Remember the last time someone insulted you and you just stood there, dumbfounded? And then you jolted from bed at 3AM with the perfect comeback. By then of course, it was too late. Your perpetrator had already moved on.
I like to use this analogy to illustrate the challenge of Big Data. Big Data has long made an alluring promise to marketers: the ability to collect massive amounts of data regarding customer interactions and provide data-driven actionable marketing recommendations.
Moreover, according to a McKinsey study, marketers who make data the center of their marketing and sales decisions can increase their ROI by 15-20%.
That sounds great in theory, but when implemented poorly, Big Data threatens to make marketers think of their customers as data points rather than human beings.
These days, instead of seeking to understand customers' subtle needs and desires, marketers are often stuck behind their computer screens, trying to make sense of incongruous reports extracted from siloed databases. That leads to such mishaps as retargeting customers with ads for things they just bought or displaying the same ad to the same customer on different websites.
In this golden age of the customer, your customers get annoyed when they are treated like obvious data points.
I still believe in Big Data (heck, I work in Big Data) but if you want to make it work for you, you must befriend a new department in your company: IT.
Marketing and IT Should Work Together