Will big data always win?

Fun Facts: 

“ Macy’s is 1 mile away from you, stop by and shop there using Xiecheng (a Chinese travel app) discount.” this message suddenly popped up on my phone. This was the first time I was shocked about how amazing the location marketing is.

IBM has stated that 90% of the world’s data was created in the past 2 years, and this will only continue as we have more and more connected devices we use in our everyday lives.

Gartner has said there is currently 5.5 million “Internet of things”, or IoT devices that are connected every day, including televisions, fridges, thermostats and everything in between. All this data is stored and can be analysed by the marketer to judge how best to appeal to potential customers.

The shoes you browsed last time on Barneys’ using computer popped up on your phone Instagram account. You received an email that the items in your shopping cart on Amazon are on sales.

Digital marketing can now make the most of the big data, and provide personalised online experiences for consumers that help them make informed purchases online. I know you hear thousands of times of “big data”. The definition of big data refers to huge data set which can be analysed computationally in order to reveal trends and patterns which assess your human behaviour.  Big data is already revolutionising how business assesses customer behaviour, and that has set to continue into the future.

Sounds like Big data is almighty. However, why not every company can be successful and become fortune 500? There must be huge cases that big data fail to help digital marketing, sometimes people just don’t write about them.

  1. Sampling bias

The immdiate assumption that your data is representative of the entire population you are analyzing. For instance, trending tags on Twitter provide a snapshot of topics of interest throughout the world, but the average age of Twitter users biases the data set toward younger subsets of the population. When analyzing the data you have, consider who might be left out of your data set and how you might collect their input to create a more inclusive understanding of the problem. By thinking outside of the given data and demographics, you might be able to pull in previously disengaged audiences.

2. Useless retargeting

I always get retargeted every time I  browse online. Companies just have no idea I already bought the item in the store. While they are keeping retargeting me which makes me annoying. As a student, I do many projects on a certain company or product and I have to do tons of research online. Once I did a creative brief for Dermablend ( cover creme for tattoo or severe skin imperfection), I went through its official websites, reviews,  several blogs about the products, as well as its campaign videos. I got frustrated that I was retargeting everywhere online in the following days. The truth is I do not have any tattoo or skin problems, I do not need it at all. It made me feel annoyed and damage the brand image in my mind.

Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 4.57.31 PM

However, I have no idea how to solve this problem, maybe add a filter on my cookie, saying I am searching this for study.

3. Lack of emotional experience

We go to great efforts to learn how to read and calculate in school and then invest even more time and efforts to learn professional skills. Just like me now. However, artificial intelligence could replicate all those experiences through huge data. A computer can read one book in less one second, give a conclusion or trend by summarising million of data. However, there are something that machine or data cannot do. They cannot have their heart broken, get excited when they achieve the highest score in the class or fears and desires that form unique human intent and drive truly inspired marketing.

Great marketers like Apple or Nike succeed not because they are merely more efficient, but because they are able to imagine new human needs and fill them.

The future of marketing then resides not in the power of our technology, but in the spirit of our human intent.


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