Big Data. What’s all the fuss about? (Part 2)
The problem with Big Data and Analytics is not just that it is very expensive but that all that money has to come out of the marketing budget!
This makes marketing managers very uncomfortable and often helpless. Most will tell you they would rather have every marketing rupee spent on reaching and talking to their consumers, than on activities that merely suggest how to do it. Everyone knows that you may get better results per rupee spent after such research activity, but when the budget itself shrinks as a result, one begins to wonder how productively the marketing money is being spent.
Take the previous example of SBI. We listed 6 factors to mine out 'people likely to need a car loan' - male, between 30 and 35 years of age, salaried, earning over Rs. 50,000 p.m., married and living in a city. Now, how would a mail to people identified on the basis of such criteria look? To show the writer's great understanding of the consumer, the mail will probably say something like 'We believe that at your life stage - married, earning a comfortable salary - you are very likely to buy a car to commute comfortably in the city. Here's a car loan offer you can't refuse!' This should work, right? After all, most mails you receive know almost nothing about you and just shout out about Great Deals.
Yet most marketing managers are left wondering why their mail campaigns don't produce the results they expect. They are offered 2 reasons, one each by the digital team and their marketing team. Digital says that the communication could have been better, while marketing says that data mining could have been more precise!
The marketing chief shouldn't have to be left wondering which team he should sack, the Digital Marketing guys or the ad agency. Or worse, both! But the problem is unlikely to go away with new teams, because it is inherent. The entire approach reeks of cold, intellectual reasoning rather than warm, emotional understanding of the consumer. An approach that is unable to address the crucial issue of Needs vs Wants! And understanding this can not only make your ad buck go a long way but make your consumer really want to deal with you. Isn’t that really what you want? More on Needs vs Wants up ahead!
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