Digital innovation is changing the way we shop, compare prices, receive discounts, use coupons, and how we pay for merchandise and services. Every day all this new digital activity is creating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. In fact, 90 percent of the world’s data today has been created in the just last two years alone. For the CMO, does this growing wave of Big Data represent progress or a problem? A help or hindrance?

Without a mechanism to evaluate data and create a narrative that helps us see progression, we sink under data’s weight rather than rise with its tides. To ground our focus, Big Data should help us accomplish the overarching objectives central to every marketing enterprise —Acquiring, maintaining and growing customer relationships and measuring all efforts across channels against these goals.

With this in mind, I’ll offer up what I call ‘The Four Data Waves’ to help guide us. We’ll take a look at what data is available and assess how well it helps us accomplish the aforementioned goals in a measurable and real way.

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So how do these waves all combine to the benefit of a CMO? The evolution of data shows a clear progression from intent to action, from friend to customer, and from passerby to shopper. However, two questions remain, especially for those CMOs focused on retail conversions:

  1. Will the first three data waves gradually recede from shore, revealing that spending data alone is the quickest way to purchase?
  2. Or will all four waves converge like a tidal bore of data, empowering CMOs with a more complete picture of the path to purchase — from intent to transaction, and from the top of funnel to the bottom?

Only time will tell.

What are your thoughts? Please enter your comments in the box below.

Mark Marinacci is chief revenue officer at edō. Prior to joining edō, Marinacci held multiple leadership roles a Google, most recently as head of retail where he managed a team responsible for some of the company’s largest retail partners.

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Jeff Fagel, Former VP Marketing

Jeff Fagel was formerly edo Vice President, Marketing and Brand Development.

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