Big Data Will Save the Planet!!!

Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed a trend on Twitter where various folks are posting Tweets referring to articles and blogs about how “Big Data” will transform the travel industry, or Big Data will optimize marketing, or Big Data will revolutionize information security.  All are interesting posts, and all are pretty accurate, but even for me (a marketing guy) these types of headlines make my skin crawl.

Let there be no doubt that I’m all for getting away from talking about the technical aspects of managing Big Data or talking about ever-growing numbers of “V’s” to describe the challenge.  Instead, I much prefer to hear about the value and opportunity it presents. But can we please stay away from pithy headlines?

Big Data’s Value Doesn’t Need To Be Hyped

In my view, these headlines simply epitomize a lot that’s wrong with marketing hype around Big Data.  I know most Tweets are created to fit within 140 characters, but all I see when I read them are obvious statements that lack any depth because us marketing folks created them when we couldn’t think of anything better to say. It’s either that, or some internal marketing policy says that we always need to use an adjective to make it sound more impressive.

The simple fact is that Big Data’s value is real – so are the use cases and the resulting opportunities. Articulating that value has to be more beneficial than offering hype.

For the most part, when I talk to customers, they aren’t quite at the stage where they want to save the planet. Rather, they just want to find out how they can use the data and resources they have to perform better in their roles, across their teams, and ultimately their organizations.

Which article are you more likely to read?

a)     “Big Data to Transform Marketing”, or
b)     “5 Big Data Use Cases in Marketing”

Personally, I’d opt for the fact-based one, the one that sounds like it’s going to give me some real concrete examples, that’s going to give me some real ideas that I can put into practice.

Let’s keep it real!