In today’s world, the field of marketing has become irrevocably intertwined with technology and all of its advances. The multitude of new tools and methodologies constantly coming onto the market mean that marketers always have new ways in which to reach customers, improve conversion rates, and increase sales. Amongst these advances, it is big data that has not only the potential, but the direct and proven applications, to revolutionize the way marketing is done.
With possible applications in hundreds of various areas, marketers are right to be excited about big data. Challenges such as price optimization, territory planning, and engagement strategies all can be seen in a new light with the power of insights generated from big data. Special algorithms for combing through data and new methods of advanced analytics allow marketers to use the knowledge generated from big data insights in order to apply it directly to any marketing challenge. Obtaining conversions, the bread and butter of marketing, is one area where the power of big data has produced immense strides in optimization.
The Big Data Core: What we expect
A Neolane survey conducted in 2013 during the early stages of the big data craze found that 57% of Direct Marketing Association members expected advanced data analytics to result in higher conversion rates. A full third of the marketers surveyed also went on to state that they expected better insight into customer behaviors. Surprisingly enough however, greater than 60% of these same marketers admitted having no actual strategy for integrating big data into their marketing efforts.
So despite knowing what they wanted big data to do for them, the majority of marketers surveyed still did not really know how to accomplish it. It may have been 2013, but this still applies to a large degree today. While big data has so much potential promises and applications, it is up to each individual marketer to learn how to best make use of its immense insight-generating possibilities. Beyond this, it is also vital to not only know how to achieve such insights and put them into practice, but also to understand why they work.
What we know now
Since the Neolane 2013 survey, a lot has changed in marketing with regard to big data. Powerful data capturing and analytics platforms embedded in a majority of marketing services, such as those in Google services, have resulted in a tremendous amount of insights generated that have furthered the field of marketing and obtaining conversions. While in retrospect, some knowledge can be considered obvious logic, other insights we know now are downright surprising.
Hiresquare, in an analytical blog post of such insights gained over the years, states those that were the most shocking for companies. Going completely against the grain of expected normal response times, they found that in reality, “after 5 hours, you are 3000x less likely to make contact with the lead.” Prior to this, no one would have considered a mere five hours to have been long enough to essentially lose the lead entirely. In traditional business before the age of technology, these five hours would have been not only an entirely reasonable response time to obtain conversions, but also even seen as almost too eager. Beyond this drop-off rate, they found that the highest chances of customer response were actually “if the lead gets contacted within 5 minutes of placing a request.” This newfound insight further continues itself in similar fashion.
A 2011 Harvard study revealed that not only was speed of the essence, but that responses within the hour were a full seven times more likely to receive the lead than businesses that responded an hour later. Businesses that took longer than 24 hours essentially dropped off the map entirely in terms of likeliness of customer conversion, shocking companies who had previously believed that one business day was a reasonable time frame. With conversions being at the very heart of marketing, knowing how to best attain them is vital for any successful business.
From insights to actions
Still, with measuring conversion rates and striving for sales optimization, it is all too easy for marketers to fall into the trap of focusing too much on online conversion rates. While embedded big data tools in Google, web hosts, and customer analytics services focus mainly on the online conversion, other tools exist that refocus the insights from big data onto the complete picture of conversion-attaining business actions. No matter whether you are involved in B2B, B2C, or even C2C sales, big data can help to increase your conversion rates to make more true conversions. Using insights such as most effective response times and best day of the week to send messages alongside with online insights, such as best marketing campaign title or website design, will provide your business with the highest possible conversion rate transformations.
To really see your conversion rates grow, you will need to be able to implement the insights from big data analytics in all aspects of your marketing efforts. When you successfully utilize big data insights, you will also find yourself achieving the additional bonus of better understanding your customers, making it all the more easy to connect with them and understand how to turn interactions into conversions. Therefore, not only are big data insights useful in the direct sense, by telling you where and how to best focus your marketing efforts in order to obtain conversions, they also connect you more with your customer base. And, as we all know, understanding the customer is absolutely vital for true business success.