Big Data Drives Big Loyalty

loyaltyWhat’s the biggest thing in marketing? Big data. Over the next decade, the best marketers will be the ones with the best data and the most effective algorithms.

I’m a digital marketer, a SQL database administrator and an internet programmer, so it was probably inevitable for Rajat Paharia’s book, Loyalty 3.0: How to Revolutionize Customer and Employee Engagement with Big Data and Gamification, to be the most influential book on my summer reading list. Why? Because its the first marketing book that bridges the gap between what great marketing used to be (A ‘big idea’) and what it’s become: big data.

Marketing that’s based on customer insights (aka data) is always more successful that marketing that isn’t.  It’s how we identify the right customers for the products we sell; get them the information they need when they need it; and ensure that the information we provide to customers changes with their needs.  The biggest obstacle to leveraging customer insights has always been finding insights, collecting them, integrating them from many different (internal and external) sources and interpreting them quickly enough.

Big data solves solves for many of these variables. Social media monitoring  gives us access to limitless conversations among customers, in any industry. We can observe customers frustrations, needs and behaviors.  From our own marketing data, sales data, and customer service data we know what attracts prospects, creates customers and drives loyalty.

Big data. The trick is pulling it all together.

In Loyalty 3.0, Rajat defines a process for aligning customer motivations, business goals and big data.

It all comes down to game design principles (fast feedback, transparency, goals, etc) to create relevant data points. Then, by leveraging powerful algorithms to interpret a jungle of big data at lightening speed.  It’s about using big data to identify the best potential customers, provide them with the best solutions, and create the best loyalty.

It’s not about creating better marketing messages anymore. It’s about creating better marketing systems.