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How Digital Marketers Use Big Data to Track Their Audiences

Digital privacy is a huge concern nowadays, with many internet users claiming that the extent to which our information is recorded for advertising purposes is unethical. But does changing these terms end up hurting small businesses the most?

by Faaiz Ansari, Apr 27, 2021 8 p.m. CST

Many people are simply unaware of how well the internet really knows them. 

Ever find it weird how you’ll be searching for something extremely specific on Google, only to find that exact thing you were looking for via a video in your Facebook feed? Or perhaps you’re wondering why it is that you get hit with a particular company’s ads for three consecutive days, after you had nonchalantly visited their website earlier in the week? These are just a couple of examples of how Data has completely revolutionized the field of digital marketing.

Machine learning is essentially an artificial intelligence subdivision. This particular subdivision is fixated on creating apps that are able to learn from data and strengthen their precision over time. What this means is that digital marketers who use paid advertising platforms, such as Facebook, are basically able to use the platform’s prediction algorithm to pinpoint its potential leads & customers with incredibly high accuracy. Marketers are able to leverage a seemingly countless number of user data points in order to run hyper targeted ad campaigns.

You may or may not have already heard about the pixel. The pixel is a snippet of code that essentially acts as a bridge between the advertising platform and the data points collected by a business’s website. For example, if you click on a Facebook ad, land on a product page, add the product to cart, go through the checkout process, insert your payment info and then purchase the product, Facebook has tracked every single one of those individual actions. 

The reason why this is so valuable to businesses is because this data becomes more and more valuable as they rack up sales/leads. As the pixel becomes more “seasoned” via more and more of these aforementioned data points being triggered, Facebook starts to better optimize the business’s ad campaigns. Over time, the prediction algorithm will learn and become more precise at pinpointing who to show a particular ad to, in order to give the business their desired conversion objective. Let’s say I run conversion campaigns, optimizing my pixel for “leads,” or prospective customers. With a fresh pixel that has no data, the results may a bit slower at the start. As more and more people convert into leads on the website, however, the pixel will be able to leverage the data it has collected to help rack up leads at decreasing costs over time. 

Big Data has paved the way for the new age of Digital Marketing.

Big companies like Facebook wouldn’t be where they are today without those large teams of machine learning experts working tirelessly to fine tine Facebook’s algorithm. This is exactly why data science is one of the most booming fields within today’s job market. Companies need these types of experts to help collect and maximize the data that is available to them. While there are some apparent gray areas in the field of digital marketing, especially with regards to third-party tracking, big data appears to be the way forward.

Are you interested in pursuing a data-related career, but unsure about how to start? Check out our data analytics courses. Our intro course dives deep into advanced Excel, SQL and PowerBI. After that, you can jump into our advanced course, where you’ll go into Python, Machine Learning and other more advanced topics.