The Deluge

You’re almost certainly aware of the proliferation of data and data sources around you. But you might not realize how much data we’re surrounded by every day, or how quickly the production of data is growing.

The term “Big Data” came into general usage in 2012. That year, 2.5 exabytes of marketing data were created worldwide. 2017 is on target to create 1.46 zettabytes. That’s 584 times as much data than 2012’s output—and that doesn’t even approach the 16.3 ZB of total data to be created this year.

At the end of 2017, the estimated total cumulative marketing data in the world will be 4.4 ZB. That amount will more than double with 2018’s expected 5.4 ZB of marketing data.

What does that mean in terms of usage? It means that as of 2017, every minute:

  • Google conducts 3.6 million searches
    • Does your content match the search terms your customers use?
  • Twitter users send out 456,000 tweets
    • Is your content easily sharable and share-worthy?
  • 5 million spam emails are received
    • Do your content-promoting emails get opened?

Over the next 8 years, total global data is expected to grow ten-fold, from 16.3 ZB to 167 ZB. According to a report released by IDC and sponsored by Seagate, the primary source of data will shift from entertainment to “productivity” data (which includes marketing data). Major growth will also be seen in “embedded” data, most of which is from IoT devices.

Marketing Data Challenges

We’ve asked marketing leaders about their data-related challenges. Some of the most frequent responses include:

  • Data siloed within departments or teams
  • Data siloed within platforms or sources
  • Combining data from different sources without distortions or duplications
  • Choosing which data to consider when making strategic decisions
  • Using data carefully, to nurture leads rather than overwhelming or ignoring them
  • Working with small slices or segments of data
  • Taking the numbers from data and converting them to practical actions

This series will address all of the above issues and lay out a plan for getting complete, trustworthy data; approaching your data with a scientific mindset; and applying that data to content development.

“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.”

—E.O. Wilson, The Unity of Knowledge, 1998

Drowning in Data, but Thirsty for Insight?

When they named it “Big Data,” they weren’t kidding. Marketers have more data than ever at their disposal, but interpreting it can seem overwhelming and intimidating, like being lost at sea. Multiple collection platforms and the sheer volume of data they produce pose one set of problems, while internal challenges such as data silos and unclear data ownership further complicate matters.

Dealing with the data deluge is frustrating on its own, and that frustration is compounded by the knowledge that having usable data could help every aspect of your marketing team. Good data could be especially helpful for your content team, to guide them in creating and promoting content that has a real impact on your conversions and revenue.

This blog series will cover known issues with data, how to get trustworthy data, a framework for approaching data and applying it to content planning, and creating a data-driven culture.

Posts in this series:

In the constantly changing world of digital marketing, new challenges appear every day. Is your team capable of responding to or anticipating these challenges while providing strategic insight to keep your company growing in the face of change? Our team is.  


Elizabeth Crinejo

Elizabeth Crinejo

Director of Client Operations at 360Partners
Elizabeth Crinejo has been a PR account executive, a programmer, and a consultant -- and a professional chef. Since joining 360Partners in 2009, Elizabeth has simultaneously managed data-oriented detail and top-level thinking to make impressive strategic and tactical differences for our clients.
Elizabeth Crinejo

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