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Why big data isn’t just for big companies

You’ve probably heard of bid data but, thanks to the jargon-filled literature and lack of meaningful advice on how SMEs can leverage it, it’s likely you haven’t given it the consideration it deserves.

Granted, the infrastructure required to conduct your own big data analysis is beyond all but the world’s largest companies. The financial investment required is vast – and also pales in comparison to the amount of time required for developers to create the complex algorithms needed to work alongside the necessary hardware. Whilst establishing the infrastructure needed in order to undergo big data analysis in-house isn’t practicable, though, you can use analysis conducted by several of the world’s tech giants to your advantage – particularly when it comes to finding new customers.

Here are a few ways your company could use big data to generate more business:

Paid Search Marketing

It may not have been that long ago that we’d rely on word-of-mouth referrals or possibly even a listing in the Yellow Pages to drive new business our way. Today, though, when people are looking for a product or service, a search engine is usually their first port of call, and you can use this to your advantage by ensuring that your company’s listing appears when certain search terms are entered.

The terms themselves are chosen by the advertiser, but the service provider affords advertisers access to information that has been gleaned from big data in order to create a campaign that will deliver reasonable results. In order to use this route to market effectively, however, you’ll need to analyse and review the results of campaigns and optimise them accordingly. This will involve reviewing a number of key metrics and making adjustments in accordance with your findings.

This may sound like a lot of work but, following it having been optimised, such campaigns can continue to operate successfully with a minimum of input. All search engines also offer multiple resources such as video tutorials and training manuals meaning that managing such campaigns is a task that can usually be absorbed by an existing employee.

Social Media Marketing

Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc. have access to vast swathes of user data. They have therefore created advanced algorithms that allow them to review a user’s actions and determine what they’re likely to be interested in. In turn, they allow advertisers to reach these users with bespoke adverts.

If you sold artisanal food products, for example, you could target users whose activities on sites such as Facebook indicate that they are more interested in food than the majority of other users. If, on the other hand, you sell high-end fashion accessories, you could target users with a higher-than-average interest in clothing, jewellery etc. This is not dissimilar to advertising in publications due to their appeal to certain demographics, though social media advertising – owing to up-to-date information and the sheer wealth of data they can leverage – is significantly more effective.

Don’t Forget Analytics Tools

Finally, in order to make sure the above campaigns are performing as well as possible, you’re going to need a tool that allows you to examine your website’s performance and review how users are engaging with it. For this, you’ll need a tool like Google Analytics.

An engaging, well-designed and functional website is, of course, a key part of any successful online marketing campaign and, as any campaign should result in increased traffic to your site, analytics tools will help you to ensure that you’re making the most if it.

This is tremendously important for a number of reasons but, most importantly, it’s probably the quickest way of identifying any problems that may be affecting your website. If a large number of people are leaving after they’ve visited a certain page, it’s likely it’s not loading correctly; slow loading times on certain devices such as smartphones indicate there could be a problem with your code. Combine this with the fact that it’ll help you keep track of your online marketing efforts and – whilst it’s clear that you’ll need to be generating an awful lot of traffic before you’ll be able to consider it a big data tool – it’s easy to see why analytics software plays a vital role in nigh-on all successful digital marketing campaigns. Conclusion It may seem like it’s the preserve of blue chips, but big data is accessible to companies of all sizes and, by utilising the right platforms and software, you can utilise big data analysis that’s been undertaken by third parties in order to reach and engage new customers.

Blog by Jay Williams - Fields Data Recovery


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