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The Certainty Principle

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Is Big Data such a Big Deal for Small Business?
There’s been a lot of hype about Big Data over the last few years, but what is it? In general terms it is “extremely large data sets that may be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions.”
Big Data isn’t really something new. Companies have been collecting and analysing data from different sources for years; however it’s only recently that data has become easier to access allowing many businesses to dive into it in a meaningful way and use the insights with greater certainty...
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Better results comes from trusting partnerships

There is more business data available to us today than at any other time. In fact, we create more data every 2 days than we did from the dawn of time until 2003.* All this has allowed companies to use data and analysis in more ways allowing them to obtain near certainty for marketing campaign performance.
Companies rightly protect this information at all costs, fearing privacy breaches or commercially sensitive information getting into competitor’s hands, especially customer data. But by not sharing it with your Agency and Creative Partners, is that costing your bottom line?

What data should I be sharing?
Sharing relevant data with your Digital or Creative Agency is not only smart, but also necessary if you want to continually evolve as a business and improve your bottom line. Relevant data will of course include campaign and marketing data, but can be combined with other sources such as transactional data, shopping behavior, and social media activity, to name only a few.

What can this data be used for?
The data can be used at a Group level, a Subgroup level or an Individual level. Let’s pretend we are an airline. At a Group level we can see what type of consumer is most likely to want to fly to Fiji in December. Let’s say it’s families with primary school aged children – no surprises there. But the data can also help us find Subgroups. This could include Planners versus Spontaneous travellers; even those who want package holidays versus Independent travellers. At an Individual level, airlines can even predict when someone is likely to book a flight and where they’ll go, allowing them to communicate a relevant offer.
As you can see, this data is extremely useful when it comes to deciding what messages to put to market, when, where, and to whom to ensure certainty that you’re hitting the right audience, with the right message, at the right time.

Where does my agency fit in to all of this?
Sharing data with your agency means more meaningful KPIs can be applied to campaign performance.
Professional Digital and Creative Agencies also look at data with fresh eyes to help their clients continually develop more robust activity or find other profitable niche groups. But many companies are reticent to share this data with their agency, citing privacy as the main barrier.

How do I protect myself, and my business?
Ensure your agency contract includes a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), and has the systems and tools in place to abide by the privacy principles as set out by your territory’s marketing associations and organisation such as the Australian Direct Marketing Association and state and country or federal laws, such as the Australian Privacy Act 1988. You can also find government information sources are a great resources, such as the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at

Can you afford not to share your data?
With the right checks and balances in place you can establish a deeper relationship with your agency that can pay dividends. Can you honestly call them a partner if you withhold information from them that they are able to use to improve your business’s bottom line?
*According to Google CEO, Eric Schmidt
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