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Five ways to make big data work for your organisation

The big data revolution is here to stay, but marketers must act fast to leverage its power.

The recent flood of big data presents both huge opportunities and significant challenges for modern marketers.

Leading-edge companies are mining big data to build detailed customer profiles and reveal powerful insights into customer behaviour and buying patterns. It's giving savvy marketers real opportunities to deliver better-quality leads, create highly targeted campaigns and build stronger customer relationships to directly boost sales revenue.

However, despite these opportunities, most companies remain unable to leverage the power of big data. According to Gartner research, 85 per cent of Fortune 500 organisations were unable to exploit big data for competitive advantage in 2015.

Likewise, a 2014 McKinsey survey revealed that only 19 per cent of companies are confident that their insight-gathering processes contribute directly to sales effectiveness.

For marketers keen to get aboard the big data express, that represents a huge opportunity to lead the uptake in your organisation.

Here are five ways to make big data work for your organization.

1. Identify higher quality leads

Predictive analytics technology has put the power of big data squarely in the hands of marketers. Predictive analysis tools are doing away with static purchased lists for much more sophisticated prospecting.

These engines mine complex data sets to identify the best quality leads based on customer traits and buying behaviours linked to high-value leads.

For marketers, that means gaining the ability to populate the sales funnel with prospects primed to buy. In doing so, you’ll give your sales team the opportunity to convert more leads in less time, while also eliminating poor-quality leads that only serve to clog your pipeline.

2. Segment and target your campaigns

The big data revolution has put more pressure on marketers to operate on data over instinct, with more emphasis on demonstrating the specific return on investment (ROI) of any given campaign. However, with several campaigns running across a range of channels at any one time, tracking campaign results can be a significant challenge for the modern marketer.

Thankfully, marketing automation platforms tap into big data to segment leads and customers into tightly defined lists for more effective targeting. This gives you the power to focus resources on high-value targets, nurture leads with more personalised messages and roll out the right content and promotions to jump-start sales.

3. Prioritise new leads

Big data has also transformed the power of lead scoring. Traditionally, marketers predominately scored leads based on buyer profile and engagement. However, the next generation of marketing automation platforms is providing lead scoring tools that draw on big data to take the game to a whole new level.

These tools assess your incoming leads based on a wide range of buying signals to accurately predict which leads are most likely to be converted and which are not. Most marketing automation platforms integrate with your CRM system, which in turn allows your sales teams to easily prioritise the leads most likely to bring in the greatest revenue.

4. Expand customer relationships

The modern economy moves at a blistering pace, and keeping up with constantly changing customer needs is a significant challenge for marketers. However, the solution also lies in big data.

Using powerful predictive tools, marketers now have the power to search data pools for patterns and trends in customer behaviour – and knowing exactly what your customers are doing makes it easier to provide the right communications, promotions and products to keep your existing customers onboard.

Tracking and assessing customer behaviours and trends will also help you identify new cross- and up-selling opportunities to maximise the revenue you’re generating from your existing customer base.

5. Assess customer sentiment

Big data gives you the ability to not only track customer behaviour, but also to gain deep insights into customer sentiment.

Data is often drawn from social media sources to paint a clear picture of your customers’ experience – positive and negative. Assessing customer sentiment allows you to not only analyse how your brand is perceived in the marketplace, but also to identify developing pain points for your customers and reveal industry trends that could shape the evolution of your product or service.

It gives you the ability to tailor your communications to address specific pain points, circumvent customer complaints before they go viral and act quickly to limit customer churn.

Next steps

To leverage the power of big data, you need a scalable server solution with the capacity to manage the volume, variety and velocity of data, while also integrating with the analytics tools you need to turn raw data into functional insights.

For more information on ways big data can work for your organisation visit Lenovo’s ThinkFWD Think Space.

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