Monday, February 16, 2015

CMO: 3 Guidelines to Leverage Big Data into Big Results

As a CMO, before letting data scientists proceed to the heavy work of data mining which serves the purpose of forming marketing strategy, you should keep some guidelines in mind. As a M.S candidate of 2015 in Integrated Marketing Communications, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, I found two articles which will help you understand the power of Big Data. 

Empowering Retailers: 9 Tactics for Leveraging Big Data”, by Joseph Dennis Kelly, published on SAP Business Innovation, is about the current situation of retailers in the topic of big data. In the article, the author had 9 tactics for retailers to better leveraging big data and improve business performance. It stated that retailers should become customer-centric—using customer data to track behaviors, buying patterns and modify in product mix. Also, forming good relationship is in the article’s discussion.


What Can Marketers Do toManage and Leverage Big Data?”, by Kimberly A. Whitler, published on, is about understanding big data for marketers—including the impact of big data, the importance and barriers of big data, the question “are marketers effectively coping with big data” and ways to overcome the barriers. Nowadays, marketers should be aware of the importance of big data. However, leveraging big data runs into some barriers, such as the data size, the messiness and the resistance from the internal company. To overcome the barriers, the author was in favor of “strategy first, be consistent and form partnership”.

Based on the two articles and my graduate education on Integrated Marketing Communications, here are three guidelines to follow before entering data mining:
  • Establish Research Goals -  A clear-defined goal can save company large amount of time and resources. Every data mining process should serve the goal.
  • Choose Main Focus: Customers: Put customer in the blueprint of data mining. Wrong direction or non-customer-related data mining may cause big loss of time, work force and even opportunities to grow.
  • Form Positive relationship with customers: With a good relationship with customers, companies could substantially receive meaningful data which provides more customer insight for company to leverage. Also a positive relationship provide company organic revenue from customers.
With a clear-defined, customer-centric goal and a positive relationship with customers, company would have an efficient way to generate valuable insights from big data. Customer is the key to business.
Renee(Xuan Huang @XuanHuangRenee) is a full-time IMC student at Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University. She received a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain and Information System from Smeal Business College, The Pennsylvania State University. Renee had some summer internships during the last few years in different fields—supply chain, investment and consulting. For Renee herself, she is interested in digital marketing, content marketing and big data and wants pursue her career path into consulting.