Titling for a blog post is sometimes as challenging as the 800 or more words that follow. Anyone who has blogged anything professionally or personally, understands without a catchy title, you are sunk. Big Data being sexier than Social Media though, I’m just pandering for clicks?
Tonight, as I fumbled around making small talk, (networking) with other industry professionals attending the iab Industry leaders conference, my next title walked up and dropped itself into my lap. This doesn’t happen often.
A little side note: iab. stands for Interactive Advertising Bureau. What’s interesting is, they are made up of only 500 or so advertising companies, but they account for over 86% of the total revenue spent on advertising in the United States.
Every year (for the past 6), they have held an annual leadership conference, and this year it’s being held in Phoenix again, my back yard. The theme of this year’s conference is Big Data and Big Ideas. My inner geek has been screaming since learning I would be attending!
We all have heard the term “Big Data”, but like all things related to marketing, it’s just the next new shiny toy, here today – gone tomorrow sort of thing… Not so fast.
I have to admit, I’ve been singing the Social Media praises for a very long time. It’s what people want to hear. It’s what I believe in. So why all the fuss about data?
I did give a presentation to our digital leadership at Gannett last year covering Data. It was one of my more passionate speeches where I even slammed my fist a couple of times into my open palm. I meant business!
So it’s not that I don’t believe Data is the most important thing in the world when it comes to marketing and advertising, it’s just not that… well… Sexy!
But wait… What happened tonight where I felt compelled to center my next blog post around it? How did I go from my inner geek screaming about boring old data, to believing it is now the new Sexy?
Jody Gnat. She walked into my life, sat her small appetizer plate and glass of wine down and asked if it were okay to join our conversation. It was a welcome intrusion because I was struggling severely with understanding my new best friends words with his deep Brazilian accent.
Throughout our conversation, it was clear Jody had a vast background with Social Media and Data. She tells people first and foremost, she is a singer/songwriter and advertising/marketing geek second. She’s worked as a strategists, digital media consultant, VP of marketing, and lead working for brands such as Quilted Northern and Ben and Jerry’s. She now works for a company Lotame, which (with her other experience) makes her someone who definitely speaks with authority about data and social media.
As I was watching and listening to her speak about what it was she did, and as I watched her masterfully dance in and out of (not only) the conversation she was having with me, but several others, I heard my blog title… Data is sexier than Social Media, she blurted out like the foremost authority on both. (or all three)
I have to be honest, I had never EVER heard of a statement like this before, but as it turns out, she is not the only person in the world to believe this. As I researched for this post, I searched for the term “Big Data Sexy”. Turns out, huge companies have been saying this for a while! #@**%$!!
Big Data (as I’m using it), was originally coined by O’Reilly’s Roger Magoulas.
IBM’s definition of Big Data reads “Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data comes from everywhere: sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, purchase transaction records, and cell phone GPS signals to name a few. This data is big data.”
Wikipedia, the worlds number one Google organic position holder (sarcasm mixed with truth), claims Big Data “is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications.”
And finally, I can’t leave out Harvard’s claim where “Data Scientist” is the sexiest job of the 21’s century! I believe they are re-defining sexy as much as being a thought leader here…
But, it’s hard to argue with my new friend Jody. While I also was digging around for content on this matter, I also looked up the word Sexy. Of course I found several definitions which spoke about sexual arrousal, I also found The Free Dictionary to be much closer to what I was looking for: “Highly appealing or interesting, as in The Recruiting Brochures are getting Sexier!”
Judging by the “buzz” in the audience when our keynotes were hitting on all cylinders with the lines all over their charts and graphs, I clearly saw Big Data, as being “Highly appealing or interesting” to over 600 people sitting all around me. But is it sexier than Social Media?
I want to believe in Jody’s bold statement. It would mean vindication for all those times I watched blank stares and phone checking when I’m on my soapbox preaching the good data word.
Let’s do some fact-checking before I give up completely.
Consider these statistics:
- A recent Forbes article stated of sales management teams identify Sales Analytics as a priority to help them understand sales performance, market conditions and oppotunities
- As stated above, every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data – so much so that 90% of the data in the world today, has been created in the last two years
- As of August, 2012, 2.7 zetabytes of data exists in the digital universe today
- The Obama Administration is investing over $200 million in Big Data projects
- Facebook stores, accesses and analyzes 30+ petabytes of data currently
- Walmart handles more than 1 million customer transactions every hour, then imported into databases estimated to contain more than 2.5 petabytes of data
I could go on and on, but my point here is, I’m starting to believe, (and apparently already to my new best friend), Big Data is the new Sexy! Without it, all other marketing initiatives are a waste of time. (more Sexy) And yes, even you Social Media.
When you start talking about Peta and Zeta bytes, making bold statements like Data Scientists is the sexiest job around and when I have smart, young, attractive women walk up out of the blue and tell the world: “Big Data is sexier than Social Media”, I have to start listening and (more importantly) believing..
I hear all the time, I don’t even know where to begin… I can safely tell you, your competition is prioritizing Big Data to the top of their marketing and advertising plans. If you have no clue where to begin, maybe it’s time to pick up the phone and call a company who understands data.
And… taking into consideration all my research today (including personal recommendations), I find Big Data pretty freakin’ Sexy!