Data, as we know, permeates everything. It can be derived from anything, it can be produced from anything, and more importantly, it can be transformed into almost anything. What's more, the data that is derived from consumers in particular is completely indispensable to marketers and product managers. The data that consumers themselves create about their habits, their preferences, their desires, wants, needs, etc., is data that can provide insight and eventually affect branding decisions. This data can be the difference between a product that flops because it appealed to no customer's needs, and a product that succeeds because it intuitively met the desires of its market. The most optimal way to go about harnessing this data is through customer-driven paths, such as the Quantified Self. The Quantified Self is a place for those interested in self-tracking to convalesce and share their experiences. The self-tracking phenomenon is taking the tech world by storm as more and more firms are dedicating themselves to developing tools to help people track themselves. From Apple's partnernship with Nike+iPhone to track how far you run using the GPS in the phone, to the vibrating fork that was debuted at CES that tracks how fast you eat and transmits your "forkfuls" wirelessly to your profile, and so on, anybody with a mobile device and an internet connection can track what they do.
This gold mine of data can be unbelievably valuable to marketers, as they can see, byte by byte, how much, and what, their demographic consumes. And I'm not just talking about food here. Think about it : marketers can see what paths are most run in New York City and concentrate advertisements accordingly on the buses that drive by those paths or on benches that are situated at those locations. There are apps that track the amount of time you spend on your Android powered device, and where you go. Marketers can use this data to selectively run the highest-return advertisements during these hot periods. There are mood trackers that consumers use to log their happiness versus their down periods. Marketers can use this data to target mood-boosting products at the correct times.
Even if you are a professional reading this, think of yourself as a consumer. When are you most likely to click on advertisements? When they correspond almost eerily to your thoughts at that moment. When are you likely to follow through on a promotion? When the product offered is exactly what you want. It's this type of consumer-generated and consumer-driven data that can help Marketing professionals get the most value out of their investments.
Data is everywhere, data is unlimited, and it's time we productively harness it!
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