In a world where consumers can change brand preferences with a click of their mouse, the role of marketing has evolved from the traditional qualitative approach to an era of intelligent, data-driven marketing. As real-time consumer data has become the most valuable asset to a marketer, Machine Learning (ML) has stolen the limelight and become a vital solution that addresses serious questions in the minds of marketers today – how do we have the right conversation, with the right consumer, and at the most ideal time. This is the holy grail of modern marketing and data is the answer.
What are we going to do with all that data?
Northeastern University predicts that our world produces 2.5 exabytes of data daily and there will be 44 zettabytes of data in the world by 2020. With all the data in the world as our oyster, marketers, just like every other line of business, are taking advantage of this growing opportunity.
At Cloudera, we recently saw a job search engine aggregate data insights for over 70 million registered users around the world and increase its search engine marketing (SEM) capabilities to quickly perform advanced analytics on more than 20 million job postings monthly, using ML. Helping people find meaningful jobs is just the beginning as big data and ML are changing the way business and marketing decisions are made, for good, and consumers are benefitting.
Machines for humans, by humans
Amidst the use of data and machines to better reach consumers, many question the role of today’s marketer. However, this is the first time in human history that marketing and technology teams are speaking the same language. With modern software, ML has become intuitive and accessible to everyone, from data scientists to everyday business users. Previously the last to be the number crunchers of a company, marketers are now able to make easy and quick decisions based on data analytics and ML.
In fact, we have already seen marketing teams within large organizations, such as telecommunications firms with a massive consumer base and growing volumes of data, enhance consumer experience and deliver real-time targeted marketing campaigns to millions of consumers. We have also seen companies implement data-driven platforms that allow them to better connect with their consumers and improve loyalty in the long-term. The time is now. With technology that can handle and aggregate large volumes of consumer data from various touchpoints, making information available to absolutely any employee across an organization, marketers can now easily derive valuable consumer insights and tailor campaigns accordingly. Now, it is safe to say that ML is shifting from a marketing tactic to an essential component of ensuring consumer loyalty.
Yet, marketers have and will always be in the business of speaking to consumers and the value of human intuition should never be forgotten. There will always be areas in marketing that cannot be coded, and we need experience and human judgement to make ML-based predictions even more accurate. We also need creative on top of solidified consumer insights to truly speak to consumers. The powers of man and machine are not mutually exclusive. Instead, with the powers of man and machine combined, we can reach marketing nirvana and enjoy an era of happier consumers than ever before.
By Daniel Ng, Senior Director of Marketing, APAC, Cloudera