Big data is becoming increasingly important to marketers, as they begin to see that it is the future of their industry. Without it, they will find themselves a step behind their competitors, which is a situation nobody wishes to end up in.

While there are many different predictions about just how important the phenomenon will be in the future, there is one that stands out from the crowd. Computer Services Corporation (CSC) has released a forecast suggesting that annual data generation will increase by 4,300 per cent by the year 2020, reports I Media Connection.

What’s more, Gartner corroborated the fact that big data is set to become vital for marketing, stating that chief marketing officers are likely to outstrip chief information officers in IT spending moving forward. This may come as a surprise to many, but is worth bearing in mind.

In the spring of 2015, Forbes Insights garnered the opinion of a number of executives and senior data figures at various firms to find out how much of a priority big data was. At the time, 21 per cent said that big data was a significant focus for their businesses; 38 per cent put it in the top five priorities; and 80 per cent said that their revenues had been upped between one and three per cent as a direct result of big data findings.

If this was the case nearly a year ago, then think how things have moved on since then. Big data is a field that is striving forward with no sign of stopping anytime soon, and those who do not take advantage of it will see themselves and their businesses being left behind.

But it shouldn’t just be large corporations that make the most of big data. Mick Hollison wrote about the potential for start-ups in an article for Inc. He said that they may also benefit “because they are being born in the era of big data and are building capabilities to leverage it into their business models”.

While no longer a tiny business, Uber is known to be using geo-spatial data along with location intelligence to aid its operations. This is leading directly to the company being able to expand globally and gain insights into the markets it’s entering into.

Companies as diverse as Partners Trust Real Estate Brokerage & Acquisitions, TickPick and Ion Interactive are all making use of big data. So what makes it such an important part of the modern marketing landscape? It's big data’s ability to show what trends and patterns are happening in an industry. This, in turn, can be used to drive business strategies in the right direction, which is of course aided by marketing.

To sum it up, there is no better way of putting it than how Scott Brinker, chief technology officer at Ion Interactive, did. He said: “Big data makes it cheaper and easier to test concepts, but marketing is still about coming up with the big idea. Algorithms are great at optimization, but terrible at imagination.”