Dr. Jeff Tanner, Dean of Strome College of Business at Old Dominion University spoke about companies using big data and how to use big data to market their businesses.
On Tuesday, December 1, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce wrapped up the 2015 Chamber Leadership Series at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel with Dr. Jeff Tanner, Dean of Strome College of Business at Old Dominion University. Dean Tanner shared his ideas on “Big Data” and how companies can use big data principles to better market their business whether they have big data or not.
Dr. Tanner took over the role of Dean of Strome College of Business at Old Dominion University in early 2015. He is fairly new to Old Dominion University, but his research studies and teachings have been used all over the world, making him a internationally known marketing guru. Dr. Tanner has published numerous articles, spoken at many conferences, and has written several books, his latest, Analytics & Dynamic Customer Strategy: Big Profits from Big Data, was released in 2014.
Dr. Tanner shared with the audience that what is thriving big data is the “internet of things”; it is how everything is connected. People use big data to understand their consumers. For instance, when they shop, how they shop, or who they shop with, can help businesses get a full look at big data. Tanner stated that businesses need a wide variety of data because it allows use for them to align their operational strategies.
What helps companies align strategies is their strategy mapping. Companies should begin with a hypothesis and get a theory on how their market works. From there, create a conceptual map that defines their terms, defines their terms operationally, considers their relationships, and helps them figure out how to measure. Dr. Tanner stated that companies’ conceptual maps can be anything you make it. He used the examples of funnels, flow charts, and even a map of a hot air balloon that his students created.
“Big Data gives us the freedom to build the data into the plan,” said Dr. Tanner. It creates opportunities to collect data and see consumer’s interests and helps divide those consumers into different market segments. That will help companies with their marketing plans to target certain individuals. He informed the audience to use big data, make your models explicit, test your models, and test the value of your data.
During the question and answer segment, Joel Rubin of Rubin Communications asked, “How do you know if your data is true?” Dr. Tanner answered that the ways you will know if your data is true is how you collect your data and the way you test your data.
Taylor Harrell, Executive Vice President of Southern Bank and Trust Company, asked how companies can get Old Dominion University students involved with their cases. Dr. Tanner told people to get in touch with him if they would like ODU students to do research for their companies. The companies just need to have the value and the time to conduct the research and the students will build the profile, not just with marketing, but with our segments of the company as well (Sales, marketing, HR, etc.). Dr. Tanner concluded by saying that the Hampton Roads business community is so interested and supportive of Old Dominion University.
The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the series presenting sponsor, Southern Bank and Trust Company, and the series silver sponsor, Optima Health. The Chamber Leadership Series had a very successful first year and will continue into 2016. Next year the Chamber will host four Chamber Leadership Series; stay tuned for 2016 dates and presenters!