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August 9, 2013

Q&A: How to make Big Data more effective for SMEs

Malcolm Duckett, CEO at marketing company Magiq, tells Amy-Jo Crowley what skills mid-market companies need to use big data effectively.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Why are you addressing mid-market companies and not larger ones?

When you look at the way people use big data, certainly in the larger organisations, they tend to employ significant teams of analysts to make good use of the information they have on their customers. As you get into the mid-market, that becomes harder because often those analytical teams don’t exist. So marketers are left with a problem. They have the opportunity to use all the data that comes from the online channel without the resources.

What we’ve discovered is quite a lot of people do want to catch hold of all the data that’s available about people’s behaviour. They want to go on to do a level of analytics to understand their customer because that helps you design better campaigns.

You have teamed up with Differentia Consulting. Why was that?

What we’re trying to do with Diffentia is to try and bridge that gap and produce results in a format and style that make more sense to the marketing team. They come from a business intelligence (BI) background. Traditionally BI hasn’t had a big role to play in marketing because the data that you get from online traditionally is information on a technical level about page hits, impressions and clicks, which is no use to a marketer. They want information about people and business that came back a second time.

By working with them, we’re able to give them the information about the individual, the profile and the behaviour.

Magiq offers the Smarter LCM dashboard. What does it do?

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It digests the information that we hand them about the individuals and turns it into more meaningful and manageable analytical data that the average marketer could consume, without having marketers and data scientists.

For example, one of the things we’ve been watching is the growth of the Infographics. If you go to a group, like, you’ll find that people are starting to exploit data as pictorial representations to get across ideas. And that’s the sort of thing we’re aiming to do with Smarter LCM. The point being is you’ve got to present the information in a format that’s consumable. It’s no good providing people with tables and figures if they’re not digestible.

Secondly, you’ve got to talk about things that make sense to them. You need to talk to them about businesses. The LCM part – one of the concepts behind Magiq is this idea that you wander through a lifecycle with a brand. What you’re trying to do in your marketing is to match that process and data can help you do that. If you watch them over time, hopefully you can start to engage them step by step.

There’s a lot of hype about Big Data these days. Is it justified?

I saw a lovely quote a little while ago, "Big data is just ordinary data with great PR." When I started in this business I used to think a megabyte was a lot of information and now I know it isn’t.

And yes there’s a lot of hype about it but actually the results you get, properly done, can produce outstanding results. When we started Magiq and started running campaigns for people, we ended up in situations where we could run targeted email campaigns that would cause 40% of the people we targeted to go ahead and purchase. We also saw insurance companies, who ran targeted telephone campaigns, where a third of the people they called bought the product they called them about.






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