Customer Interaction Data More Important Than Transactions

Breaking BIGThe next big thing for data-based marketers will be understanding what customers are going to do rather than just knowing what they’ve done. That means interactive data, including sensor-related information from mobile phones, will be more important to marketers than just transaction-level data, said Stephen Brobst, CTO of Teradata Corp., during his Sunday morning session at the Teradata 2015 Partners Conference and Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center.

“Mobile will be the channel that matters,” with data from the devices helping create geo-based, real-time marketing, he said.

Most organizations with data warehouses are using transaction-level data in relational databases, but they need to be more like Amazon and Netflix and incorporate customer interactions into models they create before storing useful data – most likely in the cloud, Brobst advised during the talk titled “The Future of Data Warehousing.”

Clad in a Hawaiian shirt and sporting a hairdo reminiscent of Emmett “Doc” Brown’s in “Back to the Future,” Brobst spoke to a rapt, capacity crowd in a convention center ballroom. Clickstream and sensor data need to join transactional and other information in a predictive model-ready data warehouse that’s equipped with marketing automation, because the future will be here soon and it’ll be too fast for laggards to catch, he said. Anyone who’s behind should at least test out business intelligence and analytics and “get your feet wet” so the revolution doesn’t catch them by surprise.

“Things are moving very fast, and that’s why it’s fun,” Brobst said.

Within three years, the term “Big Data” will be passe, because it will all just be called “data,” he predicts. It’ll be similar to how smartphones are only called phones now and no one talks about “dumb phones,” Brobst said. But what will distinguish marketers is how they use Big Data. It’s better to find useful data and only store it, rather than collecting everything marketers possibly can, he said.

“Smart beats big and stupid every time,” Brobst said.

The main difficulties best-in-class data marketers will encounter are data privacy and quality concerns, he adds. However, organizations need to move ahead. For instance, Brobst said, telecom companies without call-level details are behind the times. Americans, most of whom don’t even know their own blood types, expect marketers to be tracking them in order to provide them with relevant offers.

“The NSA is the only organization that actually listens to its customers,” Brobst said to audience-wide laughter. “And they do listen.”

What do marketers believe is on the data horizon?

Please respond in the comments section below.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.
Publish date: October 19, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT