In the second half of 2016, big data will push further into the enterprise with even more use cases. The increasing volume and detail of information captured by companies, along with the rise of multimedia, social media and e-commerce / internet data capture are driving exponential growth in data for the foreseeable future.

Companies are collecting information, but aren’t always sure what to do with it. As a matter of fact, Forrester Research revealed that big data-capable businesses aren’t even harnessing the data and associated technology to its full extent. More specifically, most companies estimate they’re analyzing just 12 percent of the data they already have, leaving 88 percent of untapped potential sitting on the cutting board.

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Data analytics should be an integral part of every company’s customer strategy. This used to be a statement of opinion made by suppliers that specialized in customer database management or predictive analytics. Today it is a fact that every division of every organization has to face and react to. Analytics no longer belongs solely in the realm of financial/business analysts and it is no longer the luxury of large companies with significant marketing activity. Data analytics is now preached if not practiced in every group of every organization that has customers; that probably includes you.

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Each year, marketers fight for their marketing budget, and then go to work finding the best way to allocate those scarce marketing dollars to make the biggest impact for your brand.

Most likely, somewhere around 10% of your budget has been earmarked for marketing analytics; an investment that research shows ties directly to improved company profits and higher marketing ROI. Yet, according to a recent Harvard Business Review article, less than 40% of companies have been successful using marketing analytics effectively. For example, using analytics to inform customer acquisition.

So how can you make sure your investments produce maximum impact year round? Here are three strategies to position yourself for success:

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The term 1:1 Marketing has been around for over 10 years, but many companies still struggle to effectively market to individual customers. Many brands seem to have email clubs that blast the same promotional message to every customer, often several emails per week. This “spray and pray” practice is more about the volume of communications and not the quality of communications. This method of marketing may keep a brand top of mind, but if the message does not resonate with your customers, it may cause them to start ignoring or even opt out of your emails. 1:1 marketing is all about using customer purchase data, demographics, preferences and interests to personalize communications to specific customers or prospects. It is about recognizing and realizing the potential relationship with every customer.

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The demands on today’s marketer are vast and varied. Increase the relevance and effectiveness of your marketing message. Create a consistent customer experience at every touchpoint. Do more with less budget! Tell me what’s working and what isn’t. Be nimble and react quickly. Optimize your media by marketing channel.

Fortunately, there is help available. A well-trained analytics team can provide customer insights and improve marketing campaign performance by harnessing Big Data to allow you to meet those demands. The following four tools are essential for a facts-based, data-driven marketing organization.

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