Between 1975, the advent of the personal computer, and 1993, as well as the advent of the public Internet, about 1 billion gigabytes of consumer data were gathered, said Charles Stryker, founder and CEO at The Venture Development Center, Inc. during a session at the MeritDirect Business Mailers’ Co-op and Interactive Marketing Conference in White Plains, New York.
In 2012, he says, about 5 billion gigabytes of consumer data are collected over the internet every day.
They don’t call it “Big Data” for nothing.
That’s why Stryker says he thinks the key to future direct marketing success will big Data Mining—via the Internet, of course. Perhaps the most exciting development for database marketers and list managers, he says, is the immense popularity of social media, and the public’s willingness to share information about themselves online.
“It is a fantastic vehicle to get contact information accurately and inexpensively,” Stryker says. Companies are already building data-mining robots that can search the Internet for relevant consumer information, such as their biography on Twitter and who they follow, their LinkedIn profile (college and job title), and Facebook (“likes,” age, friends) and other avenues, such as news outlets and Google+. It’s a growing field, he says, and its ripe for the harvest.
Another mining tool that’s particularly exciting for B2B marketers is a robot that can mine a company’s email address. By reading an IP address of someone who’s viewing your company’s website, he says, you can often determine what business they work for. Sounds like a pretty great way to build out a potential customer base and generate leads, doesn’t it?
If Stryker is right, in the future, social and Internet marketing just might take over the direct marketing industry in ways we haven’t yet imagined.
How has social media and Internet data mining impacted your company’s direct marketing strategies? And, as I love to ask: What’s next?