So what part with big data play in the upcoming year?

Dixon Jones, Marketing Director for Majestic SEO

“Big Data” is no longer a fad.  2013 is the year when APIs will take off – as new products develop which will take multiple disparate and unstructured big data sets – each owned and managed independently of each other – and the data being blended through APIs like the link graph supplied by Majestic SEO to create not only new products – but also new markets.

In the SEO world, this will help to unify traditional SEO signals with the new Social SEO signals – but these API blend may also help to define products which a vertical-centric, helping websites leverage not only direct SEO but also generate new content for their vertical, based on insights from this this blended data.

David Lane, Commercial Director, Switch

A key strategy for anyone working within RTB in 2013, will be to approach the mass of data available to us with a set of questions that you want answers to, and key achievable goals that you want to reach using in-depth analysis. 

In 2012, the industry has fully woken up to the idea that audience insight is required to make RTB an effective, efficient and targeted way of buying an audience. In the year ahead, this understanding needs to be built upon by focussing on specific outcomes that you want to see from your data analysis – be it third party, first party or impression data – with the aim to consolidate your efforts in the never ending maze that is the world of Big Data.

Jess Seilheimer, SVP Digital Strategy & Planning, Havas Life NYC

I think we are going to see CMOs put a large focus on analytics (and hiring/acquiring talent (human IP and software) with a acumen for analytics and measurement) with the CTO playing counsel through their analysis. With the advent of myriad digital tracking mechanisms we can no longer track “campaigns” at a micro level—we have to look at larger macro marketing KPIs and direct link to the viability and effectiveness of how everything works together, collectively using products like Tableau.

Shiraz Datta, Lead – Marketing CRM and Business Intelligence at Nokia

With the emergence of digital medium at the core of any marketing outreach and it ability to produce huge amount of consumer data; marketers will be faced with an enormous task to analyze the data and ensure that they alter their channel/strategies based on the intelligence and not necessary blindly following the so called current marketing trends. They need to analyze what works for them and how. Therefore I believe more and more marketers would require garnering their analytical ability to understand the space based on large amount of consumer data.

Marifran Manzo-Ritchie, Monetate Director of Corporate Communications

Thanks to consumers’ increasing use of mobile devices and social media, the volume and variety of data points available to marketers continues to grow at a staggering pace. In 2013, we will see marketers focus on implementing processes that enable them to react to both historical and real-time data to create more personalized online customer experiences in the moment.

In order to keep pace with consumer expectations and competitors, marketers must focus on harnessing Big Data sets that determine the location of a customer, his or her past buying behaviors, the current weather conditions in their particular area, in-session behavior, and more. This will enable marketers to better tailor the online experience to the individual customer, resulting in a more positive experience and, ultimately, more revenue.

Phillip Klien, CEO of SiteApps

Big data has already become a reality for many in 2012, and the trend for 2013 is the capacity to act upon this information.  The challenge in the long run is not collecting all of your data in “big data” but applying making this data available for hypothesis building and business tests.

Julia Rieger, Director of Marketing, Liveintent

‘Big Data’ will evolve by necessity into ‘Big Insight’ as this buzzword gets a much needed refinement. There has always been too much data. It’s just that now it’s has been democratized and metastasized into an unwieldy mess that only benefits storage companies and tech pundits. Expect victims of Big Data hype to lead an insurrection against use of terms like ‘Big Data’ and ‘Native Ads’.

Mark Cooper, CMO and Co-Founder of Offerpop

There are more than 1.4 billion consumers spending 22% of their online time on social platforms — and that number grows every day. So for business-to-consumer companies, big data equals big marketing data, and that in turn means big social data — since social networks provide brands with real-time data about both their content and their fans. 

In 2013, it will become crucial for brands to tap into this treasure trove of behavioral and preferences data.  We’ll see brands investing in technologies that can help them access and analyze this data, so they can create more engaging content and run ROI-driven marketing campaigns.

Toby Daniels, CEO, Crowdcentric 

Big data is completely overused and totally misunderstood.  The subject is however important, but contextualizing what it really means and how businesses need to be more data-centric is of crucial importance.  Data scientists are the new rock stars and expect some “big data” acquisitions and consolidation in 2013 a the startups who are figuring it out gain traction. 

Katie McCormick, Strategic Account Director, Networked Insights

If 2012 was the year of Big Data, 2013 will be the year of real time marketing.

Marketers will need to move beyond management of Big Data associated with social media to focus on identifying and capitalizing on the conversation drivers. In 2013, brands must learn to listen, analyze and react in real time to what is being said about their brand and competitors.

