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John G Noseworthy

Strategic Messaging Director - Big Data for Marketing, Media & Entertainment | 07 Jun 2013

The beauty of social is it tells where people are right now, so with the help of analytics we can predict where they can be. The advantage to marketers is that they can give consumers what they want, before they know they even want it. The process of connecting the right consumer to the right product at the right place, which earlier normally took three weeks, now takes 500 milliseconds; that is a game-changer, that is the power of social.

John Graeme Noseworthy is a marketer on a mission. Noseworthy’s sole focus is to develop and deliver the messaging and marketing that demonstrate the value that IBM’s PureData Systems & Big Data Platform deliver to digital marketing, media & entertainment professionals and their CMOs around the world. Before becoming a dedicated and passionate IBMer, Noseworthy worked as a Client Engagement Director at a Massachusetts-based advertising agency, where he led the charge in opening up new lines of business and creating innovative content across a variety of industries and client types. Prior to working on the agency side, he had created and implemented the strategic marketing plans and programmes for the Staffing Industry Segment at Monster Worldwide.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Priyanka Mehra, Noseworthy talks about the shift to data driven marketing, delighting consumers through the power of social, leveraging data optimally for marketers and more...

Q. What is the approach of data driven marketing?

The data marketing approach is to understand customers as individuals, and to create systems of engagement around that. Once you understand who your individual audiences are, you can appropriately target them. Improving campaign marketing performance is important, but a large part of that goal should be to create scenario, wherein organisations are discovering insights relevant to their audiences and delivering insights back to their audiences in a timely and effective manner. It should be a win-win.

Q. There has been a distinct shift from direct marketing to data driven marketing. What are your thoughts on this?

I think it is very appropriate; it still very direct, into your hands directly. Traditionally, direct marketing was more about response management, now we are focused more on in-bound marketing, that is, creating content that is so compelling and appropriately targeted, that it is irresistible. It is a recognition that data driven marketing is a journey and a transformation, it is a means to an end and not the end itself. There are stages that organisations must go through with that end result of delivering smarter customer experiences. There are many steps in this journey, the first thing to do is to figure out where the organisation is.

Q. Do you think big data is a term often overused and misunderstood?

I don’t think big data is a term that is overused; but it is a term that is over-defined. What big data means to me is different from what big data means to you, it is a very simple definition that rings true - if your data sets have grown beyond your legacy system’s ability to deal with them, you are dealing with big data. It does have to necessarily mean mega bytes, tera bytes or yaarra bytes, it could be any level of bytes. It doesn’t have to be the volume, veracity, particular types of data; all that matters is that data has grown to the point where you are challenged to use it. That is big data.

Q. How should the power of social media be leveraged to be able to use data in an optimal manner?

We need to take a step back and understand what social means to marketers. Marketers traditionally had four primary channels in which they worked, today they have 26 primary channels, and that involves social. The challenge is to create a consistent and compelling experience. With social, there is a new engagement level; now, we have CEOs who are conversing with their consumers directly. Marketers need to understand that in all this flood of information how to go from big data to good data, data that actually represent something actionable that you can use to delight your consumer.

The beauty of social is it tells where people are right now, so with the help of analytics we can predict where they can be. The advantage to marketers is that they can give consumers what they want, before they know they even want it. The process of connecting the right consumer to the right product at the right place, which earlier normally took three weeks, now takes 500 milliseconds; that is a game-changer, that is the power of social.

Q. There are numerous challenges in leveraging data optimally for marketers today. What are some of the global best practises or your advice to marketers to overcome this?

For correct usage and optimisation, firstly, there is need to unify all of your data sources so that you can utilise them properly. Secondly, shifting to a shared model. Thirdly, having the technology and horsepower in place to get all the data sources together, get all structured and unstructured data in motion.

It is also important to analyse and understand what you have to really understand what the individual consumer wants to see.

There is need to:
• Optimise content
• Optimise audience at hyper granular segment level
• Optimise channels
• Optimise the yield, that is, understanding your spend and getting the best value for your dollar

The ability to optimise these four points will give marketers the right message, the right person and the right price. The goal should be to use all the data sources to derive insights and relevance.

Some global best practises include:
• Wherever you are in that journey – a novice or an expert in applying analytics to data to produce results – collaborating across the enterprise brings marketers, technologists, CMOs and CIOs find projects that produce mutual success
• Investing ahead of scale
• Thinking big – Have a big vision of all the things that you can do with your data, but start small. That is doable and you can see the results in a relatively short period of time.

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