Monetizing Big Data with Hadoop By @MapR | @BigDataExpo [#BigData]
Learn how Big Data and Hadoop can help you more effectively target your audience
By: Sameer Nori
Mar. 17, 2015 05:00 PM
The Telecom Marketing Journey: Monetizing Big Data with Hadoop
Forget the funnel. Your customers no longer adhere to that nice, neat linear purchase model.
Stop looking at the calendar. They don't need yet another holiday offer, event-themed promotion, or long weekend sale.
Don't plan on following them around like a heartbroken teenage sweetheart either. Many of your customers (current and potential) will send your emails straight to spam, unsubscribe from newsletters, block ads and refuse to share their locations with you. (Well, they might share some data, but only if you promise a big discount in return.)
So what's a marketer to do?
Cheer up! Communications Service Providers have the most important tool necessary to communicate effectively with customers: Big Data.
McKinsey's DataMatics 2013 survey found that companies that extensively use customer analytics are more than twice as likely to produce above-average profits as those that don't. Their customers are much more likely to be loyal, and they also are far more likely to successfully acquire new customers than their competitors who aren't putting Big Data to work.
So let's get started.
Connect with your customers
Big Data can predict when customers want something from you, and it can be used to fuel data-driven applications that respond quickly and correctly to customer needs - be it relevant content, a pointer to a product or an offer to help. You're doing it right when the entire interaction feels seamless and natural. You're doing it wrong when the customer instantly clicks to close the message box or email.
You also want to avoid coming across as spooky or snoopy. If your attempts to engage make customers wonder whether you're spying on them, or collecting far too much information without their permission, you'll lose them in a flash.
Journeys, not funnels
But being there doesn't mean following a customer across websites with display ads. Instead, think of the process as a series of interactions between your company and the consumer that provides you with an opportunity to learn. A recent study by McKinsey indicates that companies who use intelligence gained from journeys achieve a 15-20% reduction in cost to serve, a 10-20% boost in cross-selling, and a drop of 10-25 points in churn.
When working with the journey model, resist the urge to analyze every bit of data available. Focus on critical touch points - the moments when customers are engaged or enraged. Cross-selling a service to a well-served customer, resolving an issue, simplifying a process, and rewarding loyalty are good places to start.
CSPs already have all the data they need to begin the journeying process. To put that data to work you'll likely need to find a way to bring the data silos together, identify the unique touch points that drive your customers, and plotting out the potential journeys that your customers will take. Your emphasis here should be on making predictions, rather than figuring out what happened historically. Think predictive, not reporting.
Big Data and Hadoop
Big Data also needs to be front and center in the marketing process, not a process used primarily to understand how you're doing or how you did. Recent analysis by Gartner indicates that by 2020, Big Data will be part of the baseline of enterprise software. Gartner's analysis also indicated that organizations are replacing their early implementations of big data solutions, as first generation tools are simply not able to manage the massive amounts of data smart enterprises collect now.
Apache Hadoop is a framework that was engineered specifically to handle Big Data generated by the most successful Internet companies. Hadoop enables enterprises to augment traditional data warehouses with newer types of data and richer analytics. Enterprise distribution of Hadoop adds essential functions such as security, improved search and efficient disaster recovery as well as performance enhancements.
Enterprise-ready Hadoop brings additional benefits to the marketing department. Hadoop makes it easy to build new data-driven applications that free up resources from existing systems. Data can be cost-effectively captured and stored from every touch point in an organization, from structured, unstructured and semi-structured sources, and analyzed holistically enabling marketers to gain deep insights across the entire customer journey. Data analysis can be as granular as needed to reach customers in the most effective ways possible.
Make your customers happy
In marketing's quest to reach out consistently (and constantly) to their customers, it's easy to forget that relentless attempts to engage can become profound annoyances. Use Big Data's power wisely. Connect intelligently, not intrusively. Modern marketing should be driven by a need to produce a mutual exchange of value.
If you're interested in learning more about Hadoop, sign-up for free on-demand Hadoop training from MapR.
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