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Big data is surrounded by so much hype and so many v-words that marketing professionals don't trust it and don't

understand how valuable it is to their efforts.

That's the conclusion drawn by Forrester analyst Fatemeh Khatibloo, who writes about it in her blog and spoke about it at the ntegrated !arketing
"eekconference in #ew $ork yesterday.
!arketers can take some comfort in the fact that consumers are e%ually confused, she said. Their primary %uestion should be &'ow can big data help me delight
my customers(&
Fatemeh Khatibloo
&Big data is not a technology, not a platform, not a pro)ect, and not an end goal,& she said. &The three v's don't help define anything. *on't get 'adooped+& nstead,
marketers should adopt the concept that &Big data is the practices and technologies that close the gap between the data available and a company's ability to turn it
into business insight.&
t's not going to be tidy or neat, she added, but the huge amounts of data available are making an &infinite& number of combinations possible.
,s e-amples, she cited the insight electronics manufacturers could glean from knowing whether customers use rechargeable or disposable batteries, and the
value in knowing whether new parents have a single baby or twins.
.ompanies that are &killing it& in this area include /rogressive auto insurance, with its 0napshot usage-based rates1 .loro- bleach, which boosted profits
significantly by increasing shipments to areas affected by flu outbreaks1 and British ,irways, which updates flight attendants' mobile devices with key information
about passengers.
Stop snooping
This last e-ample naturally led into a discussion of customer privacy, which is an area fraught with potential danger. Khatibloo cited e-amples such as
Target's outing of a pregnant teen and the inaccuracies found in 2oogle's flu trend information as illustrative of how badly big data can run a company's marketing
efforts off-track.
&Be smart, consider conte-t, and be responsible,& she said.
Rule of three
To succeed with big-data analytics, marketers need to keep three ideas in mind3
The conte-t of the customer during the moment of engagement, which spells the difference between *isney's !agicBands and Target's fau- pas
The company culture around analytics -- in other words, no more hoarding data and no more T4business chasm. !arketing and the .5 must sit
down together
,nalytics talent, which should break out into scientists who interrogate the data, engineers who manage the architecture, and stewards who ensure
5n the sub)ect of privacy, Khatibloo added that consumer demand is the only factor that will drive change in the industry. 0he cited the recent FT. guidelines here,
and the 6uropean 7nion's &8ight to be Forgotten& legislation, as two e-amples of government intervention in consumer privacy protection that will not produce any
significant results. 9"e've reached roughly the same conclusions in our conversations on FT. /ushes .ongress to ,ct on *ata Brokers and 67 .ourt to 2oogle3
Forget t.:
"hat do you think, members( *o Khatibloo's ideas align with the state of affairs at your company( 0hare your e-periences below.
; !ichael 0teinhart, , 6-ecutive 6ditor, ,ll,
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