With 2014 being the year of “big data,” hopefully 2015 will be the year where we start using that data as part of our decision making process when creating and executing plans to connect with our targets online. Whether it’s through display advertising, paid search, social media, mobile, or thought leadership, we now have the data AND the tools to measure how successful past efforts have been and to guide us on future efforts.
It’s why things like todays acquisition of UberVU by Hootsuite are so important and will be a continuing trend in 2014. Businesses were happy for a while to just get the tools that make connecting to their audiences easier, and were less concerned with the results outside of the basic numbers (views, likes, retweets, etc.). But with the term “big data” being thrown around, they want more, and they deserve more. Now businesses want the tools to connect, more insightful data points and analysis that they can review against their own stated success metrics all in one tool.
The question is where does this ultimately lead us? Will companies like Hootsuite be happy to just be the guys who can help you manage your social media campaigns and give you great data? Or do they want to continue to grow into a platform that tracks your other online data points too (web traffic, digital display, CPC, etc.)? Where does this leave tools like Tableau, the new breed of BI tools, that sit on top of all your big data and help analyze and visualize it? Will they need to add execution tools to keep up? Does this all lead to the creation of robust, real time marketing platforms?
I don’t know the answer but I can say 2014 is shaping up to be an interesting year when it comes to the intersection of execution, big data, and analytics. As online marketers, we will get to be the beneficiaries.