Big data can significantly impact your deliverable. It’s become as equally important in today’s meetings and events as the tactical behind-the-scenes work that has traditionally driven ROI. The low cost and accessibility of big data certainly has its perks. It can facilitate smarter decision making and personalized experiences for clients. On the flip side, big data is also changing the way clients perceive your value proposition, and in effect, inevitably your price. A lavish lunch, round of golf or other personal gesture may not go as far as it used to in sealing the deal. In this new data-driven climate, knowing how to increase ROI with big data can be key to keeping your competitive edge.
The Most Important Person
The variety of data and competing interests therein—from sales and marketing to finance to stakeholders—can make it difficult to determine the most important group or person in your meeting or event. As a planner, it’s pretty safe to say that attendees are ultimately your biggest concern. Start thinking about how attendees contribute to big data and how big data impacts their experience. Do they have access to an app or other digital platform where they can share realtime event feedback? Is your app tracking preferences, peer-to-peer interactions, time spent on advertising, likes and dislikes and giving recommendations based on these findings? Incorporating trends such as wearable tech and digital signage to maximize branding is also important. It’s a feasible goal to eventually use all the data you collect to sell sponsorships and develop revenue generating opportunities. Bottom line: If you’re not leveraging your most important people to inform the many dynamics of your meetings and events, you’re really missing out.
Big Data Technologies
Data storage and analysis is a big concern, especially for larger businesses that are using unstructured big data to develop new products and services. Tools such as Hadoop clusters, which stores and analyzes unstructured data, save time and are a fraction of the cost of other traditional relational databases. Caesars Entertainment uses Hadoop clusters to analyze its Total Rewards loyalty program, web clickstreams, and slot machine play in realtime. Caesars is currently working out how to use video analytics to ensure its most loyal customers don’t get stuck in line. Natural language processing tools are also a good route to go. These programs turn voice data into text and can analyze what words and phrases really mean—from customer support calls, emails and chats to recorded scripts. Machine learning tools can predict attendee behavior by analyzing spending habits or preferences and match results to their interests. Regardless of the data tools you decide to implement, you’ll want to create a centralized place for storing data that supports all department agendas.
Give A/B Testing a Whirl
A good old fashioned experiment is a great way to analyze client behavior. Adobe Target may be a good way to test an idea on your website. With this option in the Adobe Marketing Cloud, a portion of the website traffic is split randomly between various test conditions. User behavior within each group is recorded and measured, allowing you to see if your theory was right. The tests are conducted separately from IT which opens the door for ease of use and simultaneous testing.
Data & Value Perception
The era of big data is ensuring that the best price is no longer a number, but a peephole into how clients perceive value. Tailoring prices and services to fit your client’s needs is the best way to build the kind of trust that supports ROI growth. Build a plan for using big data to shed light on customer satisfaction. Website clicks, transaction records, voice mail, email and social media are all great ways to learn just what your clients and attendees are thinking. Travel websites are the biggest influence in travel-related decision making. Consider adding a place on your website where clients and attendees can freely share their insights and you’ll certainly capitalize on this trend. Mobile applications can help you gain better control of that murky area of attendee behavior that occurs while on the road. Become an authority in this area by enabling realtime feeds that advise on travel disruptions, transportation options and food and leisure recommendations. Send greeting messages once attendees land, guide their footsteps and collect expense data that better informs your programs.