Big Data: The marketing opportunity

Colin Strong

While some fear marketers' reliance on data will stifle creativity, GfK's Colin Strong argues that used correctly, Big Data can develop broader marketing strategies to create value for brands.

In a world where your local supermarket knows your teenage daughter is pregnant before you as the parent even have an inkling, it is perhaps not a surprise that marketers should fear for their careers. Who needs marketing when, for a fraction of the cost, you can target consumers with products and services you know they will buy? Marketing technology suppliers are piling on the misery claiming segmentation, that mainstay of marketing, is now dead as we can simply use data analytics to uncover the predictable way in which consumers behave and target them individually rather than as a group.

Marketing is in the throes of disruption by Big Data, the term that is rather loosely applied to reflect the exponential increase in data volumes, alongside the growth in our ability to transfer, store and analyse data. With Big Data increasingly pushing the focus onto quantification of the discipline, some question the role of intuition in the marketing function with the talismanic question being 'Would Red Bull have done its moon jump stunt if it was relying on data to give it the all clear'?