The Power of Small Data

There’s a revolution in marketing data going on; and it’s not about big data, there’s a concerted shift away from the mass of aggregated low value records – to a distinct focus on small data. Driving some key brand leaders to change their outlook on individual customer equity. Victoria Pooley, MD of The Data Partnership shares an agencies perspective on some key emerging changes in attitude, towards the power of one.

At a recent IDM lecture in Google’s HQ we attended in April, HSBC’s Head of Marketing, Amanda Rendle delivered a thought provoking lecture on the development of uberpersonalisation of customer data; a focus on the micro rather than the macro – through customer mapping, the increased use of neuro-linguistics, closer scrutiny of individual spending habits to make patterns of predictive modeling. The trend, she suggests was that current job roles were morphing; of data becoming a darker, more influential art. The psychology of marketing, she suggested is becoming ever more valuable in banking. The lead generator and the data scientist are becoming one. It’s marketing that’s hyper-relevant and more Minority Report than the film itself.

Marketers have to understand the intrinsic power of the individual data record, and big data for most, is a big fallacy. Where we thought we were going, we’re not, where we’d like to be going, we can’t, and where we will ultimately end up; as a data supplier – will be a much more tightly legislated landscape, with the consumer rightly tipping the power balance in their own favour. During a live digital poll during the lecture, a huge 74% of the marketers present, believed big data would revolutionize marketing, but like Amanda, I oppose this – and believe that more sophisticated customer analysis strategies are pivotal to interpret and grasp individual behaviours.

In a closing summary, HSBC’s Marketing Chief, concluded that your marketing team should be the voice of your customers, “Obsess over your customers, be technologically curious as a brand, take risks & drive revenue growth, small quality data, over big”

Personal data giants like Ebay & Facebook have been heralding the positives of data-driven decision making for years, and there are huge advantages to yield – if you are indeed, huge (and of course – if the data subjects are yours to own and process). A few years on from all the hyperbole about massive data sets – it’s tricky to see how the ‘big data’ model can be adopted and leveraged by those involved in data marketing. Consent to adapt, to model, process and enhance such records – is the preserve of the massive stock-keepers of consumers data, those companies who are lower down the pecking order of collating this information, the data agencies – are going to find the power of small, much more marketable and valuable. Big data will revolutionise marketing, the paradigm is, it is already has. The provenance of great customer data is, (and always has been) quality, over quantity.

Matt Grant, Marketing Manager
TDP Marketing

Extracted from a forthcoming article Database Marketing Magazine here

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