I came across an insightful piece by Kara Trivunovic about big data and how to utilize it for email marketing. Two recommendations are particularly useful:
First, she reminds us not to use data just because we can. Segment and target because we need to, and only do so if we can measure the results.
In her words:
Watch Out for Hyper-Targeting
Achieving a near 1:1 email communication experience has long been the Holy Grail of the email marketing vertical. With the highly dynamic tools and technical capabilities available today, the ability to communicate in that manner is relatively easy to accomplish - the challenge arises when you want to learn what the engagement means to your business overall. Many times, the success or failure of leveraging big data to drive targeting and segmentation doesn't happen because of your ability to do it - rather your ability to measure it.
Second, customers are getting used to this special treatment. Watch out for the bait and switch.
In her words:
Know What to Say
Whether big data is on your radar as an analytic effort for your marketing department or your email program specifically or not, you are certainly hearing the conversations about it. We all have the ability to be more prescriptive with the consumer today and oftentimes there is an expectation that you "just know" these things about them. Acting contradictorily to their expectations could be detrimental in the long run. After all, you don't want your recipients closing out your email, asking themselves, "Don't they know me at all?"
Read the complete original.