What is Big Data in Marketing? Real-life Examples

In the modern market term “Big Data” has been gaining a lot of recognition across numerous industries. We already know that Data plays a crucial role when it comes to marketing. But what exactly does Big Data mean in Marketing? 

Well, Big Data refers to the collection of massive structured and unstructured data that gets generated on a daily basis. Big Data can help marketers generate customer loyalty programs, identify new market opportunities, create marketing strategies, and much more.

In this article, we are going to take an in-depth look at big data in marketing, the importance of big data in marketing, the role of big data in marketing, and much more. So, let’s begin. 

What is Big Data in Marketing?

Big Data in marketing refers to the collection, breakdown, and usage of huge amounts of structured and unstructured data generated through different platforms and sources on a daily basis.

Big data has a significant impact on marketing as it helps enable marketers to gain insight into their customer behavior, demographics, and preferences by collecting data from numerous sources such as customer feedback, website analytics, and social media platforms.

By collecting essential data from numerous platforms, marketing teams can improve customer loyalty and engagement, support in making pricing decisions, and even optimize your overall performance.

Real-life Examples of Big Data in Marketing

To help you understand the role of Big Data in marketing and sales better, we have mentioned some of the top real-life examples of Big Data and how it has been used in various industries. 


Big Data plays a major role in the transportation industry as it powers GPS smartphone applications. Which helps in providing proper directions from different locations and helps them reach their destination in the least amount of time.

Satellite images and government agencies are included in GPS data sources. It helps simplify and streamline transportation by congestion management and suggests traffic-prone routes for your destination. 

Even Airplanes create massive volumes of data, in the order of 1,000 gigabytes for transatlantic flights. Aviation analytics are used to analyze various aspects such as weather conditions, fuel efficiency, cargo weights, and more. 


The Healthcare Industry is another industry where Big Data seems to be making a major impact. Wearable devices and sensors are highly utilized in the healthcare industry for collecting patients’ records and information which are fed in real-time to individuals’ electronic health records.

Apart from this, Big Data can also be utilized for Early symptom detection to avoid preventable diseases, Prediction of epidemic outbreaks, Enhanced analysis of medical images, Enhanced patient engagement, and more. 


Big Data has also been extensively used in the Education Industry by administrators, stakeholders, and faculty members. Big Data can help customize curricula and academic programs based on the needs of individual students.

Predictive analytics have also been used to provide insight into a student’s result to the institutes, and even provide input on the job market for students after graduation. Big Data can also help identify students’ personal data trails to generate a better and more clear understanding of their learning patterns, styles, and behaviors. 

Three Types of Big Data For Marketers

There are three types of big data that interest marketers when it comes to improving your brand which are: Customer, Financial, and Operational. 

Customer Data 

The first type of big data for marketers is “Customer Data”, which helps marketers understand their target audience and their preferences. In this, marketers collect the basic information about their customers which includes their names, email, web searches, and purchase histories. This kind of data can also be collected through online surveys, communities, and social media activity of the customer.

Financial Data 

Financial Data is another extremely important type of Big Data required for the measurement of performance and effective operation of the organization or business. There are different categories available in this type of big data which includes revenue, sales, profits, and other objective data that assess the financial health of the company. Such type of data is often held on the financial systems of the organization. 

Operational Data 

Lastly, we have “Operational Data”, which relates to Business processes and internal functions. These kinds of data are related to shipping and logistics, feedback from hardware sensors, customer relationship management systems, and various other sources.

Companies Using Big Data For Marketing

Now that we have learned about Big Data in marketing, let’s look at some of the companies that are using Big Data for marketing. Below we have mentioned some Big Data in Marketing examples to help you understand how big data is used in businesses. 


Popular online retail giant Amazon has been actively using the benefits of Big Data to access their customers’ information such as Names, Addresses, Payments, and search history for use in advertising algorithms. Amazon also uses the collected information to improve its relations with its customers, for a faster and efficient customer service experience. 


Netflix is undoubtedly one of the leading video streaming platforms accessed by users across the world. This platform also utilizes Big Data to provide a clear insight into the viewing habits of their consumers to understand their preferences. By collecting this data, Netflix utilizes it to commission original programming content that can appeal globally as well.

They purchase the rights to the series or film box sets that they know will perform exceptionally overseas with a certain audience. One of the reasons why Netflix is so popular is because they actually look into the preferences of their consumers through insights generated by Big Data and listen to what their consumers desire. 

Capital One

Capital One also utilizes big data management to ensure the success of customer offerings. This company generates an analysis of the demographics along with the spending habits of their customers. Then, based on the analysis Capital One generates various offers to clients at optimal times, which can help increase their conversion rates through communications. 


Kroger is another impressive retail company that utilizes Big Data to generate effective marketing solutions for its audience. Kroger provides personalized direct mail coupons to its customers.

Kroger requires a big data marketing solution to generate a list of customer names that should receive a coupon and when they should be sent. The coupon return rate of Kruger is considered one of the most striking indicators of big data success. 

How is Big Data Changing Marketing?

Big Data has revolutionized the marketing and sales industries with its ability to generate a better understanding of personas and campaign performance. Data plays a crucial role in marketing and business leaders and organizations need to embrace it to stay competitive and applicable in the current market environment. 

Better Accuracy: Big data helps business leaders understand their customers more accurately with proper insights. It can collect and analyze large amounts of information, which can help marketers understand their customers, their needs, preferences, and more. 

Improve customer service: Big data can help provide improved and better customer service, by analyzing its customer’s behavior. Based on the insights generated, marketers can identify the pain points and look out for areas that need improvements. By tracking interaction, you can ensure the best customer service experience has been provided to the customer.

Generating new insights: Big Data can create new effective insights for your business by analyzing the data and following the latest trends and patterns that are suitable for your company. This can help create breakthroughs in marketing and sales strategies. 

Problems with Big Data in Marketing

Big Data can help marketers create effective marketing strategies by gathering insights into their target audiences, customers, and much more. However, there are still a few challenges of big data in marketing, which are mentioned below: 

Challenge of Timely Insights

One of the primary reasons for the disconnect in marketing strategies lies in the time it takes to collect data from various sources. Customers expect immediate responses, making any delay in data acquisition detrimental.

Marketers face a significant challenge when there’s a time gap in obtaining data, as it hampers the effectiveness of personalized customer interactions. Many organizations grapple with a mix of data systems, each storing and processing information differently.

Extracting data from these disparate systems, often through multiple channels, poses obstacles that hinder swift data analysis, compromise security and compliance, and impede overall efficiency.

Streaming Data Sources

The complexities intensify when dealing with streaming data, especially in the realm of IoT systems, where numerous sensors generate vast amounts of data. Handling this influx efficiently requires real-time event processing alongside data acquisition.

For marketers utilizing IoT devices to reach their target audience, cloud-native big data tools are essential to manage the continuous stream of data effectively.

Certain types of streaming data, such as GPS coordinates, website clicks, and video viewer interactions, offer valuable insights into customer behavior. Major cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud provide tools tailored to manage these challenges, allowing marketers to harness the full potential of streaming data.

Collaboration Across Departments

In the realm of big data, success hinges on the synergy of people, processes, and technology. While technology is a significant factor, achieving big data goals necessitates collaboration across various teams within an organization. Each team has its unique perspective and utilization of the available data.

The effective utilization of big data depends on accessible and efficient data analysis. Multi-cloud environments enable this accessibility by allowing IT and other data management departments to employ their preferred tools in their respective environments while ensuring vital information remains accessible to all departments.

This disparity in needs is evident when comparing IT and business teams. IT teams require intricate tools with extensive interfaces, whereas business teams prefer simpler yet powerful tools tailored to their specific requirements.

To cater to these diverse needs, collaborative data management (CDM) systems come into play. These systems enable different teams to share, operate, and transfer data, each using a user interface tailored to their needs. In doing so, each team can utilize the tools necessary for their tasks while upholding data quality and integrity.

How does Big Data Affect Marketing Strategy?

Big Data helps generate useful insights and understanding of their target audience, based on which marketers develop effective marketing strategies. Through in-depth consumer analysis, marketers can easily identify their target audience and based on it generate useful strategies that are extremely vital for advertising.

Marketers analyze customers’ data and based on it they develop loyalty programs that are perfectly tailored to the needs and preferences of customers. Through this marketers can also identify new opportunities for expansion and growth of their business.

Marketers are using Big Data to identify effective marketing tactics and channels. Creative teams generate targeted marketing campaigns that can help drive sales and revenue of the business.

What are the Pros and Cons of Big Data Marketing?

Now that we have understood what Big Data is, let’s take a look at the pros and cons associated with Big Data marketing.

Pros of Big Data Marketing 

First, let’s get into the benefits of big data in marketing:

  • Helps in Decision-Making 

Big Data can help provide essential information to business leaders which can help them make challenging decisions, by reviewing all the relevant facts which can affect the outcome of the choices. Big Data can help collect relevant information such as Historical data, Customer insights, and competitive market research. 

  • Improve Customer Engagement

Big Data can help organizations understand the preferences, likes, and dislikes of customers through social media, sales records, customer feedback, and various other sources. This way the businesses can learn and understand customers’ needs and help provide better customer engagement.

  • Brand Awareness 

Big Data can help generate brand awareness by collecting essential information about the market, customer, target audience, and more from different platforms. The customer-specific content generated using Big Data can also help improve brand recall and recognition. 

Cons of Big Data Marketing 

Now that we have learned about the pros of big data in marketing, let’s check out its cons: 

  • Data quality: 

A database contains a massive range of information related to customers, products, finance, and more. Even the most advanced big data platforms can’t compensate for the low-quality information. Duplicate records, inaccurate details, formatting errors, and more are some of the potential issues faced by organizations that can reduce the data quality and lead to incorrect conclusions.

It becomes extremely difficult for companies to maintain the quality of the data stored with a large range of information being gathered every day on an ever-expanding scale from disparate sources. Therefore, Data analytics needs to work constantly and update the database to maintain the accuracy of the information collected for analysis.

  • Expensive 

Big Data can be quite expensive to work with as companies need to invest in various expensive tools such as hardware, software, and technical specialists. Apart from this, it requires investment in analytics tools, cybersecurity, storage solutions, and governance programs. It can be difficult for small organizations or businesses to maintain these expenses. 

  • Privacy Concerns 

Big Data contains a massive amount of information about customers which can be extremely beneficial for business. However, having a large amount of information stored can also raise privacy concerns requiring companies to be extra careful from hackers. Thus, organizations need to protect their database, by implementing a malware protection system, backup files, and encryption system to ensure the safety of its customers. 

Getting Started with Big Data in Marketing

Big data opens opportunities for our marketing endeavors, providing unprecedented insights into our potential and existing customers. This detailed understanding allows us to respond instantly to audience actions, shaping customer behavior on the spot. The impact of big data on marketing and sales is revolutionary, revolutionizing strategies in ways unimaginable just a few years ago.

By utilizing Big Data marketers can possess the necessary tools and expertise to launch highly efficient big data marketing campaigns, thanks to cloud technology. This technology enables swift and relatively simple implementation at a reasonable cost. Proactive initiatives by industry leaders such as AWS, Azure, and Google have further streamlined big data efforts, making the process even more accessible.