Partnering With The Consumer: How Big Data Is Changing Marketing

In the 1950s, real-world Mad Man David Ogilvy set a new bar of expectations for product promotion when he introduced the concept of data analytics to the realm of advertising. Up to that point, advertising mainly relied on fear-based messaging that exploited generally known anxieties, mostly related to social standing. But Ogilvy’s experience at Gallup Audience Research Institute and in the British Intelligence Service during WWII helped him see that, with the right data, advertisers can tap into the psyche of consumers to sell more products and get ahead of competitors.

He suggested that businesses show respect to their consumers by finding out what they want and then providing useful information that helps them make purchase decisions. He’s famous for saying, “The consumer isn’t a moron. She’s your wife.”

So true—perhaps even more so in today’s sharable, real-time marketplace. Knowing your audience is imperative. Fortunately, the data you need is out there. But capturing it and putting it to work is a challenge that’s baffling even the best in the business. To get up to speed on the basics of big data analytics and find out how the right consumer data can help you reach your target audiences in the right place at the right time and with compelling messages, download Be a Big Data Marketing Hero.

Here we’ll look at how big data sources and the right kind of marketing resource management are changing business for two companies.

White Lodging

Reaching customers and motivating them to choose your brand—again and again—is not a task for the faint of heart. Particularly in the social media age, brand loyalty is hard to come by. A recent study by Four Pillars Hotels showed that more than half (52 percent) of respondents changed their travel plans after researching their trip using social media, with lodging being the thing that most people changed.

Modern branding’s effectiveness lies in the hands of consumers, so White Lodging, a hotel management company with 162 properties in 20 states, is making sure to respond intelligently, honestly and genuinely to customer comments in order to retain a positive image and strengthen brand loyalty among its guests.

Janice Zoeller, Corporate Director of Sales and Marketing for White Lodging, points out that individual reviews now have unprecedented power to boost or butcher a brand’s reputation. That’s why her company is trying to anticipate guest needs and respond to reviews and comments through the savvy use of social media and review sites.

“Tuning into customer review sites like TripAdvisor allows us to respond quickly to problems, but having a direct line to consumers and front-line staff—being able to access their ideas and complaints on social platforms—helps us create relevant offerings and stop problems before they happen,” explains Zoeller. “This is great for improving customer experiences; and it’s a golden goose for boosting business.”

Throughout the world, there may be no event or milestone more personal than a wedding, and the ever-ballooning budgets of modern weddings show it. U.S. couples spend an average of $28,427 on their nuptials, and that’s not even counting the honeymoon.

Businesses hoping to attract engaged couples need to know what messaging and placement strategy will resonate with specific types of engaged women—and all the people who influence them. After all, you intuitively know that active, nature-loving brides aren’t shopping for products and services in the same places as fashion-conscious women envisioning a luxurious affair. They’re certainly not inspired by the same imagery and values, and successful wedding businesses acutely know these details about their target customers., a personalized shopping site for brides, is taking this to heart and leveraging its real-time consumer data to better connect with its customers. Specifically, based on what type of shoe a bride plans to wear on her wedding day (designer pumps, custom-made, flats or tennies), site founder Sara Morgan reports that she knows quite a bit about other aspects of the bride’s wedding.

For example, in a one-month period, 18 percent of the site’s survey respondents indicated that they’d wear flats to walk down the aisle, and found that these brides share the following characteristics:

  • Flats-wearing brides are three times more likely than other groups to select the mountains as their ideal wedding location.
  • They’re most likely to choose a spa weekend for a bachelorette party.
  • These women are 2.5 times more likely to watch “Say Yes to the Dress” than “American Idol.”

With the right details, customer personas emerge that make it easier to customize services and messaging to different consumer groups. This information also enables businesses to strengthen partnerships with other companies by helping them reach customer groups with relevant offerings.

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