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Why You Can’t Afford To Ignore Predictive Analytics For Marketing

September 9, 2015 at 1:42 PM

Since the days of the first radio broadcast in 1922, it took a short span of only ten years for half of the American public to adopt the new medium of the time.  Marketers soon caught on to the inherent opportunities in radio transmissions, and in 1922, the first radio advertisements were broadcast to millions of listeners. Today, we’re in a similar situation with data analytics rising in prominence and marketers shifting their strategies to become more pre-emptive in the way they engage consumers. Strangely, however, it seems that not all “modern marketers” are heeding the call for data-driven strategies. A Forrester Research survey concluded that out of over 500 B2B and B2C respondents, only 11% of marketers scored well enough to be categorised as modern, data-driven marketers.

Marketers should heed the data wake-up call

Many marketers argue that pressure from the top to produce results in short time-spans leaves them with little time and resources to investigate new marketing technologies and methodologies. This mindset will serve up few results as present-day consumers have little to no tolerance for traditional marketing messaging that has no real bearing on their personas, their position in the buyer’s journey or their motivations for purchase. Predictive analytics unveil the mythical buyer’s persona and helps marketers track their digital “footprints” to reveal more context to buyers’ personalities, motivations, relationships and backgrounds. Armed with these insights, marketing departments can tailor their messaging to increase acquisitions, boost retention and create more personalised marketing messaging that delivers measurable results.

Predictive analytics also allow marketing departments to add more granularity to the leads they pass on to sales, thus reducing time spent on low-quality leads and shifting focus to those that are closer to purchase. 

Predictive analytics is driving the move from segmented to contextual marketing

I’ll let you in on a little secret: When you speak to the ‘real person’ behind the numbers and statistics, you’re able to reach him or her in a truly meaningful way. Historic market segmentation often fails to give marketers the type of granular metrics necessary to understand the psychology that motivates consumers to commit to the purchase. Relying on metrics such as demographics, income and transactional data may serve to outline the buyer persona, but falls short of telling us more about the driving factors that motivate people. Thanks to the availability of data from various channels and the tools to draw insights from it, we’re able to speak to customers’ real buying motivations rather than relying on insights pertaining to age, gender and bank balances. As Forrester states, “Contextual marketing comes to life when teams have the full picture of a customer, including insights drawn from data currently locked away in transaction systems merged with environmental data.”

No business can afford to ignore predictive analytics

As the online marketing landscape evolves and new information channels are born, more opportunities to understand our customers arise. Marketers who are still coming to terms with predictive analytics as a concept are increasingly lagging behind those who’ve realised its importance. And it is no coincidence that our advertising forefathers who saw the possibilities in radio broadcasting were the ones who pioneered ahead with amazing results, leaving it to the laggards to labour over the difference between AM and FM.

Read more on the possibilities of predictive analytics for your marketing in our Guide on Predictive Analytics.

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Julian Diaz
Julian Diaz
Julian Diaz was Head of Marketing for Principa until 2017, after which he became Head of Marketing for Honeybee CRM. American born and raised, Julian has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years. Having begun his career at a major software company in Germany, Julian made the move to South Africa in 1998 when he joined Dimension Data and later MWEB (leading South African ISP). Since then, Julian has helped launch various South African technology brands into international markets, including Principa.

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