David Dubois, INSEAD Associate Professor of Marketing, and Gilles Haumont, Vice President, Luxury & Strategy, at Tsquared Insights | September 29, 2017
With a few exceptions, the bulk of brands to date have mostly leveraged big data for short-term purposes. For instance, companies have learnt how to manage their online reputation by creating social media command centres that can detect and react to consumer chatter in real time. They’ve also learnt to track the recent online behaviour of customers, which has helped them run more targeted advertisements. But this makes C-level executives at best very effective bill posters (when they manage to attract their customers’ attention), at worst spammers (when their messages are misplaced or even worse, irritate customers).
This is due in part to the hype around big data, a less than adequate moniker for what’s just the acceleration of data collection and processing capabilities as a result of digital connectedness. Because big data is multi-formed, the initial approach of business thinkers and commentators was to break it into volume, variety and velocity.
Beyond these descriptive features, C-level executives lack a clear typology of the digital data that marketing strategists can leverage to produce novel and important competitive insights. This leaves them with steep challenges in how to think about these data and act on them.
The 3S typology
What kinds of big data can best unlock value? In practice, we observe three broad types of big data that really matter in helping CMOs get a deeper understanding of their customers and competitive ecosystems: Social, Search and Site (Figure 1).
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