Big Data HEADERYou may have heard it before: the amount of data in the world doubles every 40 months.


From Twitter posts to medical records, the mountain of big data we live with in 2015 knows no bounds. While this growing mass has many social and economic implications, marketers are using big data to generate more sales… with less time spent selling.

Smart use of big data allows us to precisely set our sights on the consumers most likely to by. Foregoing a scattershot approach to selling ultimately leads to more sales, higher quality customers, and better profit margins.

What Types of ‘Big Data’ Are Out There?
A new big data infographic from ALC explains the evolution and roll of data in marketing, taking readers through a highlights tour of how Big Data crawled out of its 1967-zip-code-collating roots into the high-tech arena of 2015. View the full infographic below.

  • Transactional Data. The use of Big Data in marketing started out as pure and simple “transactional data.” Marketers began recording and classifying basic information about consumers and purchases: what they bought, where they were, when they bought it, what they paid, etc. While this data is informative for working through product placement problems, price points, etc., it didn’t provide any way for the company to go out and get more customers like the ones they already had.
  • Demographic Data. With “demographic data,” marketers were able to collect basic information about the type of customers they had. But just because one Latina mother with three children and an $80,000 household income bought your product, doesn’t necessarily mean another demographically-identical customer will.
  • Psychographics / Lifestyle Data. People are much more complex than the demographic silos marketers would like to place them in. Interests, hobbies, social habits, political views, religious beliefs, and a host of subtle, internal preferences make “psychographics” a must-have for marketers. Perhaps one of the most influential effects of Facebook is the mainstreaming of psychographics. With social media, marketers can target users with very specific likes and interests.
  • Attitudinal Data. This all goes one step further with “Attitudinal Data,” which determines how users think or feel about your industry, brand, or product. Customer satisfaction reports and online reviews provide opportunities to get your feet wet with some basic attitudinal data.
  • Behavioral Data (Sociographics). Big Data’s current culmination (for marketers) is in “sociographics.” Sociographics is the analysis of social media and online behavior across the entire web. On a basic level, this may include retargeting with AdRoll; on a more complex level, it may include building a comprehensive picture of where your customers and potential customers spend their time online, how they interact with friends and brands, what their attitude is like, etc.

Is Your Company Using Big Data? Why or Why Not?
What’s your response to Big Data? Is Big Data relevant to your brand? Sales cycle? Selling channel? Marketing strategy? Let’s talk in the comments section below.