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3 Actionable Tips & Resources to Boost ROI Using Predictive Analytics

The days of guessing and relying on past victories in business are gone. Now, with the help of big data, marketing and sales teams are equipped with the knowledge they need to promote the most optimal products or services to the right audiences. Additionally, business owners are able to manage their expenses more effectively and eliminate wastage of resources.

With the help of predictive analytics, businesses can gain all sorts of valuable insights to boost marketing efforts in terms of:

  • Pinpointing the ideal customers base
  • Expanding the target audience
  • Retaining customers to keep ROI at healthy levels

Predictive analytics makes use of all your available structured and unstructured data and extracts the insights needed to understand what exactly customers are looking for with a high degree of certainty. From here, you will learn what types of products or services are most likely to sell, how to elicit the right reactions, and how to gear your brand messaging accordingly. Here’s how you can make predictive analytics your most valuable tool in boosting ROI.

#1. Profile Your Best Customers

Perhaps the most common cause of lapses in sales can be traced back to knowledge of the target audience. Chances are, your marketing database doesn’t contain everything there is to know about your customer base. Through the use of predictive analytics, you can join customer data from all across your departments for deeper insights. This means gathering information across departments:

  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Customer Support
  • Finance
  • Product

Using a tool like Infer, you can bring all these data streams together and get a 360-degree picture of your customers and identify the best ones to go after with brand messaging. From here, you will learn exactly what elements you need to craft the perfect sales funnel. Infer keeps close tabs on signals from your CRM and public data sources to create predictive models based around rules and data points you specify.

Marketers and sales teams will find the results extremely useful in pinpointing customer profiles and eliminating any unnecessary steps in the sales cycle. From here, you will be better equipped to develop more accurately targeted content with a better chance of boosting revenue.

#2. Visualize the Customer Journey

There are practically endless amounts of paths and channels your customers can take to a conversion. Learning the ins and outs of which paths lead to growth and which ones lead to dead ends is crucial in determining customer behaviors to optimize your operations across the board.

Predictive analytics are like a crystal ball in this field when determining the next move based on historical habits of customers. Additionally, you can gain valuable information to help identify potential snags such as cart abandonment or negative feedback. By uncovering the right combination of web, mobile, and social channels, your main objectives should be to:

  • Visualize and map out the customer journey from A to Z
  • Optimize workflows for the most popular journey attributes
  • Identify bottlenecks
  • Leverage customer behavioral data to personalize the experience

In order to create a more effective marketing strategy, brands must work to connect all the dots throughout the entire customer experience to see the big picture in how consumers interact with their messaging.

Learning what to do with all this big data is by no means simple. The truth of the matter is that data volumes are growing at an exponential rate. In fact, studies have shown that by 2020, there will be nearly 44 zettabytes (44 trillion gigabytes) of big data available.

One of the biggest challenges in using analytics to boost ROI is learning what exactly you need to look for. If you’re a business owner or marketer, do yourself a favor and get educated on how to properly read data and make educated decisions. For this, you need to look beyond the dime-a-dozen courses on Lynda.com that claim to make you a “data scientist.”

Choosing the right tool is very important too – getting the right insights with true statistical understanding of trend analyses, regressions and correlations demand more than a pretty dashboard. If you want an additional data layer on top of Google Analytics for your website, Tableau is a business intelligence tool that allows you to mine your existing data on customer touchpoints and build powerful and accurate forecasts.

Zeolearn offers a great course in data visualization with Tableau on how to decipher crucial information that can help shape the future of your business operations by optimizing every aspect of your customer journey.

#3. Determine Your Most Feasible Solutions

After learning more about your customer profiles and journeys, you might just need to make a number of tweaks to your approach. Or, you may need to return to drawing board altogether. Regardless, your execution relies heavily on using market research to implement the best possible solutions in the workplace.

When utilizing predictive analysis, you will need to have a firm system in place on how to react to data-driven insights. This includes:

  • Setting predictive goals for sales
  • Constantly monitoring results at a customer-transaction level
  • Identifying and looking out for key signals of change in customer behavior
  • Delivering offers to each customer based on your in-depth analysis

If used correctly, predictive analytics can have a huge say in how you conduct every part of your business moving forward. Therefore, having a robust business case crafted to determine the best plan of attack is crucial in making sure that approaches are built for long-term success.

Knowledgehut offers a comprehensive course on how to write strong business cases based on your research to explore all feasible approaches to a new strategy. This is ideal for marketers who are developing new plans to use predictive data to boost ROI. This course offers hands on coaching on how to write cases and present them in a manner that will get approved.

Remember, you can have the best predictive insights in the world at your fingertips. But, if you don’t have the domain knowledge, a marketing machine in place, and a firm understanding of how to turn this information into actionable plans for improvement, all your data is virtually useless.

Over to You

Predictive analytics are being used more and more by businesses of all backgrounds. Increasing ROI is no longer about how big your marketing budget is. Now, it’s all about harvesting the right data and creating smarter strategies that make each dollar go farther. Identifying the right tactic to use will be a different task for each business. If used correctly, predictive data can be your most powerful asset.

Featured image: GDS on Flickr (used under CC license)


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Tracy Vides is a writer, researcher and strategist, who firmly believes in the benefits that branded content and social media bring to small business! Tracy also writes for Business 2 Community, Steamfeed, and other major business and tech blogs. Connect with her @TracyVides on Twitter.

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