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Why brands need to leverage predictive analytics

Glen Westlake, founder and CEO of Kairos Analytics, reveals how marketers can (and should) leverage predictive analytics

Up until recently, unless you were part of a sci-fi film, predicting the future just wasn't possible…and then came predictive analytics.  

The amount of information transmitted and collected is staggering. Today, data tools are smarter, faster and more intuitive than ever before with data experts making what was once viewed as futuristic capability a reality. Predictive analytics is now the most popular form of deeper insight into a corporation, using enormous amounts of data to predict an outcome. As the volume of data that corporations compile increases exponentially, more and more organisations are leveraging predictive analytics technologies to transform that information into intelligence and, ultimately, value for the company.

Different to traditional analytics where users decide, often manually, which data is important, predictive analytics and data science doesn’t pre-judge. Every shred of an organisation’s big data is collected and considered in an automated manner before algorithms are run to reveal the most beneficial trends, allowing companies to reshape their business in the process.

Have velocity control

All leads, prospects and opportunities move at different speeds through the sales process. Implementing a set of tactics that you know will result in a certain velocity gives clarity. Improve your planning, improve your forecasts. The ability to compare the actual speeds being achieved with those forecasts, and to be able to identify the recalibration of forecast revenue for velocity changes live is completely reforming how we used to measure efficiency.

Technology tools provided by predictive analytics organisations make it possible to leverage customer data and begin making smarter digital and overall decisions. You are better able to tie together all efforts, turn available data into actionable insights and move to a level of maturity where you are consistently, and efficiently, delivering the right message to the right people at the right time.

Friend or foe?

Whether you love it or hate it, predictive analytics is most certainly here to stay. Moreover, thanks to technology advances ranging from faster hardware to software that analyses increasingly vast quantities of data are making the use of predictive analytics more creative and efficient than ever before.

As with most things in life, a one solution fits all scenario is rarely the situation and the same goes for this; overall, I’d say that the industry benefitting the most from the birth of predictive is sales and marketing.

Imagine the ability to accurately predict not only who your best leads and prospects will be, but when and how will be the most effective ways to reach them and then to engage. This ability alone will empower marketers and salespeople in the coming years to be radically more productive and profitable than they are today. Used properly, it can transform the science of sales forecasting from a dart-throwing exercise to a precision instrument.

Predictive models can be very powerful but, admittedly, might not exist for every question asked by business intelligence. When predictive analytic models work, however, they give businesses a great advantage. When these sciences merge and align, predictive analytics can allow marketers to target the best possible prospects with the most compelling offers with surgical accuracy. It allows salespeople to know how and when to communicate with those prospects based on systems that leverage every imaginable variable that impacts a customer's decision to buy. What's not to love about that?