Before the rise of Big Data market research was conducted through surveys. Surveys allowed companies to gain feedback from consumers concerning their particular product. The problem with surveys is that there needs to be a new survey created for every product and that many people don’t want to spend their time filling out a survey. How has this problem been solved? Big Data.
Big Data is the information collected from consumers through digital interactions. Any digital activity from social media to your car’s navigation system collects information about your behavioral patterns and interests. This information is then used by marketing professionals to better advertise to individuals based on their unique likes and dislikes.
Similar to the way marketers used to use surveys to gain information about the success of a product, Big Data allows them to see how people review the product on social media or depending on the type of product, how often it is used. The great thing about Big Data being used in the place of surveys is that it is essentially free. Sure you need data scientists to analyze the incoming data and put it into terms marketers can understand, but it beats having to offer monetary or reward incentives to convince consumers to complete a survey.
Big Data has also vastly expanded the the marketing research focus group. In the past the only information marketers had to go on was the feedback they received from the few people who actually filled out a survey. With Big Data marketing researchers are constantly receiving an avalanche of data concerning their product. It is true that the results of Big Data cannot be used to convey absolute truths about a product, but it can give us a better sample of a product review than that of a survey.