Today each of us interacts with businesses. Sometimes it’s through a tweet, a purchase, a call with a center call representative or the click on an email. And behind these interactions is what is undoubtedly at the heart of any business and its success, data.
The importance of data is nothing new. In fact, most people agree that these details are arguably a company’s most valuable asset. What is new however is the size of this data mountain, which can no longer be measured in terms terabytes, petabytes, exabytes, zettabytes or even yottabytes. Pretty soon you will start hearing about a new term of measurement, the brontobyte.
The term brontobyte is likely new to most, so let’s put it in perspective—a brontobyte is roughly the equivalent of a billion times all the grains of sand on the planet. That’s a huge amount of information and the reaction of many may be to turn a blind eye (or to run and hide) and continue with a business as usual approach. But the fact is successful marketers have will no choice but to plug into this data in order to engage customers and meet their needs.
At the heart of this success will be cognitive technologies and right now, marketers are upping their investment in cognitive. Why? Cognitive has the power to pull in data from an unimaginable number of sources–from social sentiment, macro and micro trends, weather, domestic and international events, economic news and more. And the promise of cognitive extends far, far beyond obtaining data. It’s a dedicated, unbiased analyst that applies reason to the information, learns what it means, and suggests specific actions. It’s also an assistant that lets teams focus on the tasks that are most vital to the business by automating routine actions, identifying new opportunities, and making it easier to access the information you need to succeed.
But data is not only vital to marketers and can no longer be viewed solely through a marketing lens. More and more we will begin to see marketers becoming more closely aligned than ever with their counterparts across the business to deliver flawless customer experiences.
A great customer experience, these moments when a customer is truly “wowed,” the times that keep them loyal to the brand and praising their name on social media, come from a company-wide commitment to personalized experiences and engagement as well as flawless execution where the wants and needs of customers are placed at the center of the entire business.
In the months to come, more and more businesses will begin funneling data outside of marketing into areas such as product design and development, commerce and supply chain, as well as sales and all post-purchase interactions. Making this possible will be end-to-end solutions that can infuse data across the entire business, allowing teams to not only access and share the deep insights pulled from this mountain of information but then tie it into everything they do.
Products will be designed and new features released that incorporate preferences and evolving needs of customers. Campaigns will be personalized to each person, the price-optimized to ensure its in-line with competitors and the supply chain taking into account the delivery preferences of each person who will receive purchases in the time and place of their choosing.
The power and importance of data are no longer a secret but the sheer volume of these insights, how we distill these details and put it to use are dramatically changing with more and more companies embracing cognitive technologies throughout the organization. And the good news is that the big winners will be you and me, the consumer.