Do you ever question whether your phone is listening to you? Ever wondered how ads for couches appear on Facebook after you were researching online? Well this is all down to Big Data. Digital marketers and social media platforms utilize Big Data to “read your mind” and target ads to the right consumers.

What is Big Data?

Big data is an information system that manages extremely large and complex data sets. It can be used for predictive and user behavior analytics by various companies and organizations to gain a competitive advantage in their industry.(Gwinnett College, 2017)

How does social media use Big Data?

Social media marketers use big data to judge future buying patterns and trends. It is estimated that the accumulated volume of big data reached 44 trillion gigabytes in 2020. All of the status updates, photos and videos posted by users on social media platforms contain useful information about the users’ demographics, likes, dislikes etc. Marketers use big data to prepare future social media ads. They use it to know what they need to know about their target consumers before approaching them. (Nidhi Dave, 2018)

Applications of Big Data in online marketing

Businesses and organizations use Big Data in a number of efficient ways to reach consumers with targeted ads and analyze their thoughts and actions online. (Nidhi Dave, 2018)

· Personalization — Big data enables personalization. Using big data makes it easier to only display advertisements to users with related interests, based on users’ social media posts and online activity.

· Decision making — Big data helps businesses and organizations to make informed decisions to meet the future needs and expectations of consumers. It allows marketers to identify social media trends to make decisions like which users to communicate with.

· Effectiveness of campaign — Big data can be used to track the performance of social media campaigns. Predictive analytical tools allow businesses to test their campaigns before launching them.

· Product insights — Big data gives retailers insights into what customers want. This is due to social media marketers using big data to judge future buying patterns.

How big is Big Data?

As of January 2021 59.5% of the world’s population has access to the internet. This means a lot of data is being generated each day. 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced by humans every day and it is predicted that by 2025, humans will generate 463 exabytes of data each day. That is a lot of data! This data is analyzed and used for many different things but online organizations and retailers seem to benefit the best from this data. (Jacquelyn Bulao, 2021)

In the next blog post I will discuss how the biggest social media platforms use Big Data to create targeted ads for their users.


  1. 2017. Computer Information Systems: Big Data and the Internet of Things. [online] Available at:,predictive%20and%20user%20behavior%20analytics.
  2. Nidhi Dave — 2018. 4 Major Ways in Which Big Data is Impacting Social Media Marketing. [online] Available at:,new%20products%20should%20be%20like
  3. Jacquelyn Bulao — 2021. How much data is created every day in 2020? [online] Available at:

A series of blogs to delve into the topic of marketing information systems.

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