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How big data drives better marketing

Posted by Kyle Montero on May 6th, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Facebook's mission is to make the world open and connected. To a marketer, this means data. At the iMedia Agency Summit, Facebook's Erin Hunter explored how big data is dramatically changing the game.

Erin Hunter is Facebook's global head of CPG marketing. In a nutshell, she works with global advertisers to best leverage the world's largest social platform. She pairs her colossal day job with motorcycle racing -- holding two Guinness Book World Records for high-speed racing. So, when she speaks, you listen.

At the iMedia agency Summit in Austin, Texas, Hunter delivered an insight address entitled "Real people, the right people, connected people: How big data drives better marketing in a connected world." In her talk, hunter discussed how savvy marketers are reaching their customers on the right device at the right place and time. In addition, she detailed the powerful new ways marketers can reach and engage consumers as a result of large data sets.

Hunter began by discussing the ideal marketing system. What does this Utopian system look like? First, you reach the right people. Second, you reach all of the right people. And lastly, you have to engage them and make them love your brand. But, as Hunter asked, "How do we get there?"

She explained by first discussing the inefficiencies of TV advertising and print. According to Hunter, "TV advertising gives us scale, but it gives us blunt targeting." On the other hand, print gives us a more interest-based audience, but you run out of scale quickly. So, how do we get to the right people? Because (demographically) you would not think that Hunter is a motorcycle racer, she would be missed by targeting based on demographics. According to Hunter, the point here is that, "The future is not about demographics. The future is much more about purchases and interests."

As Hunter explains, "Because we can now bring offline buying data into the online digital system, we are able to target advertising based on heavy buyers, [etc.]…This is just one example of integrating offline data sources into the publishing community…You can now get to exactly the right person for your particular objective."

Another thing that is possible today by using big data is integrating one's own CRM information. According to Hunter, "You can now upload your consumer information into tools that allow you to specifically target and create messages based on what you know about your consumer from the long history of CRM information you have developed." This is a very powerful too. To give an example from Facebook, Hunter discussed a company called Shoebuy. The company was able to "upload their own CRM information, look at people's purchase history…and then re-message them" in an extremely relevant way.

Hunter proceeded to describe how to get to all of the right people: "You have to get to scale." She explained that we can now do this through offline partnerships by providing an example of PepsiCo, who is now able to reach 18 to 20 million people now versus 3 million one year ago, due to integrating CRM information.

Now, in an ideal system, you have to engage with consumers and get them to love you. The key to this is found at the intersection of data and creative. According to hunter, "Data isn’t the anti-creative. It provides the opportunity for creative to go after the right people with the right message and not be blunt or forced to dumb the message down."  To explain, Hunter provided an example of a car company. If you know you have an 18-year-old male who likes the outdoors, your message should invoke the off-road capabilities of your SUV.  According to Hunter, this is a "creative opportunity by integrating the data into our systems." And you must be consistent and relevant with your messaging. Doing so creates the opportunity to drive the message to the consumer to generate solid engagement and love of your brand.

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