Staff Reporters
Mar 21, 2014

Big data: Broader picture enables greater focus

MARKETERS FORUM: With a wide range of data and analytics platforms on offer, how do marketers turn captured information into actionable insights and how important is it to their creative process?

CW from top left: Dacko, Goh, Sen, Cortes, Jacob, Mok
CW from top left: Dacko, Goh, Sen, Cortes, Jacob, Mok

Dean Dacko
SVP, head of marketing
Malaysia Airlines

We decided early in my tenure that in order to succeed, Malaysia Airlines needed to have a strong digital capability managed by a capable internal team. At the foundation would be a platform that would capture all available data and enable the team to understand it and deploy communication campaigns.

With that in mind, we have just engaged Adobe to create the first phase of a Social CRM platform integrating data from Google and social media. The platform will enable our team to monitor all that activity and deploy the right message to audiences.

Our 16 country sites will be situated on a central platform that will gather information to co-ordinate all of our communications activities on a global and local basis.

Judy Goh
Executive, marketing, comms and citizenship

The strategic imperative of IBM, including its marketing function, is to make markets by transforming industries and professions with big data and analytics.

At IBM, our strategy is ‘market to the individual’.  Our marketing and system of engagement are becoming increasingly data-driven and digital. For example, we deployed IBM Unica Marketing Automation to accelerate our ability to connect with each customer at every touch point.

This transformed a ‘spray and pray’ marketing approach into one that is targeted to the individual client. We are also able to dynamically deliver offers based online data and analytics-based predictions of client behaviour. Reducing our follow-up time from 14 days to 12 hours.

Argha Sen
director, omnichannel
Fung Retailing Group

The ability to turn big data into something actionable with human instinct is critical. How to turn social media into a money machine?

Online retail players have always known data mattered, the brick-and-mortar store is also a giant data generator. How then do you act on that? Not by someone in the back office sending customers e-mails anymore, but leveraging that data in real-time at the point of sales.

There was a time when retailers never offered free WiFi inside the stores to avoid showrooming. But now WiFi allows retailers to track shoppers for personalisation and CRM purposes — not on the retailer’s terms but on the customer’s terms. What is big data after all, but a vast collection of small data?

Danny Mok
Chief marketing officer
CSL Limited

In the telco business, it is extremely important that mobile operators use all available data to manage the customer lifecycle. In a post-paid dominated market such as Hong Kong, customers buy mobile phones bundled with service plan on a contract basis, usually 24 months. From the time the customer subscribes we try our best to provide precisely targeted offers to try and keep up customer satisfaction so they will sign on for another two years.
Examples of marketing initiatives include providing attractive deals on the iPhone 5s for customer who has used the iPhone 4 for two years and introducing new unlimited Facebook data pack for customers who are socially active online. This is how big data helps me daily.

Stephen Jacob
Director, APAC marketing

The business insights and analytics team at Oanda has been using big data technologies since 2011 to assist with decision-making. For example, by using Hadoop on Amazon Web Service, Oanda is able to analyse raw web traffic data from all of our global websites to better understand our clients’ journey to registering for an fxTrade account.

This analysis not only helps our marketing teams identify which campaigns and advertising channels are the most effective, it also helps them to get a better picture of who our newly acquired clients are, after combining online with offline data.

We are also looking at using real-time analytics, machine learning, and studying online behaviour to help our sales and marketing teams.

Claudia Cortes
VP, Global Communications
SAP Asia Pacific Japan

Big data can offer marketing and communications professionals the possibility of continuous reinvention. If big data is used in a holistic way, virtually any campaign can be improved. By developing new skills and extracting actionable insights from the data, marketing and communications professionals can interpret data and statistics to develop content/branding strategies based on analytics that provide the fact-based evidence to back up “bright ideas”.

Modern marketing and communications professionals can apply big data in new ways. As an example of leveraging big data insights from social media to optimize product campaigns, we used SAP Social Media Analytics by NetBase, a high-precision natural language processing (NLP) engine to process billions of social media posts, to extract structured insights relating to Formula One (F1). The pulse of F1 was then transposed into infographics and shared with traditional and social media channels, resulting in higher awareness for the NetBase solution.

Another example is in issues management and crisis communications. Having a finger on the sentiment of online conversations can identify threats as they arise. It can also provide practitioners with an opportunity to defuse a situation that otherwise might explode in traditional and social media.


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