Marketing from the Grocery Aisles: Turning on the Data Spigot

Years before laptops, smart phones, tablets, and other ubiquitous electronics, consumers were inundated with persistent noise from ads on TV, radio, and publications, hard-to-overlook billboards, signs, direct mail, catalogs, and email enticements. Even the skies were occasionally punctuated with skywriting or banners streamed behind planes.

Introduce handheld devices, and users not only can’t escape from the noise and distractions, but crawl out from the barrage of data.

Many businesses are immersed in collections of data so large and complex they are often at a loss as to how to process it, let alone store, analysis, search, and optimistically share it. Companies no longer have data, they have “big data.”

The shining light, at the end of the tunnel, is the emergence of applications that merge massive amounts of data, and then enable users to gently turn on a data spigot, which trickles out useful snippets of information.

Just released, makes corporate behavior transparent. Simply snap a picture of a brand’s logo – while perusing the grocery aisles — and it instantly displays information about the company like taxes paid, government subsidies, political donations, and much more.

BizVizz crunches through hundreds of regulatory documents, financial statements, and advocacy reports to derive charts and screens, which provides snapshots of companies’ corporate citizenship, and potential influence shoppers’ decisions.

markets a cool mobile application, which aggregates massive amount of traffic data from billions of data points to enable you to instantly see and report traffic issues from accidents and construction to congestion due to Seattle’s workweek slog. The application can also hone in on your location, and show less trafficked routes.

Friday evening, using INRIX Traffic on my Windows Phone, I noted a bit of congestion on I-5 in Portland due to a late-night construction project. And on the way home to Seattle on Sunday evening, I checked out the application to see whether we’d need to find an alternative route through Tacoma and the eastside.

With 246 million active smart devices in China, and a few million less in the United States, the growth of smart devices parallels that of big data. Not only is there a growing need to figure out how to harness data, but drizzle it out in formats that enables consumers to easy access and use it.

What is your company doing to enable consumers to access and use the data you’re collecting?

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