For years marketers have relied on focus groups and telemarketing services to identify insights around their audience. Brands and organizations would spend thousands and sometimes millions to speak with the public to find insights that could lead to marketing breakthroughs. In todays world, it’s easier than ever to get inside the heads of your target audience and existing customers. Social media is a space filled with insights, data, knowledge and content that can lend brands to insights that have the ability to improve their communications efforts significantly.

We’ve all been hearing the buzz surrounding the concept of Big Data. After being named the one of the top five budding big data startups by Mashable, the number of marketers asking us what big data means to them has been through the roof. In this post, our goal is to show you why Big Data matters to marketers and how it can be used to be more effective and efficient in delivering your marketing strategies.

Big data and analytics are the next competitive advantages that businesses will have over their competitors, according to John Hagerty, program director of IBM. And we couldn’t agree more. Organizations who are willing to make an investment into big data are making an investment into their organizations future and their organizations success. The opportunity to use Big data exists not only in marketing but beyond communications as it can help with productivity, sales, manufacturing and much more. Today, we’re going to be focused on marketing and how big data can help your organization develop a competitive advantage.

Big Data Drives Customer Knowledge & Insight
In marketing, the most important part of the branding and communications process is identifying what story will resonate best with your target audience. It’s about putting a stake in the ground and focusing in on a message that will resonate with them. To identify this message you have to start with an insight. According to Bob Clark of 24K Marketing, an insight is described as:

A statement defining the lens that a person views their situation in life, regarding a specific issue, which incorporates their psychological motives (fears, desires), and points to a potential solution.

Social media has become a breeding ground for consumer insights. Every minute of every day, people from around the world are using tools like Twitter and Facebook to share their fears, desires and regrets. In this content lives and breathes thousands and thousands of insights that can be leveraged by marketers from various industries. This is where big data comes into the mix.

Big data is the combination of all of these tweets and updates to identify trends and patterns. The key here is that last part; trends and patterns. It’s not enough to gather data for the sake of gathering data; you need to gather data with the intent of driving intelligence and knowledge that leads to real business decisions. It’s the combination of big data and intelligence that develops what we call Smart Data. It’s this type of data that will truly change the way marketing is done.

No more guessing. No more assumptions. No more believing.

Smart data is going to arm marketers around the world with the insight they need to better craft their stories and communicate more effectively. Let’s take for example an imaginary brand who happens to sell athletic wear to pregnant women. On the surface, most marketers might assume that you’re going to tell a story that talks about how important it is to stay beautiful. But what if big data uncovers an insight that shows that pregnant women are motivated by something different? What if they’re motivated by the health of their unborn child? What if they’re motivated by their own health? It’s smart data that will help marketers uncover these insights and tell the right story.

But insights and knowledge isn’t the only thing that big data will help marketers with.

Big (Smart) Data Can Drive Measurable Results
Software like LeadSift is focused on the buying process. It’s focused on listening to millions of conversations and identifying the trends that happen as a potential customer goes through the buying funnel. We look for insights that reveal psychographics and demographics around who your customers are and where they sit in the buying process. It’s these insights that can help you move your prospects closer to the sale and engage at the right time.

We cut through the noise to deliver only the most timely and relevant social leads directly to your dashboard. From there, you have the ability to spark a conversation with someone who is in the market for your product or service. It’s this type of engagement that is making marketing less fluff and more effective.

Through LeadSift you can engage with the various prospects but also monitor them in the sales funnel to track the return on your engagement. You can see how many social leads actually convert into sales and report back the real results of your social media efforts.

Big data drives insights. Big data drives results.
We’re constantly pushing to help marketers see the return on their investment. We’re constantly pushing to help make big data smarter and give you the tools that will help you establish a competitive advantage in the modern age. It’s no longer enough to talk about the power of social media, it’s time to unlock it.