We’ve been enjoying bringing thought and discussion around the key themes of Integrated Marketing Week to our subscribers and blog community early with Google+ Hangouts.

If you missed our recent Hangout on big data, catch up with a quick read on some of the key points here!

According to Econsultancy research 80% of the market (including SMEs and Enterprise) still struggles with data best practice in marketing.

An all-star panel assembled by our VP of Research in New York, Stefan Tornquist, tackled data in all its iterations Wednesday.

Participants included:

  • Jim Delaney, CEO at Marketwired
  • Graeme Noseworthy, Marketing Director, IBM
  • Chris O’Hara, Chief Revenue Officer, NextMark

The full 60 min discussion is available to watch on our YouTube channel here.

Moderator: In 2004, a Walmart case study on customer shopping habits really put “big data” on the map for marketers. What has changed, specifically as far as multiple data sets, since?

Chris O’Hara:

A lot of people are put off because big data can mean petabytes or the data that comes from smashing two molecules together. If you look at a big consumer products company, this really is the problem they are facing…multiple databases across locations.

Graeme Noseworthy:

The way I like to look at big data when it comes to marketing are the four rights: the right message, right person, right time, right place. It’s a 360 degree view of the customer, but also understanding how to apply it. What marketers should be looking for doesn’t have to do with the size. They need to look for the data of desire. This is data that tells you something about your customer and helps you take an action against it. It could be understanding their behavior on the web, or how they use a second screen to find where the next best offer is.

Jim Delaney:

The whole conversation has been born from the fact that technology has gotten better and better. Disparate data sets are now more easily collected and digested and some of them allow for that action. If you think about Twitter, that’s real-time data…but in a specific structure. We are to the point where the IBM data warehouse approach will be applied to social more and more.

Moderator: So first-party data being the easiest layer that business has access to, the most frequent thing I see applied is retargeting. What other first-party data plans and programs are there?

Chris O’Hara:

Third-party data may not be as available in the future. Using first-party data, you can use a data management system to build a picture of what your consumer looks like. An example of this is in publishing, where they are using their first-party data to help advertisers go out and find lookalikes.

A lot of third-party data is applied to inventory that isn’t necessarily high quality. Big brands might be happy with bots and automation, but then you hear stats like 30% of advertising is going to websites where no one sees it.”

Graeme Noseworthy:

The power for marketers lies in the first-party data. The extension of that data lies in the third-party. A coupon that is generated when you transact at a drug store is a perfect example of great use of first-party data. In the time that it takes you to swipe that credit card, they have looked at your past purchase history, other customers like you, the store’s metrics…it’s not a randomly generated offer…which is what a lot of people think.

Jim Delaney:

Once we understand who a customer is through their buying patterns it’s becoming less of the push strategy because we can understand more through a person’s social connections. This is the power of the influencer to serve as a broker or go-between to help influence a customer decision.

Moderator: So if you are an SME that is ready to move beyond just having a really good sales database, how can they balance real value in big data against cost?

Chris O’Hara:

In my mind, depending on the application, you can usually make it pay for itself. Say I am a financial news publisher who uses a CRM tool to link up who is a business user through tracking things like time of day on site, and mobile OS — a Blackberry for instance. Because I know that data, I can sell an ad to an advertiser targeting him for $2.50 rather than a quarter. So that’s a 10x benefit.

Graeme Noseworthy:

The whole thing is the idea of investing ahead of scale. There are some things we know that data is always going to do. It’s always going to grow, and there is a real need to be invested across the tools and talent.

Editors note: Our next Google+ “On Air” Hangout for the video expert series around #IMW13 will be on Wednesday, June 5, 2013: Noon EST. The topic is emerging platforms and trends, and the panelists include: Rick Bruner, formerly of Google/DoubleClick and Tom Cunniff of Cunniff Consulting.