We’ve come a long way.
It used to be that you were virtually in the dark about what your customers and prospects were doing, but these days, we’re starting to have the opposite problem: the amount of data we’re working with is almost overwhelming.
In fact, according to a recent study by Forrester Research, companies estimate that they’re able to analyze just 12 percent of the data they collect. That’s why software has come to the rescue to help us try and make sense of our big data.
The business intelligence (BI) engine is a key tool in the business owner’s toolkit to make the best decisions for marketing. Let’s take a look at how the processing of data has evolved, and what you can do with this knowledge to make your marketing succeed.
The Three Stages of Analytics
So, you have a bunch of data, and you want to know what insights it can give you? You need a way to analyze the data in a timely and responsive fashion.
Fortunately, that’s what analytics software does. There are three stages of analytics in marketing.
Descriptive – This is where it all started. Business intelligence engines would take the data and put it all into an easy-to-read chart. If you’ve worked with enterprise software, you’re probably accustomed to its report running capabilities.
Predictive – This is where we are now. Enterprise software is now capable of taking the data output from descriptive analytics and using it to predict what may happen next. This helps you make informed future marketing decisions.
Prescriptive – We’re moving in this direction with artificial intelligence. Eventually, the engine will have the capacity to study scenarios and suggest the ideal solutions, leveraging the output of both descriptive and predictive analytics.
Right now, the majority of our software still in the predictive analytics stage, so that’s where we’ll focus our attention in this post. Let’s figure out how to make the most out of these tools!
Why is Predictive Analytics in Marketing Required Right Now?
The dark ages of customer data weren’t so long ago. Just backtrack by a decade and if someone came to your website, you had no way of knowing much about where they came from, what they did while they were there, and where they went next.
Today, we are in a time and economic space where it’s extremely easy for us to tap into the omnichannel experience. The retargeting pixel has revolutionized marketing by making it possible to target people who have taken specific actions on our site. For instance, someone may come onto your site and view your products page, but then leave.
This is someone who was curious enough to check out what you were selling, so you can re-target ads on Facebook or Google Adwords to get those specific segments of website visitors to come back to your site, while excluding segments that bounced from the home page.
The data is so much more comprehensive, with 7 to 8 touch points from one prospect. We have a lot more data to tackle, but the data we have to work with is also a whole lot more reliable. Now is the perfect time to use predictive analytics in our marketing efforts so that we can increase conversions.
Here’s one example of how to do that.
Predictive Analytics In Action with Email Marketing
Thanks to email marketing platforms like Active Campaign, which we use extensively, we can get very actionable with predictive analytics.
Any touch point a visitor has with us, we can assign tags to them and capture their email and data. The tags give us a crystal clear idea of the actions buyers have taken, their behavioral tendencies and their level of engagement with our brand.
Once we have an idea of what the journey is like, then the BI engine can come into play. The software can look out for trends and predict which actions most or all of our prospects will take to become paying customers!
Let’s break it down. Say your company offers a wonderful cheat sheet on your business site behind a lead gen form. The prospect fills in their name and email address, and from there, they see the pricing page and then request a demo.
How helpful is it to know that this is the most effective way to guide prospects through the buyer’s journey? You can not only ensure that these three touch points are easy to execute, but also whether the individual has gone through them all or not.
Your software activates a lead scoring formula that’s created on the basis of the actions you specify. So, once your prospect takes three specific actions, the software will send out an automated sequence of emails to nurture the prospect and ensure they turn into a customer.
Without Your Intervention!!
There’s so much more that predictive analytics can do for your marketing. The important thing is to familiarize yourself with the new capabilities of these incredible tools. You don’t have to post and pray anymore. You can get amazingly granular about who to target and how to convey the information in a timely and relevant way.