Predicting Your Next Marketing Move

The following post was written to run on a partner’s predictive marketing blog, but was rejected as not being specific enough. I connected them with someone in product marketing, so they could get a boring, more specific post. Below is my complete post as submitted.

I predict that you will show this blog post to your boss. Periodically, as you are reading, I will interrupt you and see if I’m right.

Sometimes I am too subtle in my writing, and I just did it right there. Let me point it out, just in case you missed it. I started off this post by predicting something that was going to happen. That’s the current state of marketing. We can now use data to not just understand what has happened, but what will happen. In my case, my data is the outline of what I’m going to say. The only thing I know about you so far is that you are reading a predictive marketing blog.

The other thing that I did in that short opening paragraph is threaten to interrupt you while you are reading this post. That’s traditional, interruptive marketing. We used to just find eyeballs and get in front of them. On the train. In the newspaper. During your favorite shows. We would just blast you with messages. Maybe they were relevant. More likely they were not.

But here you are reading about the details of predictive marketing and how analytics can help you better identify prospects for your products and services. Here’s some more information I know about you. Either you are proactively researching this topic or someone asked you to. If you find something interesting, informative and relevant to your search, you will share it with your boss whether you are being proactive or they asked for it.

Let’s try to understand how the latest modern marketing approaches not only improves the old ways, but can even improve what you were doing just a few years ago.

Remember that day you installed your marketing automation system so you could track the activities of your prospects, score them based on implicit and explicit factors, all so you could better identify which of those prospects were likely to become customers.

It was a lot better than cold calling, but sales was not converting and closing these marketing qualified leads at a high enough rate. There are only two ways to solve this problem. Get more prospects overall to respond to your offers, or get better prospects to respond. Quality is always going to win this argument, but how do you get better prospects?

This is where predictive marketing happens. I like to think of this as another layer on top of marketing automation. It really raises the game of modern marketing.

Rather than just hope that your marketing messages, content, and social posts get in front of the right people, think how much better your marketing conversion would be if you could target prospects that really are like your customers. This is the opposite of looking at their company data and their digital body language to see if it matches your customers. And much better.

We talked about lead scoring as a way to determine which prospects are likely to become customers. This is usually decided based on agreement between sales and marketing. But when you add another layer of predictive data into this scoring model, the accuracy and efficiency improves.

I promised you that I would interrupt you before you reached the end of this post to check in on how I’m doing at explaining predictive marketing. Is it clear enough for your boss? I know that they are busy, so I’ve included benefits along the way with the explanation. Let’s continue.

You can use billions of predictive signals to improve both your campaigns and segments within your marketing automation system. Again, this is another level of data to improve how you target and identify prospects who are most likely to become customers. This is not an after-the-fact identification, but a normal part of the process that makes sure your marketing message is really getting in front of the right people.

Earlier I offered you a choice of more prospects or better prospects. It turns out that the best way to really understand how predictive analytics improves your marketing technology is that it provides both. More better prospects. I’m sure you could have predicted that.

Now it’s time to talk to the boss.

Jeffrey L Cohen

Jeffrey L Cohen