consumer marketers, think about showing shoppers products in colors and styles they’ve already indicated they like via their browsing habits. Big Data allows you to get that personalized. Consumers become individuals, not parts of larger segments. This marks a shift in thinking from segmentation to individualized marketing, which you can thank consumers for. They’re demanding it.

For enterprise marketers the possibility of Big Data is equally captivating. Never send a piece of content an individual has already consumed on your site, know when and how often to communicate with each client or lead, provide a utility to your own sales people – make your people and your brand look relevant, smart, thoughtful and more.

These are both examples of how Big Data can help you understand your buyer, but how can Big Data help you better understand your company? It’s been said, but data science and marketing automation are lucrative career paths. It’s what used to be just thought of as marketing.

For today’s marketers, detailed data can be leveraged to gain vital insights into a content marketing campaign’s performance, including reach, visibility, conversions, and social shares.

There are two companies leading the charge when it comes to aiding businesses in managing the huge amount of data available to them today. Marketo, a marketing automation provider, and Tableau Software, a data visualization tool, both provide services to help sort and structure big data for brands.

Marketo aims to transform marketing through technology innovation while Tableau promises to make data “understandable to ordinary people.” Companies like Marketo and Tableau help brands, both big and small, take a more data–driven approach to content marketing. Although big data may seem like a quantitative discipline, extracting meaning from metrics often requires creative, and interpretive solutions.

Getting the pipeline right from beginning to end is what separates winners from the rest of the pack today. In fact, metrics–based marketing is far more of an endeavor than the artful, more creative marketing practices of yesterday.

In recent years, marketing has shifted away from traditional tactics like direct marketing and advertising because technology has developed more quantifiable ways to prove returns.

Today, the average tenure of a chief executive officer is roughly eight years and, back in 2004, the average term of a chief marketing officer was 23 months.

Nine years later, this number has doubled to 45 months. With technology developed the ability of marketing leaders to track success through hard metrics and marketing automation tactics. Now, chief marketing officers have the data they need to prove how they’re engaging with customers and transforming business with content.


Originally published on NewsCred's industry-recognized blog, NewsCred Insights, where I was formerly the associate director of content marketing.


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