Big Data Influence on Data Driven Advertising

More and more companies relying on big data for their data driven initiatives. In a survey conducted by BlueKai, we are trying to capture what its impact on advertising strategies.

By Kaushik Pal, (Techalpine).

Big data has been significantly influencing data driven advertising, because this type of advertising mainly depends upon data. A survey conducted by BlueKai, a leading big data platform, found that data driven advertising had been emerging as a powerful advertising strategy. Enterprises are going to rely more and more on big data from various sources to deliver targeted promotional content. In a sense, big data is at the core of data driven promotional activities. Of course, this means a big stimulus for big data processing technologies such as Hadoop as well although that is a byproduct of the developments. Also, adtech companies and startups such as AppNexus, Tubemogul, and DataXu have been making a lot of hay while the sun shines.

Attitude towards data driven promotions

Enterprises have started to realize the importance of big data in strengthening their marketing efforts. Numerous surveys, among many other indicators point towards the changing attitude of enterprises towards the role of data in advertising. Basically, the attitude of companies towards big data can be summed in the following points.

Marketers have been either increasing or planning to increase budget for data driven promotion. Marketing departments can identify the impact of increased emphasis on data driven promotion in higher conversions, customer acquisitions and retentions and delivering customized and targeted promotional content. Many marketers, though, are still unable to quantify what constitutes as an acceptable impact.

Marketers are using data in email marketing and data driven displays. Many are trying to take these activities further by doing attribution and site optimization.

Marketers have identified new channels and platforms to launch and carry on data driven advertising. These channels are social, search, email and analytics. Display advertising has sunk lower in terms of importance.

Marketers recognize that the mobile platform is an important channel but have not been able to find ways to tap this hugely promising channel. This attitude is reflected in the slowly growing marketing budget towards mobile platforms.

It seems that data driven advertising is quickly becoming a popular marketing strategy. However, there are areas that need attention such as better strategizing, deciding on the role of display advertising in the changed scenario, finding ways to tap the mobile platform and quantifying the impact of data driven promotions.

Influence of big data on data driven advertising

The survey conducted by BlueKai reveals that big data has been a major influencer when it comes to marketing and promotional strategies. The salient survey findings are given below.

The survey was conducted in 2013. So, it is probably safe to assume that the influence of big data on advertising has become stronger. The target audience of the survey comprised agency and brand marketers, people in media planning and analytics and people at C levels. Here are the salient points of the survey.

91% of the respondents agree that data is primarily important for targeting and segmenting marketing efforts. Of these respondents, 62% strongly agrees and 29% agrees.

67% of the respondents said that more than half of their digital efforts are driven by data. If this figure is further broken drilled down, than 33.3% of the respondents use 75-100% of their budget for data driven marketing while another 33.33% use 50-75%.

87% of the respondents depend on first-party data. First party data means the data collected when a customer or a prospect comes into a direct contact with a media such as website, offline registration, CRM, and forms.

72% of the respondents rely on third-party for data such as climate surveys, media data and conference attendee details.

The marketing execution areas most driven by big data are email delivery (72%), retargeting (60%), display targeting (51%) and creative optimization (49%).

As shown by the image below, analytics, email, search and social are the most relevant cross-channel platforms for the companies.


Companies consider mobile as a tricky or uncertain area when it comes to spending marketing efforts in that area. Over 50% of the respondents said that they are spending 0 to 25% of their marketing budget for mobile platforms. 60% of the respondents do not know whether mobile platform has helped conversions. Only 8% of the respondents said that mobile has helped conversions go up by more than 10%.


Reasons big data has been a big impact

There is no doubt that big data has had a significant impact on marketing.  68% of the respondents said that traffic and clicks have increased by 10% while according to 32%, there has been a 10% increase in media planning efficiency. The main reasons for such an impact are described below.

Right analysis

Big data is collected from a variety of sources such as social media, website traffic and clicks, emails, video, and presentations and it is a challenging task to extract meaningful and actionable data from it. The amount of data is quite daunting. Big data analytics tools have made it possible to find actionable data that can be used for media planning and marketing.

Real-time analysis

Before big data analytics came, scalable relational database used to manage huge data sets. But the problem with such database was slowness of the analysis, although the analysis was accurate. That almost defeated the very objective of analyzing the data. Now, big data analytics tools can analyze data and provide results at lightning pace. This is done almost as soon as the data arrives and this enables the businesses to better tailor their products and services according to customer needs.

Targeted and personalized advertisements

Big data has enabled businesses to create tailored, personalized ads for individuals. This has resulted in improved offerings and has raised the possibility of conversions. Big data solutions are scouring enormous volumes of data generated from customer actions such as clicks, website visits, shares and page likes and this is giving companies extremely valuable insights about customer behavior.

Hyper-localized promotions

The emergence of the mobile platform has coincided with that of big data and this has enabled the companies to send personalized ads to the mobile devices. For example, you could be sending ads on big discounts in a departmental store to the mobile devices of all people who are located close to the store. The location of the people could be tracked by GPS. This has emerged as another powerful way of advertising and maximizing sales.


There is no doubt that big data will continue to be the one of the biggest influencers of data driven advertising. What comes as some surprise is the fact that advertisers are so tentative about the mobile platform’s potential. Given the raging increase in the use of mobile devices — many people use multiple smartphones now — and the online transactions through mobile devices, the mobile platform could have already been a goldmine. If there is a technical issue, then the investment required to fix it is within the reach of these companies. There is another thing that the companies need to keep in mind: not getting too intrusive in the lives of customers. Customers do not like to be bombarded with ads all the time. So, the websites, to start with need to be optimized so that the ads do not seem intrusive.

Bio: Kaushik Pal (  Has 16 years of experience as a technical architect and software consultant in enterprise application and product development. He has interest in new technology and innovation area along with technical writing. His main focuses are on web architecture, web technologies, java/j2ee, Open source, big data and semantic technologies.