heard the big news about small data?

Have you heard the big news about small data?

As a consumer, have you ever caught yourself thinking that businesses may know you a little too well? The rise of ‘Big Data’ means that companies can now identify their audience to almost infinitesimal detail. Sophisticated digital marketing has developed to the point of almost being too successful, making it easy to ‘spray and pay’ reaching almost everyone through their connected device.

But can buying Terabytes of data guarantee valuable outcomes?  Well maybe if you have no qualms around not seeing the wood for the trees. In truth, in a world of information overload sometimes less is more for all organisations. And that means embracing the new big data, cunningly titled, ‘small data’

In reality, rather than trying to tap into the Big Data zeitgeist, building a segmentation framework with the maybe limited, but more valuable, data you already have is likely to be a more sensible option.

The biggest reason that investments in big data fail to pay off is not because the process is flawed, but that it is in many cases the data is either unnecessary or businesses become paralysed by the volume of data they now have access too.

Collecting more data from more sources only for the sake of it, or collecting data that you unknowingly already have captured within the organisation, is essentially a waste of time, money and resources.

Hence, small data is the way to go, not only for efficient research, but for effective results. We’ve seen the magic of this first hand through our use of transactional data.

Permission was able to tap into such insights when hired by Procter & Gamble (P&G) to develop a digital strategy for its CRM program Rouge.

Rather than ordering out, we spent time working with P&G to look at their existing data, teasing out key customer insights from under their noses.

From these insights, we were able to identify core customer profiles and shift Rouge’s focus from a product-centric to customer centric model. And it worked: understanding the basic needs and desires of existing customers proved to be an incredibly cost-effective way of predicting future behaviors of prospective customers.

And what happened? Well we saw an almost immediate 120% increase in e-mail open rates, based almost exclusively on targeting based on better insights.

And it’s not just businesses with sophisticated online presences that can benefit from this approach. For companies operating in a bricks and mortar environment, loyalty programs are typically a rich source of data, although for some reason rarely utilised.

So don’t get fooled by the big data hype. Instead spend the time working with the information you already have to boost business.

You don’t have to be the biggest, best or flashiest, just the smartest to steal a jump on the competition. Knowing how to do this is the key, which we will be exploring in future posts.

See our Case Studies for a further insight into our data management strategy and solutions.


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