The only way to make your business grow and stand out from the rising competition in the market – irrespective of the industry, B2B or B2C, is to understand your target market’s current and future needs.

While knowing the current needs is pretty obvious, it is the future that often has businesses caught unawares. This results in them losing market drastically and then having to acquire customers right from scratch. And the only solution to not fall into this category of businesses is to leverage from predictive analytics.

According to a survey by Forrester, about 87% of B2B market leaders consider predictive analytics as a critical part of their marketing stack. Most of them have either already implemented the technology or plan to do so within a year, with goals to boost their market share and revenue growth.

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While there are those who understand the benefits of predictive analytics and modeling, there are still many who are yet to implement it. The reason being, they are not sure where to use the technology to reap maximum benefits from. Here’s taking a look at the 7 use cases of predictive analytics for marketing and sales success.

7 use cases of predictive analytics for marketing and sales success

1. Optimizing market activities and campaigns

Entering the market, targeting opportunities that are untapped is the best way to acquire new customers and grow revenue. Creating a marketing strategy based on your assumptions of what the market needs or solely based on what your product/service does, is going to be simply ineffective. It may also result in generating leads that might take too long to convert or may not convert altogether.

Predictive analytics helps you dig deeper into your past campaign performances to give you a holistic understanding of all the market segments in your target audience. Backing your marketing campaigns with data, helps you drive maximum success and ROI from them.

2. Accelerate sales pipeline creation and completion

When your marketing activities and campaigns are optimized, you are more likely to generate a higher quality of leads – quickly. This accelerates the pipeline creation and completion of the sales cycle for a business.

Predictive analytics helps the sales team get a comprehensive understanding of the prospect market, helping them create the right account based strategies that convert most of the leads into customers. It enables marketers to create campaigns that work in sync with aggressive sales plans.

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3. Reducing the cost of customer acquisition

When your marketing campaigns are optimized for your target market, they generate higher quality leads. The higher the quality of leads, the faster they move along the pipeline and the sales cycle, with lesser effort. This, in turn, reduces the cost of customer acquisition.

But to ensure that acquisition campaigns are optimized for high results, it is important to make sure that precise customer profiles are in place. With predictive analytics, a marketer can look into the data points of the existing customers, combine them with changing trends using machine learning and create a lookalike audience that is likely to convert with the slightest of a nudge.

4. Strategizing re-conversion strategies

The only way to ensure that your customers remain yours, even with the rising market competition, is to keep them engaged and possible re-convert them on your product or service offerings.

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Predictive analytics helps you understand your existing customer’s future needs and plan to upsell or cross-sell campaigns to boost their loyalty towards your brand. Offering them the best matches for their future needs in a contextual manner helps you maintain longer relationships with the customers.

Using tools offered by companies like Wigzo, you can leverage from predictive analytics for different segments of your target market. Powered by machine learning, the tools help you understand which campaigns worked the best for which segment and how you can optimize them further to continue converting at a high rate in the future.

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5. Planning and execution of outbound marketing

If you want to acquire more customers, it is important to reach out to the right set of people at the right time, with the right message via the right channel. Trying to execute a broadcast or blast campaign often results in lower engagement and conversion rates, and hence, lower ROI and a waste of resources.

With predictive analytics, you can monitor the performance of previous marketing campaigns in different segments of your target market. This will help you get insights on the profiles of prospects who are more likely to convert, giving you the opportunity to create a campaign that is highly specific and contextual to them – almost like one-to-one communication.

6. Generate accurate buyer persona for targeted marketing

Effective marketing requires accurate and detailed buyers’ persona for getting in touch with your ideal customers. Data analytics offers a powerful way to generate personas for your current customers based on past behavior. These created personas, specific to each user, can then be used to selectively target your marketing.

Harrison Brady of Frontier Communications says “specific target marketing, the kind that’s attainable through predictive analytics applications, is a great way to reduce inefficiencies.” He further states that—“ Buyer personas really help narrow your focus so you can get more out of your investment and avoid spinning your wheels with strategies that won’t resonate with a specific group. And that wouldn’t be possible without the data and analytics backing up those buyer categories.”

7. Making the right offer at the right time

Figuring out the right offer to present to a potential client is not all that easy. In addition to setting a price that is enticing enough for the lead to convert (also keeping in mind the profit of the vendor), what marketers need to figure out is the best possible method and time for delivery.

Predictive analytics can help sales reps know exactly what offer should be presented, when should it be presented and even what should be added to their sales scripts in order to help increase the likelihood of conversion.

These sales techniques are not just limited to new customer acquisition, they also work just as well with upselling or cross-selling to existing customers.

Conclusion

Predictive analytics helps businesses understand their customers and prospects in the best way, and profile them with the right data points for future marketing campaigns. The technology helps analyze previous data to direct future strategies in the path of high conversions and drive business growth.

Editor’s Note: This article was first published on Aug 23, 2016, and has been updated regularly since then for relevance and comprehensiveness.