Marketing is all about showing why consumers need your product. But it certainly includes some element of prediction – what do people want or need and how can it be related to your product?
This is called predictive analytics – the skill of scrutinising data and using the information to work out what customers want, before they know they want it. Phew!
How can predictive analytics improve your marketing?
Profiling your customers can certainly help you to figure out their next move. Retailers for example know that if someone is buying toddler clothes, they could target their marketing for primary school clothes a year later and so on.
Data is everywhere, it’s almost like a game of chess except the consumers are in constant check mate when marketers really understand how to use it right. So clever and so useful.
It may sound like it’s all very manipulative but if you look at it from a consumer’s point of view- they are getting tailored adverts to their needs (less annoying) rather than general adverts that they’ll blatantly ignore. A vegan fitness fanatic isn’t going to want to see fast food adverts, or real-fur coats (grim) and likewise, someone who is bulking on a meat-heavy protein diet won’t be happy receiving meat free burger coupons.
Creating a Single Customer View
Nowadays this goes a lot further than name, age, email and occupation. Understanding someone’s personality as well as all their other details means that the quality of communication is taken to the next level. Using a Single Customer View and combining it with predictive analytics, the accuracy of predicting the consumers next move, before they know what it is, is hauntingly accurate.
Knowing your customers better than they know themselves
Everybody’s favourite online merchant, Amazon, took predictive analytics one step further and in 2014 patented the idea of boxing and shipping products that it expected customers to buy based on their search history and previous purchases. Then if the customer decided that they actually needed the item, they could pay for it. Such an idea might lead to unwanted deliveries and possibly even returns, but Amazon seems willing to still take the hit, stating in the patent, “Delivering the package to the given customer as a promotional gift may be used to build goodwill.”
Are the predictions too good to be true?
Researchers from Ohio State University recently discovered that targeting adverts based on behavioural indications improved click-through rates by up to 670% compared to adverts that were not behaviourally targeted. People notoriously worry about their data being misused, for example sold on without their consent however they have shown to like and respond to targeted marketing. So when their data is used correctly, it benefits the customer and the company.
So, it’s clear that predictive marketing is a game changer. Do you have the tools and resources to know what your customers will want next week?