Big Data, Marketers and the Next Frontier

What will we find after the hype?

As someone who lives and breathes the B2B space, big data feels like a buzzword, one that is tossed around as frequently as “the cloud” and “the IoT” (although please never tell my cloud clients that please!), and it’s a bit tired now. Because we all know “big data” is everywhere.

However these are frequently used words to speak to marketers, to get their buy-in for a service or product, but if that marketer does not know how to tap into it properly, it can quickly become overwhelming. It was, in fact, back in 2014 that Gartner said we had moved into the disillusionment stage in regards to big data. Per Datanami:

“There’s a couple of really important changes,” Burton says. “We’ve retired the big data hype cycle. I know some clients may be really surprised by that because the big data hype cycle was a really important one for many years. But what’s happening is that big data has quickly moved over the Peak of Inflated Expectations, and has become prevalent in our lives across many hype cycles.

So like choosing an iPod in a color other than white, big data, like the cloud, simply is. Therefore there is a renewed focus on customized dashboards that help you track what you really need (e.g., sales by channel, by platform, repeat visitors, etc.) Otherwise you may have to hire a data scientist, aka “The sexiest job of the 21st Century” per HBR (I have to admit the thought sounds kind of cool even if it doesn’t match up to reality) to sift through the data and retrieve valuable nuggets of info. In essence, a trade-off of sorts.

In terms of the next frontier in marketing research, we are going to see a pretty amazing shift happen as the AI bots from Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple battle it out. Those (3) because they have been offering services for years, quietly collecting the data that informs them about you. Not in a creepy way, but a service oriented way. So contextual micro marketing for discovery instead of desire is going to take off, that continues to collect data but uses it in a more personal manner. For example, Snickers thinks if I’m hungry I should reach for a Snickers. I hate Snickers. But my virtual assistant, whoever that may be (Siri, Cortana, Alexa, or Google), will know that I reach for cashews.

You can see these technologies on the innovation trigger portion of the 2016 Gartner hype cycle below so it’s coming!

I, for one, welcome my AI overlords.