In today’s dynamic marketing environment, it is increasingly important to be able to localize and personalize your marketing messages. Lately, there’s been a lot of marketing buzz about “Big Data” as a means to deliver personalization. If it feels a little nebulous, you’re not alone. A 2011 IBM CMO study (n=1,700) found that 71% of CMO’s feel unprepared for the data explosion.
Many organizations understand the benefits of big data, but don’t have the budget for centralized platforms and advanced analytics. Even when budget is not a barrier, implementing the analysis tools for big data can be complex and lead to long implementation timelines. In the interim, harnessing your organization’s existing data (even if imperfect) with a Marketing Resource Management (MRM) system can be a cost-effective step towards successful localized marketing.
Big Data Defined
IDC provides the following definition of big data in their June 2011 report, “Extracting Value Through Chaos.” Sourced from a recent MarketingProfs article:
"Big data refers to technologies that describe a new generation of technology and architectures, designed to economically extract value from very large volumes of a wide variety of data, by enabling high-velocity capture, discovery, and/or analysis.
Big Data is not the created content, nor is it even its consumption – it is the analysis of all the data surrounding or swirling around it."
Big data (in a marketing promotions application) is all about connecting as many sources of customer data (and metadata) as possible – whether transactional, demographic, or geographic in nature – to localize and personalize marketing messages. Data sources include mobile devices, social media, CRM suites, data marts and proprietary information systems.
Many organizations use multiple platforms to store and retrieve customer information. However, as the amount of data doubles every two years, it will be increasingly common for customer information to be located in multiple data architectures, while ownership of the data platforms moves towards a more decentralized IT model. These challenges can all lead to longer implementation timelines for big data analytics.
The Leaner Solution
Implementation timelines notwithstanding, you don’t have to stay in ‘data limbo’ while developing your organization’s analytics capabilities; a crawl-walk-run approach is ok. As you get started, your sales force knowledge is a captive asset to localize marketing messages – especially for industries with distributed sales forces such as insurance, financial services and building products.
With a Marketing Resource Management (MRM) system, field sales personnel with expert knowledge of their respective markets can readily adapt marketing materials to fit their target segments while workflows can be automated for final review and approval of these materials before campaign distribution.
The ability to effectively target different segments with localized, personalized messages improves the effectiveness of your marketing. MRM systems can provide timely results as sophisticated analytics capabilities are being developed.
What are your strategies for localization?