True consumer connection has always been a key aspect of marketing, but because the industry is changing quickly, consumers are looking for more than just an emotional connection to a brand. While the emotional connection is foundational, it\u2019s also elusive. Analytics provide the data and statistics needed to more accurately measure audience reach.\n\nNearly every industry is seeing an explosion in the use of big data and analytics to drive business decisions, but the benefits of this phenomenon are no more marked than in the marketing industry. When it comes to marketing, the outcomes of big data are real and immediate, and they easily impact the bottom line. Marketers can better reach niche audiences and craft more personalized campaigns.\n\nBig data poses a huge obstacle for marketers, as well. CMOs are increasingly pressured to make use of advanced technologies that have traditionally fallen out of their wheelhouse, but only one-fifth of CMOs feel prepared to take the leap. CMOs struggle to tap into big data\u2019s enormous opportunities, and don\u2019t always feel supported by the IT department.\n\nBut don\u2019t despair. There are crucial steps to managing the influx of big data that any marketing professional can take.\n\n\n Identify Problems for Analytics to Solve:\u00a0Without focus, even the strongest data is pointless and unusable. Before marketers can jump into collecting as much data as possible, they must first define a problem for data to solve. If big data isn\u2019t a fit for the business\u2019 bottom line, then it becomes mere hype, which leads to disappointment, wasted resources, and bitter challenges in later adopting big data when it\u2019s finally deemed to be useful. Marketing professionals who map out a direction and set goals for analytics data are always one step ahead than those who dive straight in. Think of the roadmap like a safety net that ensures that the business will achieve a high return on marketing spend. When every initiative is tied to clear, measurable goals, high ROI is anyone\u2019s game. Data can save CMOs the hassle of relying on subjective emotions and in turn empower them to innovate their own decision-making processes. But none of this can be achieved without the understanding of problems whose answers lie in big data.\n Always Analyze the Significance of Any Data:\u00a0Once CMOs gather data\u2014whether it is consumer behavior patterns or other statistics\u2014they must then weigh its significance. It\u2019s no easy feat to mine through data and pick the strongest statistics, but it\u2019s necessary because not every data calculation deserves a place at the table. CMOs should remember that quality is better than quantity when it comes to big data metrics. Especially in the age of hyper-informed consumers with shifting demands, carefully selected data helps CMOs keep pace without getting bogged down. How can marketing managers most effectively analyze the data? With clear communication and a regular transfer of information. It\u2019s critical to deliver the right insights to the right marketers on the team, whether they\u2019re PPC marketers or social media managers. Every stakeholder needs access to analytical information, and education in how the data can drive results. It\u2019s pretty easy to reach data overload with big teams, and it\u2019s important to carefully walk the line between sharing too much and too little data within the department\u2014which comes back to the CMO continually improving their ability to pick and choose the most significant metrics. Otherwise, the whole marketing department will fall victim to big data overload and won\u2019t be able to gather highly useful insights.\n Create a Team of Analytics Experts:\u00a0Yes, technology paves the way for generating data, but it\u2019s nothing without a solid team of both analytics and marketing talent. The numbers don\u2019t interpret themselves. It takes a team of people who are passionate about analytics and knowledgeable about your market to evolve the business into one truly driven by data. Instead, companies are wise to partner with a firm or to create internal analytics positions who can assist not only marketing but other departments as well.\n\n\nAs big data analytics continues to evolve and become more accessible, CMOs who realize its importance are able to reach new heights of customer engagement.