Predictive Marketing & Why You Should Look Into It


Predictive marketing is driving decisions in a big way, and it’s only going to get bigger. 91% of top marketers are either fully committed to or already implementing predictive marketing. If you’re not familiar with the term, though, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about.

What is predictive marketing?

The short version of the predictive marketing definition is marketing that uses big data to develop accurate forecasts of future customer behaviour. More specifically, predictive marketing uses data science to accurately predict which marketing actions and strategies are the most likely to succeed. In short, predictive intelligence drives marketing decisions.

Businesses that use predictive modeling in strategic marketing are already seeing an impact. In the Predictive Intelligence Benchmark Report:

On average, predictive intelligence recommendations influenced 26.34% of total orders. When analysed over a 36-month period, we see that the total orders influenced increased from 11.47% at the beginning of predictive intelligence use to 34.71% after 36 months.

That’s a lot of business attributed to predictive analytics for marketing, and you better believe it leaves a big, black number in the accounting books, too.

How does predictive marketing work?

Here’s an example. Amazon’s landing page includes personalised recommendations for each customer. Data has been collected on those customers based on their past purchases, and Amazon uses that data to forecast possible future purchases. This produces personalised recommendations. The more a client or potential client purchases items, the more refined the recommendations become.

But it’s actually even more complex than that.

Amazon also looks at what those clients have clicked on in the past, the specific types of items that they have shown interest in, and the suppliers that they prefer to do business with. They even take into account time and season of purchases, so that they can provide notifications and other pushes at those times when a particular customer is most likely to buy. All of this intelligence allows Amazon to make recommendations that are highly accurate. This leads to increased sales, as well as improved customer satisfaction — all thanks to predictive marketing. Amazon is far from being the only business using predictive analytics marketing to drive sales.

What are the advantages of predictive marketing?

The benefits of predictive marketing clearly drive sales and growth, but it can take businesses even further. Being able to accurately anticipate future trends can influence every arm of marketing. Having more granular and accurate tracking of increased data points allows marketers to easily anticipate trends across channels. Here’s a look at how this data can affect the different marketing channels:

  • Web
    Predictive marketing makes it possible for a website to change from a static, one-size-fits-all solution to a more personalised, dynamic one. The site can collect data on a customer as soon as they click on something, gather data as it is given, and make recommendations in real time, leading to increased conversions. In fact, the average lift in conversion rate for sessions influenced by predictive intelligence is 22.66%.

  • Email
    Email campaigns can leverage predictive marketing research to deliver personalised messages to customers in their inboxes. Email personalisation increases conversion rate and engagement, leading to 6x higher transaction rates over non-personalised messaging.

  • SEO
    Marketers who rely on traditional, reactive SEO often find themselves having to play catch-up. By the time they have all the data they need in order to make an informed decision, that data (and any associated trends) may already be obsolete. Predictive SEO, on the other hand, anticipates trends and other issues before they begin to have an impact, ensuring that sites are optimised to take full advantage of what’s to come.

  • Advertising
    As a subset of marketing, advertising can also benefit from a predictive marketing strategy. Predictive advertising uses the marketing data collected from various sources to segment potential clients into very specific interest groups and demographics. It identifies which advertisements would be most successful with which groups, delivering personalised ad content promoting products or services that the specific client might be inclined to buy — even if they have not bought something like it before.

  • Research
    Marketing analytics isn’t an exact science. Fortunately, it becomes more accurate as more data is acquired. With each of the marketing campaigns sent out with predictive intelligence, businesses can track what works and what doesn’t for individual customers. The information that they get back makes their overall marketing strategy even more powerful. When combined with effective cross channel marketing, they can share data across channels and increase accuracy even further.

Here are some important features to consider.

Everything changes in a strategic marketing decisioning when predictive analytics is incorporated. The next step is to find the right tool that can accomplish these tasks. Here are some features to look for when considering a cross channel marketing system with predictive intelligence:

  • Templates. Look for something that incorporates predictive technology in easy-to-use templates. Most marketing software has the capability for you to upload your own content and then integrate the predictive modelling marketing to build marketing collateral quickly and easily.

  • Ease of integration. You’ll want a system that can integrate your marketing with the other areas of your business where you have contact with the customer (such as sales and service). This integration is key in your predictive marketing software as it will enable you to have more internal granular data points to better predict customer behaviour.

  • Useability. Look for a marketing software system that is easy to use. You don’t want to spend a lot of time learning the software, and the more difficult it is to adopt, the more likely your employees will drag their feet in regard to using it.

  • Flexibility. No out-of-the-box predictive marketing solution is likely to be a perfect fit for your business. Rather than trying to make an inexact match work with your existing processes, find a predictive marketing solution that can be customised and adapted to your business. This will be especially important when your business begins to grow, as the solution should be able to scale along with your organisation.

  • Automation. Look for something that can take all of the data points and send out marketing materials automatically. This is going to save you a lot of time. With predefined event triggers, software can send out material when you want to engage your customers.

Salesforce is the industry leader in helping businesses build customer relationships by utilising predictive analytics. Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s feature-rich platform is easy to use and second to none in terms of collecting data on customers, enabling you to deliver personalised, engaging marketing content that will increase your conversion rates. It has intuitive drag-and-drop tools and automation capabilities. With Personalisation Builder, you can leverage predictive analytics marketing in delivering content to your customers. Every interaction with your customers matter, and you’ll be able to see it all with the integration between Marketing Cloud, Sales Cloud, and Service Cloud.

By leveraging predictive analytics software for marketing, you’ll be able to increase your successes with your marketing campaigns. Predictive marketing takes the guesswork out of your marketing strategy, and allows you to respond dynamically to customer behaviour observed across multiple channels.

In business, you can’t see the future. However, with data-driven predictive analysis, you can enjoy the next best thing.

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