Remember the time before smartphones, social media accounts and apps came to dominate every other moment of our lives? It’s seductive to look back to those days with fond nostalgia; they were simpler, more innocent and more assured, weren’t they? Well, not in the world of business. And most definitely not when it came to business marketing – whatever the size of your company.
If in that pre-digital age, response to marketing campaigns proved weak or even worse, marketers were left pondering what went wrong without any measurable feedback to draw on. All they had to draw on were their intuition and experience. Of course, these facets of the marketing professional will always be valuable and important, but now in today’s digital age they can be allied with experiments, measurements and learnings based on free-flowing data, which is sometimes even gathered in real-time.
These are the fundamental benefits of predictive analytics and they ensure marketers can make spending decisions more confidently than ever before – or recommend them to their superiors with predictions and explanations they can backup with far more than well-honed hunches.
How the magic happens
Anybody can tell you that customers are leading more and more digitised lives; it’s obvious they – like all of us – are using social and mobile channels in their billions. That means they’re leaving behind them a trail; what’s known as a digital footprint. And, of course, it’s ever growing. It’s this footprint that marketing analytics is focused on; crunching this enormous vat of juicy information, which is just ready to be subjected to canny algorithms that identify correlations and patterns in customer behaviour.
In doing so then, these algorithms are capable of untangling individual customer journeys, which are made up of the different brand contact points leading up to purchase. And from this, marketers are capable of putting together a model; and then, finally, make predictions. Yes, better predictions than they’ve been able to make before.
Moreover, via even deeper analysis of customers’ important purchase history and brand interaction on social media, it’s possible to pinpoint which customers are most likely to promote the brand and its products/ services to others. Which of them then will become that incredibly valuable commodity for businesses – ‘brand ambassadors’.
Analytics benefits – at a glance:
- Faster – less time spent on experiments and testing
- Identifies prospects more likely to bring conversions
- Learning feeds back into analytics models to improve accuracy continuously
- Maximise return on marketing outlay
So to sum up, predictive analytics spells the end of scattershot marketing. For both marketing professionals and SME owners it can play a massively influential role in aiding them to refine, define and target their objectives with care and accuracy – and reap the rewards this brings to the bottom line. The message is clear: get into marketing analytics; with so many others doing so, can you afford not to?