Why Big Data is making way for targeted & precise information

Industry experts say that the focus is shifting from crunching complex numbers to dissecting information from everyday microdata

e4m by Ruhail Amin
Updated: Dec 10, 2019 9:40 AM
Big Data

The debate around big data has been taking a new turn as marketers across sectors are realizing that big data may not be the ultimate solution to understanding customers.

Instead, it’s the rise of small data - targeted, precise and insightful data points - that has become the new buzzword for marketers. It also helps marketers do away with complex number-crunching rituals, saves the marketing cost and produces an impactful result, say experts.

We spoke to some marketing experts to understand why Big Data is losing its relevance in today’s marketing world.

According to Sanjeev Jasani, Chief Digital Officer, Cheil India, the hype around Big Data is misplaced - small, linked data is where the real value lies for the average marketeer.

“Let me start by saying that it’s not like I don’t believe in Big Data. However, I feel it’s not for everyone. The hype around Big Data is misplaced - small, linked data is where the real value lies for the average marketeer. Not centralized ‘gigantic pieces’, but decentralized data crunching. For the average marketeer, it’s all about the end-user, what they need, and how they can take action.”

He further adds that with small data the focus is on the user first, and it helps in quicker decisions with respect to technology.

“Platform and Tool vendors are starting to pay attention here. The promise of operationalizing Big Data and ‘turning insight into action’ is a major tone from many of the big names in tech including SAP, Oracle and EMC. Social channels are rich with small data that is ready to be collected to inform marketing and buyer decisions. At a personal level, we are constantly creating small data each time we check-in, search, browse, post, etc., creating a unique signature that provides a glimpse into our digital health,” Jasani added.

Shenaz Bapooji, CMO, Shopmatic, believes that since the digital world requires actions to be taken quickly, immediately and daily the focus is shifting to gathering and dissecting meaning from everyday micro data and that’s extremely necessary to run business.

“Marketeers can’t work without insightful data. Big Data was meant to cut through the volumes of customer data captured from various sources, and give it a meaningful spin, so that good insightful actions could be taken in the future. Conceptually, the need for big data will never wane. But while looking for the 'big', what people forget to see and use is the small, micro, seemingly-obvious data that sits right under their noses. My belief is that you need to strike a balance between every day, microdata and tenured big data, to get the most out of marketing,” she said.

Bapooji also underlines that while we extract meaning from larger data pools to capture larger trends, it’s really the microdata that we really want to understand and work with, to drive business decisions on a daily level.

“Who are your customers, what do they really want, what’s bothering them and keeping them engaged, what the unspoken opportunities that you can tap by engaging with them: that's the stuff we are bothered about on a daily level. Am not one for jargons but what will never go out of fashion is the obvious, common-sense data that you need to drive actions and which will have the obvious impact on the topline and bottomline of your company,” she explained.

While data monetization remains a critical aspect of marketing, marketers look at data to launch new revenue streams. In such a scenario only relevant data would matter, which interestingly may not always be the Big Data.

Dola Haldar, Brand Head, Doritos, PepsiCo India, reiterates that data today is more valuable than gold for marketers and hence it needs to be absolutely relevant and targeted.

“The boon of Industrial Revolution 4.0 - Digitization is the fact that marketeers today can do mass customization. The trick lies in the ability to access, analyze and make implementable interpretations of the Data - the more nuanced and customer-specific, the better,” says Haldar.

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