Data Before Design

Did I just title this article that? There is a lot changing in the way marketers do their jobs because of big data. For those of you not in the know, big data is that edge that companies have been gaining on how to sell their products to you better. It’s the process of companies tracking your purchases (what you buy), purchasing habits (when you buy), and purchasing motivators (why you buy). It’s the phenomenon that allowed Target to know a teenage girl was pregnant before her dad knew. The effectiveness of big data is both scary and exciting.

Clearly it’s a little jarring to have a company know you so intimately just by your shopping habits. When most people read the story above, they experience a little anxiety to think a company has been “stalking” them in order to sell stuff. I’ve even heard people mention that they feel violated. And it’s easy to see why.

With too little data, you won’t be able to make any conclusions that you trust. With loads of data you will find relationships that aren’t real… Big data isn’t about bits, it’s about talent”

– Douglas Merrill

However, the ability to track what your customers want and need as well as identify potential future needs allows you to serve your clients better. Imagine telling your client that you already have the solution to their problem before they tell you what the problem is. Or, better yet, letting them know “Mr. Client, we’ve been watching the road ahead for your company and have discovered that you will need [insert product or service here] to avoid a major issue in about 2 weeks. Would you like to order now, or wait until then?”

The same data gets most exciting when it’s used to develop new products or services. The ultimate goal in developing a product is to fill a need in the market. However, in most cases, the development begins with an unclear vision of the exact need and the exact way it will fill it. Beginning with big data before the design and development process allows absolute clarity in to the needs of the market, and the best way to fill them.

In fact, we’ve been using data to re-vamp our site, and will be releasing the upgrade soon.

Bruno Aziza of Alpine Data Labs gave his viewpoint on the effects big data have on modern marketing to VentureBeat. Hop on over to collect some data on why marketing isn’t the same anymore.

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.