What’s All the Hype About Predictive Analytics?
By now, most business owners are aware of sales and marketing automation software and how they can streamline the customer acquisition process. However, there’s still a major chasm between the two. Bridging that gap has long proved difficult, but that’s all supposed to change thanks to an emerging new technology: predictive analytics. Chances are that you’ve at least heard predictive analytics, it seems to be the latest marketing buzzword these days! Can it make a difference for your business? The technology is still evolving, but odds are that it can provide insight into your customers’ behavior.
What is Predictive Analytics?
Predictive analytics reviews historical and current facts to make predictions about consumers’ future buying and decision-making behaviors. It is accomplished through various methods, including data mining, data modeling, statistics and machine learning. Essentially, this process allows for a holistic view of the entire buying lifecycle.
Predictive analytics is hardly new though. It has been used to score consumer credit, find new sources of energy and even to help elect U.S. presidents. Thanks to recent technological advances, including software that easily analyzes massive amounts of data and faster, more efficient hardware, predictive analysis is more accessible and effective than ever. When used properly, it can help predict the best leads and demonstrates when and how to engage with them.
Marketing Automation and Sales Automation
Like many business owners, you may already use programs like Marketo, Pardot and Salesforce to help streamline your sales and marketing processes. Sales predictive analytics can forecast how successful a salesperson will be at closing a deal while marketing predictive analytics identifies where the most promising leads come from, among other things. Seamlessly connecting the two processes has long been difficult, but that is changing thanks to predictive analytics.
Bridging the Gap
The general term predictive analytics bridges the gap between predictive sales analytics and predictive marketing analytics in a variety of ways. It identifies the best prospects and directs you to offers that will appeal to them the most with razor-sharp accuracy. Using predictive analytics, you can determine how and when to reach out with any given prospect in the most effective way possible. Instead of taking shots in the dark, you will be taking clear, deliberate action based on tools that leverage every conceivable variable. This includes human behavior which, of course, is very unpredictable.
Is Predictive Analytics Right for Your Business?
The technology supporting predictive analytics has improved by leaps and bounds. However, it’s still in its infancy. Here are a few vendors to keep an eye on in this emerging space: Fliptop, 6sense, and Anaplan, While it shows promise in terms of forecasting human behavior, the process is still being developing. Should you jump on the predictive analytics bandwagon? First evaluate your company’s needs and resources, if they are adequate to support the endeavor, then adopt a strategy for implementing predictive analytics. If not, you can wait until technology has improved to the point where sales automation, marketing automation and predictive analytics all work seamlessly together.
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