The Website as Digital Hub AND Big Data Center

August 10, 2015

The complexity of the web and its many digital applications makes for a confusing array of partnerships, data inputs and finding the time to sort through all of this to make critical decisions to make your business better. Both advertisers and publishers continually complain that the complexity of digital marketing is getting, well, more complex.

More data cross the internet every second than were stored in the entire internet just 20 years ago. This gives companies an opportunity to work with many petabyes of data in a single data set—and not just from the internet. For instance, it is estimated that Walmart collects more than 2.5 petabytes of data every hour from its customer transactions. A petabyte is one quadrillion bytes, or the equivalent of about 20 million filing cabinets’ worth of text. An exabyte is 1,000 times that amount, or one billion gigabytes.

-Harvard Business Review

As an advertiser focused on reaching their audience using digital media, each media type requires a new integration of data and technology, each provides a dashboard to monitor success, each of these are often siloed, making it difficult to clearly see where overall progress is being made, and each of these are time consuming. If we just look at small and medium sized-businesses (SMBs) they utilize, on average five different types of media, while larger advertisers are using more than eight types of media, according to Thrive Analytics. That’s five to eight different inputs, most likely with individual dashboards and multiple customer service and support people, all with a singular focus on their own products. Quite a confusing mess!

What is often overlooked is the core website as the hub for all of these disparate digital executions. While advertisers and publishers alike look for the complex, often it is the more obvious solution that make the most sense. If one looks at the website as the digital hub, then the addition of digital media executions are then looked at as extensions or integration to the website. If we look at a franchise website for a restaurant chain, for example, the website could integrate its social media content within a section of the website to ensure traffic volume and other site activity are tied together. On this same website, its loyalty program could be housed and integrated within the website so points earned could be checked, additional information links could direct people to other sections of the website to increase time on site and improve customer service and all of this traffic and activity could be captured. If this same restaurant was running a local promotion for a specific item, then a separate landing page could be built and tied to campaign keywords or varying offers to test which was more successful, the landing page could also offer call tracking and monitor map and form completions to gauge campaign success and capture critical prospect and buyer behavior.

Using a website as the digital hub and creating a single source of rich customer and prospect data makes sense. Rather than sorting through the data dump from individual feeds or dashboards, the central website now becomes more valuable in pulling together critical data inputs to make sound business decisions based on the most important business inputs – calls, redemption of offers, scheduling of appointments, printing of maps to get to the location, comments and downloads from social media efforts, using loyalty rewards and other inputs that show a company’s digital marketing efforts are paying off.

At DevHub we like to keep things simple to ensure individual advertisers and multi-location advertisers can manage one of their most precious commodities – time. So when it’s time to make a decision on how to better utilize your website as a digital hub, we’re here to show you a better path.

About the author: Michael Taylor is an international digital marketing and sales strategist, helping companies understand digital transformation and how to build competitive digital portfolios. Michael is a former Sr. Analyst and Business Development Director with BIA/Kelsey acting as an advisor for DevHub.