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Successful business executives understand that marketing can have a huge effect on their bottom line as they learn more about their target audiences and how to appeal to them.

In the last decade, thanks to the Internet, social media, and new technologies, marketing has changed drastically; we now have numerous ways to learn about our target market segments. With big data, we can take information about our audiences and analyze it to figure out their lifestyles, values and spending patterns. We can then build better and more targeted marketing plans to reach these people, increasing customer satisfaction and increasing revenue.

CIO.com reports that a recent survey by Professor Christine Moorman and Sr. Professor of Business Administration T. Austin Finch with Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business found that “marketing executives in the Fortune 1000 and Forbes 200 plan to increase their spending on marketing analytics in the next three years, some by as much as 60 percent. Many will be starting from scratch, as only 35 percent of respondents currently use marketing analytics.”

With the information offered by big data, marketing analytics can be more accurate than ever before, leading businesses to make more educated and evidence-based marketing decisions. CIO gives the example of how politicians are using big data to “identify their target audience and reach out to the so-called ‘silent majority.’”

Using big data strategies, businesses can analyze the sentiment of their consumers, track their behavior in stores, recognize buying patterns and anticipate future consumer needs, analyze responses to value-added services and advertisements, and much more.

Working with their IT departments, marketers can help businesses create a big data strategy that builds upon the information the company already has, allowing them to cut unnecessary costs and better relate to their customers. It is with big data that many forward-thinking companies will learn how to outperform their competitors.