We are living today in an era where massive information and data is generated every second in sciences, logistics, consumers and social media thanks to the advancement of computer databases. This is the era of « Big Data » where most of your actions or interactions could be anticipated online thanks to your smart phone and your data from Internet or from the Cloud. Various researches are out there discussing the impact of this “Big Data” phenomenon on our life? What are the business benefits of this abundance of raw information about everyone and everything? Researchers (such as McAfee et al. (2012); Pearson and Wegener (2013)) argue that “Big Data” impacts strongly businesses, in term of organization, operations and business processes. Processes Information could be used to develop any business competitive advantage in a new data driven market.
Looking back to 1972, when Kotler built the marketing strategy theory around the 4P’s (Product, Price, Promotion and Place), we can immediately note that « Big Data » clearly impact the way these 4P’s are defined. Big Data brings all kind of information about the consumer location and Interest directly from his social media networking application, his facebook status, his tweets, Instagram or any social networking information he shares as all is linked to him. Companies can pitch their customers a very targeted offering promoting the right products at the right time, the right place and with the right price. But the Question that remains is how Big Data can enable marketers to achieve that and if this is possible in the first place?
In this context, researchers define « Big Data » environment around four main elements:
- The Information itself with its 3Vs (Volume, Variety and Velocity), its informal structure and its privacy.
- The Technology: the Internet of Things, the storage capabilities, the cloud virtualization and processing distribution technologies
- The Methods: The programming, machine learning, artificial intelligence and the decision making
- The Impacted population: Companies, organizations, customers, societies
All these factors, construct together the eco-system in which « Big Data » evolves and in which the main businesses objectives are to “Create Value”. It seems like Marketing is today one of the main beneficial of the Big Data business capabilities as value creation is the main driver of successful market development in all our life domains.
Big Data is revolutionizing the marketing practice as it allows today companies to move from simply monitoring customers and their behavior and from processing their data in the back-office to a phase where they could transparently uncover their “Real-Time” needs and push value based offering to them in the right time and in the right place. Schmarzo introduced two years ago the “Big Data Business Model Maturity Index”, which measures the level of use of the big data potential by a firm to simply transform from “monitoring” its customers to a whole new age of “real-time” value creation using the big data insights and by consequence transform the firm’s business models, organizations and processes.
This is just the beginning… I believe that big data is “Metamorphosing” the marketing practice building up a new platform and eco-system that could be used to provide customers, partners and other third parties’ with more impactful value and help generate substantial business returns.