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2014-03-27Courtney Subramanian

这也大数据,那也大数据。大数据这个硅谷流行词已经无处不在——去年它甚至被收入《牛津英语词典》(the Oxford English Dictionary)——它似乎包罗万象,又似乎无比空洞。


????对有些行业来说,大数据带来的好处仍模糊不清,但营销行业面临的情况稍微要清晰一些。营销人员利用关于目标受众的复杂数据集可能带来更有效的宣传和可衡量的竞争优势。可能正是因为如此,市场调研机构弗雷斯特研究公司(Forrester Research)最近的一份报告显示,超过三分之二的机构预计在未来一年将增加数据管理服务支出,41%的机构预计在未来一年将支出增加5%至10%。



????广告-科技公司Rocket Fuel是一家位于加州雷德伍德城的创业公司,致力于借助人工智能确定在线广告投放,帮助营销人员使数据自动化,以获得最理想的广告投放,并使用预测算法为今后的营销活动提供数据。

????Rocket Fuel 首席营销官埃里克?波雷斯说:“我们认为,借助机器并行处理远比单靠人的猜测来做决策要靠谱得多。”

????Rocket Fuel成立已经有5年时间,客户包括东芝公司(Toshiba)。东芝希望Rocket Fuel帮助提升其Kira 超级本的销量。借助自己的平台,Rocket Fuel发现,商务旅行者和葡萄酒鉴赏家最有可能购买这款设备。通过针对上述人群发布定向广告,东芝的广告支出平均回报达到了8:1——换言之,每花出1美元的广告费,就获得8美元的收入。

????“大数据不仅提供这些理解人类行为的诱人线索,” 波雷斯说。“它还能转变营销人员对沟通和战略议题如何与自身目标与目的相结合这个问题的看法。”


????这个平台的核心是AirPR创始人沙拉姆?法拉德嘎-梅塞所说的“公关智慧”。它是一种竞争力分析,将纽约泛欧证券交易所(NYSE Euronext)这样的大企业以及网站开发公司Wix这样的小公司分别与自身竞争者作比较,对比品牌知名度等因素。





????Big data this, big data that. The popular Silicon Valley buzzword has become so ubiquitous -- the term was even added to the Oxford English Dictionary last year -- that it seems to mean everything and nothing at the same time.

????Big data will transform industries! Change the way we work and live! Alter the future of computing as we know it! (Imagine the confusion among executives who feel competitive pressure to actually incorporate the concept into their business.)

????The benefits of big data are still nebulous for some, but the marketing industry faces a slightly clearer proposition. For marketers, harnessing complex data sets about a target audience could produce more effective campaigns and measurable competitive advantage. Which may be why more than two-thirds of organizations expect to ramp up spending on data management services in the next year, according to a recent report from Forrester Research, and 41% expect to increase spending between 5% and 10% in the next year.

????"It's not really a question of big data as much as it's a question of the right data," Forrester principal Sheryl Pattek says. "It's about turning data into insights that you can act on to drive business."

????Marketers are not quantitative experts -- not quite in the way that a data scientist is, anyway. Yet they are expected to justify every dollar they invest and make data-driven decisions on brand strategy. Digital marketing involves more channels, platforms, and audience segments than ever before. Analytics tools to track web and social trends only scratch the surface of the intelligence that can be gleaned. Is there a better -- organized, structured -- way to integrate it all for a better view?

????Ad-tech companies like Rocket Fuel, a Redwood City, Calif.-based startup using artificial intelligence to determine advertisement placements online, are working to help marketers automate data for optimal ad delivery and use predictive algorithms to inform future campaigns.

????"The idea is that this parallel processing with machines gives you far greater power than you could ever have by trying to guess your way into making a decision," says Eric Porres, Rocket Fuel's chief marketing officer.

????Toshiba is one of the companies that enlisted the five-year-old company to help drive sales for its Kira Ultrabook laptop computer. Using its platform, Rocket Fuel discovered that business travelers and wine connoisseurs were most likely to purchase the device. By orienting its ad spend to this group, Toshiba achieved an average 8:1 return on ad spend -- in other words, $8 in revenue for every $1 in ads spent.

????"Not only does online offer these tantalizing clues into human behavior," Porres says, "but it's also a way to shift how marketers see their issues of communication and strategy married to their goal and objectives."

????AirPR is another tech company working with marketers to improve their results. The San Francisco-based startup recently rolled out Analyst, a platform that uses machine statistical analysis to measure return on investment of public relations and marketing spends. The firm, a type of Match.com marketplace for PR, is betting that it can help marketers understand the quantitative value of PR campaigns and more quickly eliminate programs that aren't working.

????Core to the platform is what AirPR founder Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer calls "PR intelligence," a sort of competitive analysis that rates large companies like NYSE Euronext and small shops like the web development company Wix against their competitors for factors such as brand awareness.

????"Data alone is not enough," Fouladgar-Mercer says. "Companies that cut through the fat to showcase what data is important for decision making will help elevate the entire ecosystem."

????Forrester's Pattek, who regularly works with CMOs on strategy, says that a benefit of data-driven marketing is in transitioning an entire organization -- not just the marketing team -- to understanding how to use data to win and retain customers.

????"Data has allowed CMOs a seat at the executive table to really talk in business terms through these non-monetary models," Pattek says. "But they have to be comfortable with it first."


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