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Finding a focus in the endless sea of marketing data

Rachel Wheeler Archive

The world of retail information mining has become more muddled than ever before. Not only are businesses gaining customers every day, but they're also using more advanced strategies for collecting information on those customers. In other words, "big data" has never been bigger.

It can be difficult for retailers to make sense of all the information at their fingertips. What matters most to them? Should they focus on collecting more knowledge, maintaining data quality or taking more tangible actions based on their analytics??

According to the National Retail Federation, it can be difficult to measure success or build on it with all the mass confusion surrounding heavy volumes of data. The NRF's BIG Blog says that retail executives must focus on getting relevant, actionable input from customers. Tom O'Reilly, chief executive officer of enterprise marketing solution provider Aptaris, believes this will help retailers achieve success.

"Retailing excellence will rely more and more on a positive feedback loop that begins with research and insights to help segment and target your activities," O'Reilly said, according to the source. "Next comes positioning and offering selection through the right marketing mix. You've got to be able to execute clear from plan to store floor, then measure results and provide actionable feedback that improves the process through each cycle."

O'Reilly noted that retailers these days are "drowning in metrics." They have so much data on their hands right now that it's difficult to sift through everything and find the most relevant information. What they really need right now isn't data quantity - it's easy access to metrics that will help them act quickly with agility.

In the old days, merchants made decisions based on hours spent poring over spreadsheets and studying numbers. That strategy is no longer efficient enough. Today, the changing market demands real-time analytics and fast action.