As I mentioned in my last article, clients are awash in data. None seem to get their hands around making it useful. This is a shame. As someone who has modeled client-side data for close to four decades, the most relevant data for prediction purposes is consumer interaction data, be it their purchase order, social sentiment or web-side interactions. Third party data, such as demographics or clustering, sometimes fills out the picture, but rarely provides the majority of the insight about what defines a best customer. It is most useful in providing creative visuals. As a media planning tool, it will become more irrelevant with each passing year.
The Internet of Things will be the next Big Thing. As products become smart, and can provide back data to the end client about how they are utilized, marketers will be able to get real metrics on how a product is consumed. This will allow marketers to better plan re-sell and up-sell strategies, as these devices report back precise details. Gone will be the knowledge that the average age of an import car buyer is 38. What will be more relevant is that there are three consumption patterns involving that auto, with average lifecycles of 24 months, 37 months or 96 months. The IOT will report back these trends.
The IOT will be big data on steroids. The IT team will need to sort through these log files, structure the data for analysis, and Data Scientists will move marketing forward by understanding the underlying consumption trends over time. This will be a good thing, as marketers redirect their scarce resources to devices or products that logically need to be replaced. This should bring with it a new wave of companies who will power this revolution. Media will wane, as marketing becomes less about acquiring the new customer and more about better servicing existing relationships.