At OMS: Leveraging Big Data

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San Diego—Marketers increasingly have access to massive amounts of data. Taking advantage of that information is another matter. The challenge of tapping Big Data was a common theme Tuesday at the Online Marketing Summit here. “Many companies, especially in the SaaS space, are sitting on gold mines of data,” said Heidi Melin, CMO of Eloqua, in a keynote discussion. Many of those companies, though, are not leveraging that data, she said. What's needed is a better understanding of customers' and prospects' “digital body language,” Melin said. “As they move through the sales cycle, this digital body language becomes more robust,” she said. It's crucial, she added, that the insights gained through the analysis of this information is shared throughout the organization. Melin said that while the data explosion has put a premium on analytics capabilities in marketing, it's important to remember the creative element. “A good idea is really powerful and remains powerful,” she said. “That balance between art and science is truly that, a balance.” Pam Didner, global integrated marketing manager at Intel Corp., echoed Melin's comments in a later session on generating leads through Big Data. “Gathering the data is a science. Interpreting the data is an art,” Didner said. There are three key steps in effectively using Big Data, she said. First, marketers must define the problem they want to address. Next, they must “separate the signal from the noise.” Finally, they must continually test their insights. “To me, there is good Big Data, which is insight, and bad Big Data, which is noise,” Didner said.
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