“Radical customization, constant experimentation, and novel business models will be new hallmarks of competition as companies capture and analyze huge volumes of data.”

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McKinsey & Company, a globally recognized management consulting firm, has been placing a lot of focus on ‘big data’ in their McKinsey Quarterly publication, including an article at the end of last year asking, “Are you ready for the era of ‘big data’?”

Big data in the retail industry is, simply put, the vast amount of data that exists about consumers, which, if leveraged correctly, can be paramount in effectively marketing to current and new customers in every industry.

McKinsey & Company looked more in-depth at this trend earlier last year with their publication, “Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity,” and found that big data is so significant that it may benefit whole national economies and their citizens, beyond just private commerce. There is a 60% potential increase in retailers’ operating margins just by using big data in their research and marketing, and everyone is a winner when customer’s get what they want from retailers who know how to market to their needs.

Recently, a New York Times article by Charles Duhigg delved into some of Target Corporation’s big data practices and how they use behavioral targeting to segment which customs get which offers, even to the point of knowing a woman is pregnant by her changed shopping habits to start sending her coupons for diapers. Large corporations like Target are using big data already and seeing a huge change in their consumer engagement.

CMS Wire found that the best way to utilize big data to the fullest is with a digital marketing platform. 2011 marked the beginning of a transition toward customer engagement and marketing platforms rather than simple content management.

“Analytics provide insight into how your customers are engaging with your content. Any basic analytics platform can tell you how many customers visit your digital channels and the content they engage most with. A well implemented enterprise-level analytics platform will provide much more: it can help you analyze how customers behave in and across all of your digital channels. For example, with the right tools you can analyze the entire path that one or more customers take from mobile, social, email or web and provide insight into how your content, navigation and technology are helping or hindering them in accomplishing their educational or shopping goal.”

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For more information on how Outsell answers the need for digital engagement in the ‘era of big data’, click here.