Corporate Eye

4 Ways Brands Can Use Big Data to Optimize Marketing Results

Big data is the big thing these days, and companies are actively looking for ways to make sense of large scale information assets in order to affordably process that data, gain insights from it, and use it for effective decision-making. Considering that 5 exabytes of data is generated online every two days, harnessing the power of big data is a big task.

Taking a closer look, it’s clear that big data is growing at an increasingly fast rate:

  • 100 terabytes of data are uploaded daily.
  • 294 billion emails are sent every day.
  • 234 million tweets are published on Twitter every day.
  • 4.8 trillion online ad impressions were served during 2011.
  • 2.7 zettabytes of data exist in the digital universe.
  • 60% growth occurs in structured and unstructured data annually.
  • 35 zettabytes of data will be generated annually by 2020.

Companies can view this astounding growth in one of two ways — as a big problem or as a big opportunity. IBM is just one of the companies that sees big data as a big opportunity. IBM offers enterprise technology and support to help companies use big data to optimize brand marketing performance and their bottom-lines.

According to IBM, there are four specific ways that big data can be used:

1. Audience Optimization

Big data can be used to identify high potential audiences and accurately target them. For example, Epsilon increased retention and revenues by 20% using the IBM Netezza data warehouse appliance to simplify advanced analytics on massive data volumes.

2. Content Optimization

Big data can be used to enable the right message at the right time via the right content targeting. For example, Kelley Blue Book improved conversion rates and reduced model processing time from three days to one day (a reduction of 48 hours) using IBM’s Netezza data warehouse appliance to personalize content.

3. Yield Optimization

Big data can be used to maximize ad inventory by identifying high-value audiences across publisher properties. For example, MediaMath increased its delivery output by 10-times while cutting necessary manpower in half and displayed 13 million ad impressions per day using the IBM Netezza data warehouse appliance.

4. Channel Optimization

Big data can be used to optimize ad media purchase by understanding the value of channels higher up in the funnel. For example, Merkle reduced end-to-end run time for marketing campaign execution using IBM Netezza advanced analytics software.

IBM shares many these statistics about big data and more in its The Big Data Flood infographic, which you can see below. Click the image to view it at full size.

big data infographic

Is your company leveraging big data to improve brand marketing performance yet? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.