Big data isn't limited to technology companies like IBM and Google anymore. Businesses across a range of industries are increasing their information intake to make their work more intelligent and efficient. The Wall Street Journal reports that combining comments on social networks with mobile device location information and sales histories can provide firms with insights into the best ways to price and promote their products.
This phenomenon is taking place throughout the retail market as a way to personalize customer experiences, increase satisfaction and boost loyalty. However, companies with poor address management tools can completely miss the mark and even alienate customers by extending their marketing across channels, according to Fast Company contributor Rob Salkowitz.
Salkowitz writes that he has experienced a strange trend since traditional retailers have bridged the gap into electronic communications. Brands that excel in face-to-face customer service are faltering when it comes to online conversations. Nordstrom, a retailer that's known for leaving clients satisfied, has sales associates who can remember his size and past purchases, Salkowitz explains. But the brand sends him emails that are geared toward women, promoting the latest trends in handbags and jewelry.
While big data has great potential to help firms optimize customers' buying experiences, it can also reveal underlying data quality issues and compromise their reputations, Salkowitz wrote for the media outlet.
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