What Hollywood Teaches us About Big Data Marketing

Big data isn’t just for manufacturers and retailers. Even Hollywood is hopping on the big data bandwagon. Entertainment executives have long known that social media buzz can predict box office success. Today they’re constantly coming up with new ways to analyze data so they can market entertainment successfully and actually generate that valuable social media buzz.

Use of big data outside America is increasing too. The media company promoting an Indian movie titled Ram Leela worked with IBM to run predictive models in order to place the Bollywood release in the right selection of cities, and they found outstanding success with these big data analysis techniques.

Streaming video behemoth Netflix uses big data as well, even before series are commissioned. The hit show “House of Cards,” for example, was commissioned based on big data analysis of Netflix customer preferences. And the promotional team behind Lady Gaga uses big data to optimize playlists for live events. The entertainment industry has big budgets, and they’re showing the world what they can do with the power of big data.

What the Entertainment Industry Can Do With Data

Many of the uses to which the entertainment industry is putting big data are applicable across a range of industries. For example, the entertainment industry uses big data to:

• Predict what audiences want by analyzing viewing histories, searches, reviews, and clickstreams
• Optimize entertainment schedules according to device and location
• Increase customer retention by understanding why customers subscribe and unsubscribe to content
• Target advertisements based on consumption behavior and traditional demographics
• Monetize existing content and develop new content with high monetization potential

Studio Uses Moviepilot for Academy Awards Campaign

During the lead-up to the 2015 Academy Awards, the studio promoting the biopic about Stephen Hawking titled The Theory of Everything used big data analytics to precisely target messages about the movie not only to voting Academy members, but also to their social networks.

Los Angeles-based Moviepilot, which collects movie fan data, has built models based on geographic and demographic information about members of the Academy. Entertainment companies that use these models can target messages to these Academy members, but can also use extended data Moviepilot collects about people it believes are within the members’ social networks. The company says that targeting these people can be even more important than targeting Academy members themselves.

Netflix Demonstrates the Power of Data Analytics

Netflix has been able to take big data it uses in developing and selecting entertainment for streaming and extend it into more traditional entertainment venues. For example, at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Netflix premiered a documentary it funded about singer Nina Simone titled What Happened, Miss Simone? The company funded the film based partly on data the company collects about Netflix users, including what and when they watch, and how highly they rate what they watch. The premiere at Sundance received a standing ovation as well as critical acclaim. Referring to the success of Netflix’ “House of Cards,” David Carr wrote in The New York Times, “Big bets are now being informed by Big Data.”

Big Data Is a Versatile Tool

The success that the entertainment industry has achieved with big data analytics indicates that big data is a very versatile tool. It can provide powerful insights whether you’re manufacturing cars, promoting a website, developing healthcare models, or promoting a new movie. But analytics can’t work their magic on poor quality data. Successful big data initiatives require data that is accurate, up-to-date, complete, and non-redundant – clean data, in other words. Companies that achieve success with big data understand the importance of data quality and take steps to ensure data quality is high.


Whatever your big data initiative, ReachForce can help you ensure that the data you feed your analytics engines is as clean as possible. ReachForce cleanses data regularly, ensuring it is as current, accurate, complete, and non-redundant as possible, so you can get the clearest insights possible. Don’t go to the expense of incorporating big data analytics without taking that extra step of ensuring that the data itself is clean. It can make all the difference between erroneous insights and insights that lead to unqualified success.

ReachForce helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data management problems.  We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like marketing automation, personalization and predictive marketing better.  Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce can unify, clean and enrich prospect and customer lifecycle data in your business, and do it at your own pace.

To learn more about how ReachForce can help you optimize demand generation and your impact on revenue, check out our real-time web form enrichment demo, or request a free marketing data diagnostic. Get the power to let data drive marketing and higher performance.