Two-thirds of senior marketers say this is the next big thing

Blog Post by Judi Hand

Common wisdom tells us that we “stumble upon” some of the best things in life: a rare copy of a classic novel in a quirky, small-town bookshop; a vintage wine in a relative’s dusty cellar; the love of your life in the produce aisle at the grocery store. Some of our best moments happen entirely by accident. That’s a fine way to approach your personal life — but it’s not how you should run your marketing strategies.

Many marketers still rely on vague analytics and luck to find qualified buyers. Their strategies boil down to “stumbling upon” clients who are ready to buy. As you can imagine, this results in wasted time, lost profits, and a weak customer base.

Instead of making scattershot attempts to find needles in the haystack, use data sources that provide timely, targeted insights. These tools identify strong indicators of interest and intent so your sales team knows who is (and isn’t) a qualified lead.

By leveraging the right resources, you can build predictive models that are essential to your success. Not only that, predictive analytics are becoming an industry imperative. More than two-thirds of senior marketers say this method “will become a critical piece of the marketing stack.” It’s time to stop stumbling and start sharpening your methods.

The Power of Predictive Models

Marketers have access to thousands of data elements that can boost campaigns, but you have to know what you’re looking for. Predictive indicators vary depending on the products or services being sold. If you sell office equipment, such as computers and servers, know your potential clients’ hiring histories and expansion plans. Or maybe you offer content marketing services. In that case, you need to understand your target clients’ audience, product, and current content strategies.

The key to using data points successfully is to understand which are most relevant to your business and to test different tools against one another. Then, you can determine which have the highest predictive values.

Predictive analytics will transform your marketing and sales numbers. Once you begin gathering the right information, you can use it to connect your sales team with qualified leads, refine your buyer personas, and develop more personalized messaging. In a 2015 study by Magnetic and Retail TouchPoints, more than 50 percentof consumers surveyed expect brand messaging and offers to be tailored to their needs. You should use every resource at your disposal to create targeted, personalized experiences.

The data you collect can also highlight where you should allot your marketing budget and which channels are most lucrative. The more precise your campaigns, the more successful they’ll be.

Predictive in Practice

Let’s look at a real-world contrast between the scattershot and predictive approaches. Perhaps your company typically buys a list, loads it A to Z, and uses the same messaging for every potential customer in this group. Statistically, someone must be a good fit and ready to buy, right?

Possibly. But you’ve already spent an awful lot of time and money on the chance that somewhere on this list, you’ll find a handful of people who need and want your product right now.

Instead, you can partner with a company that specializes in marketing analysis. The team there will apply enhanced data elements to your raw list and run predictive tests. Then, they’ll help you apply the best one to optimize your campaigns. This approach will also show you how many genuine leads you have so you can focus your efforts on the clients who are most likely to convert.

Maybe you have a potential buyer universe of 1 million, but the models show that only 250,000 are real prospects. You can redirect your resources to those 250,000, saving you money now and earning you more in the long run.

Brands can’t afford to cross their fingers and hope for the best when it comes to marketing. You need to identify your target audience and connect with them in meaningful, personalized ways. Predictive tools help you find and reach them so you can build the right relationships and convert the clients who benefit from your business.

Has your company implemented predictive analytics? If so, which tools worked best for you?

This blog was originally posted on the Salesforce blog.  Click here to see the original post.

Written by

Judi Hand

President and GM Revana and Revana Digital