If your like most marketers your currently being inundated with messages, publications and advertisements about Big Data and how it’s going to transform the way you do business.  With the amount of data a business collects expecting to increase over 650% during the next five years the one thing that just about everyone agrees on is that there is certainly no shortage of data.  Having access to data is one thing, but being able to get meaningful insight in order to put that data to use is often something entirely different.

So, what is Big Data and what does your organization need to be ready?  Tim Storer, President & CEO of Distribion, a leading provider of multi-channel distributed marketing software solutions, weighs in and provides his thoughts.



[Tim Storer] Big Data is certainly a buzz word that all marketers are hearing more and more often. As with many buzz words, the definition of Big Data depends upon who you ask.

Some choose to define it in quantifiable terms such as a certain data size limit and others use relative terms such as any time an organizations data becomes too complex to manage or moves too fast to interpret through conventional means.

To me, I like to think of Big Data in more transformational terms. To me, Big Data is when an organization shifts from managing and observing “data transactions” to also managing and observing “data interactions”.

Today, marketing organizations have data pouring in from all types of channels (e-mail, social media, mobile, the web, etc.).

Advancements in processing power, data storage and analytics now allow organizations to gain meaningful insight into behavioral patterns by collecting and connecting the plethora of data dots that now exists on their prospects and customers.

Even further, should an organization need even more data to connect the dots they can leverage third party APIs that many large data providers have made available in order to intelligently append this additional data.

We are still in the very early stages of the Big Data transformational process but in my opinion we are about to witness one of the largest marketing technology booms we have ever seen. In fact, I just read how Gartner is predicting that in the very near future the CMO will be responsible for more technology related spend than the CIO.

I feel this excitement and shift really boils down to the fact that should a CMO be able to connect the data dots then they no longer will be scrutinized by CEO’s and CFO’s because the data will paint a black and white ROI picture that everyone can easily understand.

In essence, the formula becomes very simple: Bigger, Richer Data Sets combined with Personalized Multi-Channel Messaging and Real Time Analytics equals a Higher ROI.

A key ingredient for organizations to realize the Big Data vision and acquire the “interaction data” is a Multi-Channel Distributed Marketing Platform that can provide centralized control over campaign content, personalization options, campaign distribution and automated response triggers.

Having a Distributed Marketing Platform is even more important for organizations that rely on quasi-independent agents or localized marketing teams because the “data interactions” are even more scattered and harder to capture.

In my opinion, Organizations that don’t implement some type of Multi-Channel Distributed Marketing Platform will really struggle to collect the data points necessary to achieve the Big Data vision and will quickly be at a big competitive disadvantage in the very near future.