• Does it really matter when you’re driving a car on a long unfamiliar journey and the fog clears, the satnav kicks in, and the streetlights come on?
  • Does it matter in game theory when you have a bit more knowledge than your opponent?
  • Does it matter when you know someone well enough to do and say the right thing to build a genuine relationship?
  • Does a media campaign need data to drive it?

The answer is hell yes!

The corporate playing field has dramatically changed with the technological boom that brought with it many digital platforms and devices unseen before the ’00s. A new kind of weaponry is required to provide the best “marketing intelligence” – big data. The granddaddy of all data.

Many brands are fighting in the same competitive pool to attain the 3sec attention span of their target audiences. Gone are the days of traditional ways of measuring and understanding audiences built on proxies. A panel of viewers to establish opportunities to see ads; a questionnaire to understand their personality and interests.

Now you have the chance to replace proxies with real data that tells millions of stories about what people are doing, where they are going and why.

This has several consequences. Efficiency will improve exponentially. Early indications are of very significant reductions in the amount that really needs to be invested in order to reach a focused target audience.

Big data in this instance gives us a much clearer and specific understanding of the audience for long-term brand building. For instance, through data you can find out people’s likes, dislikes, understand what they’re searching for, what makes them laugh, what makes them cry and what they had for dinner last night. Not based on a diary from weeks ago or based on claimed behaviour but rooted in real-time reality.

There are challenges to all of this. Challenges for media agencies include the need to stop thinking in silos of paid media and make sure that they understand the whole picture that is paid, owned, and earned media. The buzz word “agile” truly applies here as agencies need to adopt responsive ways of working so that they can change the course of their communications plan in real-time. You, your clients, your partners, and your systems all need to adapt.

Challenges for marketers remains in their ability to bridge the knowledge gap. In some cases, it can lead to limited insights being derived, and worse, an inability to turn any findings gleaned into meaningful action for a business.

The key to closing this knowledge gap is marketing intelligence. At its most advanced, this intelligence drives key business outcomes and elevates insights to maximise brand strategy. It connects key data points to business outcomes, and it puts marketing at the heart of the business, allowing it to integrate with sales, customer service, and product development.

Where media agencies can add value is by providing a helping hand to their clients – and their marketing teams – by demystifying their data for them. In short, they need to become the trusted purveyors of marketing intelligence.

Big data matters. It shines a light on the truth of what the media client’s target audiences are up to. True competitive advantage comes to those who aren’t dazzled by it and ready to polish these valuable pieces of data nuggets. Are you ready?

Interested in a true media client’s use of ForwardKeys’ data?