Big Data, House of Cards & The Future of Content - HEADERSo, you’re a Netflix user and a House of Cards fan? Then some experts would say, “Of course. You never had a chance to not like the show.” House of Cards, a Netflix Original Series starring Kevin Spacey and now in its third season, was a surefire bet from the very beginning for one simple reason:

Big Data.

If you’re not clear on the term “Big Data,” check out this blog post I wrote last month for some clarification. In the House of Cards marketing example at hand, Big Data played an essential role from the initial concept all the way up to the marketing.

How Netflix Knew House of Cards Would Be a Hit
Netflix has more than 44 million subscribers worldwide and analyzes each of these subscribers’ every move. What do you watch? When do you watch? How do you search? How often and at what points did you pause, fast-forward, and reverse? …the list goes on.

Sifting through the data, Netflix determined that (1) users found Director David Fincher to be compelling. (2) Netflix users tend to leave high reviews for Kevin Spacey films. (3) The original British House of Cards was already a smashing success with Netflix users.

How Netflix Used Big Data Marketing to Sell the Show
Even if Netflix knew that subscribers would like House of Cards, it still faced a challenge: convincing them. As you might guess, Big Data stepped in once more. Netflix segmented subscribers into 10 different groups and created 10 custom ads for each of these groups. If you regularly watch chick flicks, then you’ll get an ad emphasizing the show’s female leads. If you’ve left positive reviews for Kevin Spacey films, you’ll see an ad emphasizing Spacey as the lead, etc.

Big Data Marketing Is About to Take Off
This approach to marketing certainly isn’t new. Amazon, another leader in Big Data marketing, has been refining this style for years. And – of course – Facebook has opened up entirely new possibilities for marketers with next-level demographic capabilities. However, Big Data marketing hasn’t quite hit the mainstream with smaller brands.

I believe that in the next couple of years, we’ll see that start to change. As the amount of data in the world and the likelihood of having richer data on a greater number of individuals increases, we’ll see this technology open up to smaller brands working in smaller audience pools. Furthermore, it won’t be long until the idea of just 10 customized ads seems absurdly small and limited.

The future of content and social marketing will open up advertisers and creators to a virtually unlimited number of advertisement renderings, each one custom-tailored to an Audience of One.

What Are Your Big Data Marketing Predictions?
So, what do you think? Is Netflix’s House of Cards marketing cool or creepy? Does the prospect of a future with more advertising precision excite you as a business owner? Scare you as a customer? Let’s talk in the comments below!