IN THE ERA
OF BIG DATA
In the era of Big Data, successful brands need collaboration
from their people and their marketing databases
BY SCOTT TURNER
COLLABORATION. This powerful word has come to describe how companies, and people across companies, must operate in order to reach optimal effectiveness and efficiency. Many brand teams work with numerous partner agencies to develop, implement, and execute marketing and media strategies. For any one brand, there can be multiple creative agencies for TV, digital, and print.
Additionally, separate agencies can be used for search, display, and social campaigns while still other
media agencies are tasked with the planning and execution of national TV, national print, spot TV,
and radio campaigns. So collaboration is clearly key.
Collaboration can also apply to seemingly disparate marketing data across your organization. As
it now stands, online and offline data sources are often viewed, and used, separately by the myriad
agencies described above. Multiple data sources are available in most organizations that can help
inform the development of strategies and the definition of consumer targets. Understanding the
strengths and weaknesses of various data sources and how one data source can be used to leverage
another, however, is key to producing maximum returns on your marketing and media data investment.
The Challenge in Blending Marketing Databases
President Reagan used a Russian proverb when referring to his negotiations with the USSR about
nuclear disarmament, “trust, but verify.” Although thankfully not on a global thermonuclear scale,
the same can be said of the proliferation of data sources being generated in this era of “Big Data.”
There is no one magic database that will provide the answers to all your marketing challenges. At
a minimum, data providers should offer transparency with regard to how data is being obtained.
One solution to the inherent challenges of blending marketing databases can be achieved through
sophisticated database integration techniques. Integrating one dataset with another can be an
enormous challenge because of differences in data design, manufacture, and quality. A critical
component in database integration is the quality of the datasets being merged.
Lower quality data will only erode the overall effectiveness of the final dataset. Using predictive-analytics to integrate separate consumer databases, GfK MRI has produced several cross-channel
databases capable of providing a more universal picture of consumer behavior. GfK MRI has fusions
with Nielsen TV & Netview, USA TouchPoints, comScore, and soon, Keller-Fay’s Talk Trak.
10 | May 2012 ANA Thought Leadership Series