Is Bigger Always Better? The Case for Small Data
Big Data equates to Big Business opportunities.. The data gates have been opened and a steady stream of information is nourishing the B2B marketing landscape. But there are vital small data streams that are feeding this big ocean of intent.
Big Data Interest Benchmarks
Businesses are leaving clear trails of their research and interests across the internet and now we can track their digital clues in near real-time. This is the power of analytics based on behavioral intelligence (where you can identify spikes in interest for specific keywords compared to a baseline) and the companies doing the searching.
This information gives any business the edge. You can now see who is opening emails, clicking on landing pages and downloading. This type of information gives B2B marketers the ability to get in front of prospects and nurture their interest before they even visit your website or join a list.
Tracking Digital Footprints
In the past you could track visits to your website. There were the “Known” visitors whose name and company details were revealed via their cookies. “Unknown” visitors could be traced via their IP addresses. These contact details provided actionable insights for marketing and sales teams. But now with large-scale data aggregation, intent signals give us access to everyone online, not just your website visitors.
You are now monitoring millions of companies and webpages as well as keyword searches which yields coveted information about prospects in the pre-purchase phase. You are now able to really pinpoint your targets and market specifically to their needs.
Big Role of Small Data
Big Data is big news but we mustn’t forget the big role that small data plays in fact-based data analysis. B2B marketers are using Big Data intelligence to see the likelihood of a prospect becoming a paying customer.
These insights are used to support lead generation and funnel acceleration. When B2B marketers are creating their campaigns they know they need actionable insights that can be measured. This is where small data takes a big role. Small data can be generated from analyzing Big Data, it’s also used to determine current states or conditions and contains very specific data sets.
Small data are bite sized bits of Big Data; the little nuggets that produce actionable insight gold. Small Data takes all of the theory and knowledge gained from Big Data and puts it into practice. It can glean pivotal insights from unstructured data from text chats, emails & phone calls. So just because Big Data is the buzz word doesn’t mean you should completely discount the enormous role small data plays in B2B Marketing.
Small data smart devices can tell us about specifics. Its sensors can give small datasets that can trigger events based on what is happening in real time. This information is then ingested into Big Data sets which provide a historical view over time. The insights gained from small data merges with behavioral information derived from algorithms which are then run against Big Data sets to understand the patterns emerging. The patterns reveal performance of certain mechanisms and prompt actions to be taken.
Big Data is not always a requirement, sometimes you might only need a handful of specific attributes of small data to trigger the desired event. The analysis of relatively small datasets can save companies millions of dollars as they provide actionable insights to optimize their business practices. What is the tracked object doing = small data. Why is the object doing that = Big Data.
The Future is Big & Small
A recent Forrester Consulting thought leadership paper concluded that 78% of B2B marketers see their role expanding from demand generation to deal acceleration. In order for that transition to take place, companies will have to quickly embrace predictive fact-based analytics whose building blocks are big and small data.
Predictive and fact-based analytics enable B2B marketers to be much more effective in identifying and connecting with buyers in specific accounts across the buyer’s lifetime. The “predictive marketers” who have employed this technology are currently outperforming “retrospective marketers” across business metrics delivering high impact.
The role of Big Data in B2B lead generation cannot be underestimated. We have seen the evolution from software as a service to platform as a service to data as a service and finally arrived at Big Data as a Service (or BDaaS) – a mixture of all three. It accelerates conversion rates by identifying valuable potential customers by telling you exactly what to say to them when they open a window. You can make the right offer at the right time raising the right flags to generate sales. Big and small, fact-based data analytics is changing the B2B marketing landscape into a fertile floodplain of abundant growth.