Can Big Data Do It All?
Author: Don E. Schultz
Don E. Schultz is a professor (emeritus-in-service) of integrated marketing communications at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. To read past columns, go to MarketingPower.com/marketingnews and click on "featured contributors."
SummaryI have always been a believer in data, data analytics and the importance of knowing actual consumer behaviors, not just awareness or ‘liking,’ or even bonding. What do consumers actually do in the marketplace? That started when I was in graduate school at Michigan State some 30-plus years ago and I have only become more convinced that behaviors are what really matter when measuring marketing or communication activities.
Now, seemingly, the entire marketing world is entranced by “Big Data,” which is located somewhere in “The Cloud” and is made up of a host of “Algorithmic Calculators” that can crunch any bit of information, from any source, at any time, at practically no cost and spit it back to the marketing organization in the form of a ready-made, sure-to-succeed marketing or communication plan—and, best of all, it can do so almost instantaneously. At least, those seem to be the promises being made by a host of new, enthusiastic data analytic companies and some of the old reliables, as well.
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