Embracing real-time marketing means setting up your marketing organizations and agencies to react in a nimble manner to what is being said in the social space. It can affect every aspect of marketing including:  creative, content, media plans, influencers strategies, detractor strategies, and PR.  Brands that embrace it are the ones that will dominate their industries in 2013.

Mark Simpson, Founder and President of Maxymiser

In the coming year, expect to see more brands getting a handle on this to offer customers more targeted offers across all channels, in real-time.Essentially, if a brand can measure, analyze and directly translate this knowledge into improved decision-making and customer experiences, it will drive improved business performance. 

In fact, most businesses have an abundance of useful data, however very few are using this data to provide targeted individual experiences—at the right time—in order to respond to savvy consumers’ needs. 

Jason Burnham, Partner, Burnham Marketing

I believe big data will be all the rage in 2013.  However, if we are to really benefit from big data, we need to address some very fundamental issues and change the ways big data is currently leveraged.  Many companies are using big data sets to correlate historical effects to predict future effects, without understanding the causation behind those effects.  

Correlation does not equal causation.  Big data sets have also become extremely large, difficult to manage, and challenging to extract real insight.  Additionally, big data lacks human context; it does not tell you the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ behind the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, and ‘when’.  As we overcome these issues, big data will begin to come into its own.

Gustav von Sydow, CEO and co-founder, Burt

More companies will adopt analytics and data platforms to collect, manage and leverage the insights hidden in the enormous amounts of data generated by their digital activities and systems.

Pierre Naggar, managing director EU, Turn

For many in our industry, it has been the ‘Year of Mobile’ for at least the last five years – but ‘big data’ is fast stealing the mantle and is certain to be one of 2013’s most talked about subjects.   

Technology is enabling faster and more efficient buying of media and allocation of marketing spend. Organisations with individuals who have the analytic skills to interpret the insights and trends that are coming out of big data are best positioned to benefit from these technological changes, whilst brands are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of actionable, real time insights into consumers.

Jon Baron, CEO at TagMan

As the amount of data produced continues to escalate, the value retailers will place on working with clear and easy-to-understand data will also increase. Advertisers are taking control of their data to empower trusted partners to deliver better results. 

The ability to consolidate and manage customer data in a clear and user-friendly format gives your marketing department and other business stakeholders, from executives to analysts, the power to use data to their advantage. The implementation of Real-Time Optimisation within IT systems will also impact on the user experience, as brands are better able to get a handle on their internal processes.

Tom Burg, Head of Marketing and Communications, US, Criteo

Performance marketers will begin make the shift to key performance indicators that genuinely make use of big data. They will start blending their reliance on transactional-based metrics like conversion rate, cost-per-action, and return on ad spend with a focus on customer lifetime value. 

Big data will help marketers begin to focus on cross-sell instead of up-sell, it will help marketers to allow customers to try a new product, and it will help them understand what entry price point works. The days of not knowing which 50% of a marketer’s advertising doesn’t work are about to be a thing of the past.

Dax Hamman, Chango

It’s astonishing how we like to confuse ourselves in this industry by creating more and more names for things! Big Data is one such term. The essence of it though is more than a fad. Big Data is the promise of digital marketing realized. It is the idea that we can remove more and more wastage from our media plans, and get to the real individuals who are likely to convert. That we can surround and understand everyone, and take that data and make it actioanable. 

And here we see Programmatic wrapped up with Big Data. Big Data by definition is really, really big! It is so big that it becomes hard to manage. Programmatic is proposed the solution to that – it gives us a way to combine many such data points and spit out some real value.

So in 2013 everyone and his dog will realize that Big Data and Programmatic are the future, but this may create an artificial high. For instance, knowing that you can target ’30-something, female owners of blind Golden Retrievers, who live in Chicago’ is amazing if you are selling bedazzled, blacked-out canine glasses in Illinois, until you realize there are 7 people that match your profile and have to then start dropping points of data to get more scale. Big Data and Programmatic Marketing are here to come, but have to be used correctly.

Matthew Standish, CEO of IDInteract

Gartner believes that in 2013, enterprises will move away from the concept of a single enterprise data warehouse, replacing it with a multi-system approach that leverages content management, data warehouses, and data marts, among others, that offers a more efficient, logical approach to the Big Data management challenge.  

Just as Gartner foresees a more intelligent approach to Big Data management, we believe that a more streamlined, integrated approach to data analytics will gain traction in the coming year. 

Rather than analyzing data from a certain channel – such as social media or mobile – in a vacuum, enterprises will seek out solutions that cross-pollinate data across these silos to create a more wholistic view of brand sentiment and demand within the market.