Winning the online consumer is about acting on Big Data as fast as possible and giving consumers a great experience from the moment they think they might want something like what you offer. According to eMarketer, over 50% of the Internet Retail 500 are using personalization technologies to present the most compelling products to a visitor to the site. According to eMarketer, these Internet Retailers are struggling with making data more actionable and using the data to make consumer experiences more personal and relevant.
Personalization engines are great (I worked at one of the first Automated Collaborative Filtering Technology companies – Firefly Networks out of the MIT Media Lab). They help when a consumer who has already interacted on your site returns. They help by automatically suggesting products to a new customer to your site based on similar products viewed and purchased by (hopefully) similar customers. They don’t help new consumers find you in the first place.
With over 150 million websites and more data created in the last two years than in the twenty years prior, getting found is a serious big data problem. In fact, we think it is THE big data problem and needs a big data app. It’s simply not cost effective to get found through advertising and word of mouth is somewhat random. To get found, marketers have to act on changing consumer demand from people other than their repeat and loyal consumers. To get found, marketers have to adapt their web content to maximize relevance for every expression of demand. To get found, they have to keep their pages fresh, current AND then personalize them to the consumer. All this constant analysis and adaptation is why big data apps are needed for discovery as well as personalization.