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How 3 Businesses Use Big Data to Connect with Consumers

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Big data can help you better reach your target audience through hyper local marketing.

As a marketer, it pays to have access to consumer data. The more you know about your target audience, the more personalized your marketing efforts can be. While physical billboard ads are strategically designed and placed to reach a local audience, it’s more challenging to pinpoint where and when a digital audience will consume your brand’s ads.

The solution? Hyper localized digital marketing. Location-based data allows brands to create strong connections with individual consumers rather than blindly targeting large segments of the population. By analyzing extremely specific consumer insights, marketers can get a better feel for when members of their target audience are most likely to be receptive to ads — and what type of ads will appeal to them.

These three brands are making the most of personalized consumer data:

1. Spotify

Companies like Spotify that specialize in streaming, on-the-go services offer a distinct advantage for marketers, because they can make an educated guess about consumers’ lifestyles based on their consumption preferences. By rolling out curated playlists from these consumer insights, Spotify has access to, and can sell, valuable data to marketers: such things as overarching listening patterns and suggestions about what people are doing while they listen. For example, a person who is listening to a workout playlist is likely at the gym or on a run — presenting the perfect opportunity to display ads for athletic gear or nutritional supplements.

In addition to selling this information to marketers looking to advertise on the Spotify app- and web-based platforms, Spotify also draws on these insights to craft its own, highly clever marketing campaigns. Unlike some brands, Spotify is transparent about their use of consumer insights, and even incorporated highly specific data sets into their latest campaign:

“There has been some debate about whether big data is muting creativity in marketing, but we have turned that on its head," said Spotify CMO Seth Farbman. "For us, data inspires and gives an insight into the emotion that people are expressing."

2. OkCupid

According to Referral Candy, “OKCupid is, strikingly, a data-driven brand. Its creators believed that data was crucial in differentiating the company from its competitors, and in optimizing its users’ matchmaking odds.” So what do you get when you combine OKCupid’s uncanny knack for analyzing data with the company’s abundant access to consumer insights? An opportunity to market services and products that closely align with their customers’ interests and specific geographic locations.

Other dating sites such as Tinder have used targeted information to suggest relevant ridesharing services and restaurants to matched couples after they agree to a date. The possibilities for partnerships and package deals are virtually endless when you have access to such personal details about consumers’ lifestyles.

3. Yelp

Yelp is a popular service consumers use to find the best restaurants, bars and shops in their area at any given time. This information is a marketer's dream scenario, giving them the ability to reach their ideal audience: people who are actively searching for their services closeby.

So how do local businesses make their way to the top of Yelp results? By paying for a premium spot and choosing a favorable review to accompany their listing. For example, when searching Yelp for “tacos” in “Charlotte, NC,” paid ads appear before businesses that reach the top organically.

With a massive stream of information available, marketers have new opportunities to learn about individual members of their target audiences — what they like, where they live and even what they are doing at precise moments in time. The challenge for marketers, then, comes down to one thing: determining how best to leverage that data to benefit your brand and achieve your specific goals.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com/g/Daniel+M+Ernst 

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