Using Predictive Marketing to Grow Your Small Business

predictive analysis signWouldn’t it be great if you could predict the products and services your customers will want in the future? Of course that’s every business owner’s dream, and today, thanks to predictive marketing and analysis, we are edging closer to making that dream come true. According to a recent Accenture survey, the use of forward-looking data analysis in business has tripled since 2009. Instead of analyzing past purchases, analytics are now anticipating future ones.

Predictive marketing solution Lattice Engines reports the top three questions businesses want answers to are:

  1. Who is going to be my next customer?
  2. How can I find more of these ideal customers?
  3. How do I convert them?

The concept is closely tied to Big Data marketing, which gathers information from thousands of sources and gives the marketer an overall descriptive view of who is buying what, where purchases are being made and when customers are making them. Predictive marketing analysis takes big data one step further and makes predictions about several future scenarios.

Based on the premise that salespeople get comfortable selling what they are most familiar with and the fact most sales come from existing customers, predictive marketing pulls data from sources not necessarily normally recorded in the sales transaction. Taking into consideration such factors as concerns and questions customers have during the sales process, calls from non-customers seeking information, and comments from social media sources, marketers can provide better indicators to salespeople to help them cross-sell, upsell and find potential new markets.

Google predictive analysis and you’ll find plenty of software tools for sale. To start on your own, have salespeople keep track of customer conversations and note their needs and wants. Then hold regular sales meetings to see if your team can do some predictive analysis of its own.

Photo Credit: iStock/Thinkstock

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