It may have taken 62 spots and a captive audience of golf fans, but by gosh you’ve actually done it. Congratulations! You’re the first company to finally define, in human terms, with true emotion and real examples, why “big data” matters.
Over the course of one glorious weekend in April, you helped big data grow out of its awkward teenage
phase and into adulthood. My favorite quote of the last few months from Duke University professor Dan Ariely describes the former state of big data perfectly: “Big data is like teenage sex:
everybody talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it…”
Yes, big data is growing up. By pulling it into the bright global spotlight that is The Masters, you’ve aligned your brand with perhaps the most meaningful movement of our generation: the “datafication” of the world around us. Kudos to your marketing team and Ogilvy for thoughtful strategy and near-flawless execution.
In each spot, which ran once during the televised golf tournament, IBM’s consumers and customers awake to a new day with a greater appreciation of the unavoidable truth that data powers everything. The sales receipt on the counter of a busy city diner, a car company plotting electrical recharge stations, even a fan sitting in the nosebleeds at a football game; they’re all connected to and influenced by data. Whether it be the number of eggs a farm needs to produce, or the type of treatment that a doctor recommends for a patient, these examples drive home the central theme: data makes it better.
In my opinion, the only area of this strategy that could use some refinement is how data can influence social marketing. The spot “Influence made with Social Media” begins with an assumption: “the biggest misconception about social business is that it’s social media.” It asserts that social business is about crowdsourced innovation and streamlining feedback from customers -- the area of social largely painted with a “social listening” brush.
While social listening is certainly part of a holistic social business strategy, this approach seems to narrowly define the potential impact of social media marketing. What about leveraging big data to efficiently find new customers, serve more relevant marketing messages, and develop more loyalty and frequency from existing customers? Using data to personalize, localize, and make your marketing more relevant is the Holy Grail for digital marketers and represents a better commercial experience between consumers and the brands that matter to them.
This work starts by deeply integrating with social platforms like Twitter and Facebook, often credited as the birth parents of relevant big data. Just as the farmers in your spot match their IBM-sourced egg-consumption data to their own product statistics to determine supply and demand, social media marketers must match their data with first- and third-party systems to get better results.
Imagine that moment when a store recognizes you as you enter, and serves you a personalized mobile message based on your buying patterns and
social profile. You then buy more strawberries because they’re fresh today and on sale, and that purchase alerts your strawberry-loving friends on Facebook to fill their cart with fresh
strawberries. This is the promise of big data meeting social business.
Do I see spot #63? Either way, congratulations on the first 62 in the series. You’ve done more for big data than it may ever know or appreciate. Typical teenager.
Your admiring fan,