Dec 22, 2015

Deepening Customer Engagement with Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics have been taking the marketing world by storm, and the myriad of cutting-edge advancements to data mining are continuously improving B2B market research. While the concept of predictive analytics is not new, tools like marketing automation make this practice more effective, more successful and far easier for marketing professionals to use. By combining predictive analytics with the cloud, marketing research can take new strides in the B2B sector that can dramatically improve customer engagement and retention.

The Benefits of Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics is the practice of using your existing information (i.e. client data, customer behavior, purchasing trends, etc.) to extrapolate future outcomes. With these potential futures, you can align your marketing efforts with upcoming trends to make the most of marketing research.

A recent study by Forrester Consulting found that “B2B marketers who use predictive analytics outperform their counterparts who do not.” A variety of benefits go into this increase in performance, including:

  • The ability to better identify marketing opportunities. In your existing client base and among your potential clients, there are a variety of marketing opportunities that you may be missing out on with outdated analytics. By updating your business practices to incorporate the intuitive B2B market research of predictive analytics, you can gain greater awareness of these new opportunities. This has the bonus of providing added value for your customers by cross-selling them on services that are vital to the way they do business.
  • Accurate and effective ad targeting. If you’re sending out the same advertisements across the board, chances are many of those messages are falling on deaf ears. By understanding your clients on a more perceptive level, you can target your advertisements to their unique needs, habits and purchasing power. This will increase the efficacy of your marketing campaigns and reduce your customers’ perception of your company’s relevance.
  • More in-depth customer feedback. Not all customer feedback is gained through online surveys and questionnaires. You can use predictive analytics to observe buyer purchasing behavior and learn which strategies work and which do not. This can help you plan for the future and accurately predict the attitudes of your clients.

The Benefits of Cloud Marketing

More and more B2B marketers and sellers are making use of the cloud for their marketing campaigns. The marketing cloud is a training tool that offers a personalized experience to each customer through analytics, social platforms and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) options like customer relationship management. Combined these tools set up new avenues of contact between you and your customers, increasing engagement levels across the board.

Some of the benefits of cloud computing include:

  • Less downtime. With cloud computing, all necessary resources and processes are stored off-site with highly reliable providers. As a result, both internal and external interfaces (i.e. your internal CRM vs. public company website) are always up and running, resulting in less costly downtime. Your customers won’t be frustrated by downed webpages, missing images, or outdated information, and your marketers will always have access to accurate customer information.
  • More automation. The backbone of predictive analytics is automation, and SaaS makes automation much easier and more effective. Some processes that may be automated are email marketing, analytics reports, and unique calls-to-action across social media, email, and the web. You’ll also be able to automatically generate customer profiles based on their online behavior.
  • Improved collaboration. Your teams of marketing and sales professionals work fast, and as a result, misinformation can travel quickly. With cloud marketing, everything is updated in real time, so your teams are always looking at the most up to date information at any given moment. This will reduce errors, increase sales and improve your customer satisfaction overall.

How to Harness These Tools

By combining cloud marketing and predictive analytics, you can reach new levels of engagement with your customers. You’ll be able to accurately respond to their needs and wishes, while maintaining a high level of reliability on a company-wide level.

The best way to take advantage of these innovative practices is through comprehensive analytics, automated marketing software and SaaS options that can be customized depending on your needs. By tailoring the ideal package, you can create a unique customer experience — whether you’re engaging with a lead in person, on your company website or via social media.

Learn how tools like marketing automation can improve your market research with this free guide to strategic selling and demand generation.

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