Businesses need to take a more holistic approach when planning and gathering data for their online marketing operations, according to a Google digital marketing guru.
Speaking at the 2012 SES conference, Google digital marketing evangelist Avinash Kaushik said companies should leverage big data platforms as a means of better understanding how customers are connecting with sites and finding content.
Kaushik explained that rather than relying simply on a click or link that leads to a customer purchase, vendors should look to obtain a broader picture of the patterns that lead to a sale, including which search engines, social networks and landing pages customers progressed through on their way to making a purchase.
To handle such complex data, however, firms will need to sift through a far larger pool of information and logs.
To that extent, Kaushik believes that the industry will need to leverage big data platforms and visualisation tools which can provide companies with a clear picture of user trends and patterns.
Armed with better intelligence, Kaushik said that executives should take a long-term approach when planning out marketing strategies.
"We should be optimising for the next year or three years," he said. "If you do that, you will be more successful for a longer period of time."
His comments echoed that of the founder of the Digital Analytics Association, Bryan Eisenberg, who claimed big data tools would open up a new era of opportunities to smaller firms in the near future.
Additionally, Kaushik believes that firms should change the way they use social networking platforms to interact with users.
Rather than relying strictly on metrics such as 'likes' or number of followers, he suggested that companies use their social networking presence to share interesting information with users and build good faith with customers that can translate to better sales and awareness.
"The problem is that we measure the wrong things and we incentivise the wrong behaviour by our companies," he explained.
"Measuring likes and obsessing about it is like me walking down the street in London and every time someone looks at me and smiles I mark them down as a lover."
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