Small Data is Important, Too Via Acumor
Big data gets all the headlines. And why not? Each day, it seems, businesses generate mounds of data that they rely on to identify and target their customers. But there’s a new movement starting that suggests that big data, while important, isn’t the only tool that businesses should be using to reach more customers. Small data is important, too. And those businesses that ignore this run the risk of losing existing customers and failing to nab new ones.
Smaller Can be Better
Balakrishna Narasimhan, a writer with InformationWeek, recently tackled this subject. He pointed to a credit-card offer he received. The e-mail offer listed the type of rewards that Narasimhan would most likely want based on his purchasing habits, demographic and Web browsing habits. In other words, the company used big data in its offer. But Narasimhan said that this offer did little to entice him. What would have worked better, he said, was if the credit-card company had instead used the same data to send him a gift certificate to his favorite restaurant to reward him for his business.
Narasimhan writes that personal engagement is the best way for companies to earn more customers. He points to wine and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk who has long promoted the Thank You Economy, which helps businesses engage customers with their small data. For instance, Vaynerchuk spends long hours answering questions on Twitter about different wine types. This builds a relationship. You can bet that many of these Twitter subscribers who’ve interacted with Vaynerchuk have purchased his company’s products. Narasimhan himself said that his company once discovered that one of its clients was traveling to Europe. They discovered this based on the client’s Tweets. The company sent the client a travel charger. The client was thrilled.
Big Data Pitfalls
Also writing for InformationWeek, Michael Healey says that too many companies are blinded by big data, something that leads them to too often make big mistakes. He points to the example of J.C. Penney. Former CEO Ron Johnson in 2012 looked at big data before ending discounting and launching what the company called “everyday value” prices. Sales tanked, and Johnson lost his job.
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