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Big Data and Direct Mail in 2015

Posted by Brian Berg Google+

Direct mail marketers have been taking advantage of big data when compiling consumer and business mailing lists, since the marketing tool has become readily available.  Data is the new form of capital and 2015 will be the year of Big Data.  In 2015, we expect big data to affect marketing in the following ways:

1. Corporate boardrooms will talk about data capital, not big data.  Data is as necessary for creating new products, services and ways of working as financial capital.  CEOs, this means securing access to, and increasing use of data capital by digitizing and datafying key activities with customers, suppliers and partners before rivals do.  For CIOs, this means providing data liquidity: the ability to get data the firm wants into the shape it needs with minimal time, cost and risk.

2. Self-service discovery and visualization tools will come to big data. New data discovery and visualization tools will help people with expertise in the business, but not in technology use big data in daily decisions.  Much of this data will come from outside the firm and, therefore, beyond the careful curation of enterprise data policies.  To simplify this complexity, these new technologies will combine consumer-grade user experience with sophisticated algorithmic classification, analysis and enrichment under the hood.  The result for business users will be easy exploration on big data.

3. Security and governance will increase big data innovation.  Many large firms have found their big data pilots shut down by compliance officers concerned about legal or regulatory violations.  This is particularly an issue when creating new data combinations that include customer data.  In a twist, firms will find big data experimentation easier to pen up when the data involved is more locked down.  This means extending modern security practices such as data masking and redaction to the full big data environment, in addition to the must-haves of access, authorization and auditing.

Today, marketers have an index that talks about the value of a brand.  Going forward, we will see an index that talks about the value of data.  Businesses will start talking about data capital because having the right information about people, places and things will be critical for an enterprise to build the competitive edge and succeed.  This will flow into other forms of marketing such as social, email and consumer and business mailing lists.