Predictive Intelligence and the Future of B2B Marketing

What if you could predict a customer’s next move before they even make the decision to make it?

In the past, this question was purely hypothetical. But, thanks to technological advancements, predicting customer behavior has become a reality—and it’s changed the face of marketing forever.

What is Predictive Intelligence?

Predictive intelligence falls under the artificial intelligence umbrella. It is composed of statistics, data mining, algorithms, and machine learning to identify trends and behavior patterns.

When applied to sales and marketing, predictive analytics forecasts companies most likely to buy or take future action relevant to your business.

How exactly does that work? Well, basically, a purchase tends to happen at the confluence of three difference types of predictive data: Fit, Intent, and Opportunity data. You can read more about that in our article on intent data.

Chart displaying interaction of fit, intent, and opportunity data, elements of predictive intelligence.

This all may sound futuristic, but these concepts have already made a massive impact in the marketing world. If you need proof, take a look at these statistics:

Predictive Intelligence Stats

  • Predictive intelligence shows a 40.38% increase in revenue after 36 months of implementation.
  • 34% of purchases are influenced by predictive intelligence recommendations.
  • Website sessions that are influenced by predictive intelligence achieve a 22.66% increase in conversion rates.

Source: Salesforce

Convincing, right? But, because it’s still relatively new, predictive intelligence can be intimidating. That’s why we’ve decided to take a deep dive into the concept, simplifying the various ways marketers can use predictive intelligence to improve their campaigns. Let’s get into it!

Why is Predictive Intelligence Important?

It’s no secret, personalization is essential to modern marketing success. In fact, 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended or paid more for a brand that offers a personalized experience.

Simply put, predictive intelligence allows marketers to offer personalized marketing. By using past behavior to predict future behavior, marketers can personalize their campaigns not only to certain customer segments—but to each individual customer.

The best part? Predictive intelligence allows this type of analysis and to happen instantly, in a way that human analysis can’t compete with. Thus, predictive intelligence enables marketers to make better decisions, faster.

5 Ways to Use Predictive Intelligence in Marketing

Now, let’s look at five specific examples of predictive intelligence at work:

1. Facilitate more accurate lead scoring.

Lead scoring is the process or system used to rank the sales-readiness of each lead you generate. Marketers score leads based on a set of predetermined criteria so they can better route, nurture, or sell to them.

The criteria involved in B2B lead scoring may involve data points like industry, company size, or a completed action such as a form submission or content download. Although manual lead scoring can be effective, this process has its flaws.

For one, lead scoring relies heavily on assumption—a lead with the job title of Marketing Manager might receive a high score, but that doesn’t guarantee they’re qualified or ready to make a purchase.

Predictive intelligence allows for a much more comprehensive approach to lead scoring. In fact, the latest technology can identify patterns in a prospect’s entire digital footprint, from the terms they search to the web pages they visit the products they’ve purchased from you in the past.

Predictive algorithms can analyze these behavioral patterns and accurately predict when each lead will be ready to make a purchase and what actions will accelerate them through the sales cycle—instantly!

2. Offer recommendations in real-time.

If you’ve used the internet at any time in the past decade, it’s safe to assume you’re familiar with e-commerce sites like Amazon. And, you know that when you visit Amazon’s homepage, you’ll likely find custom recommendations based on previous purchases or searches.  This is a perfect example of predictive intelligence at work.

Predictive intelligence allows marketers to create hyper-targeted and dynamic web experiences. When a customer visits a specific page or views a certain item, your site can process this data in real time and offer personalized recommendations based on that person’s actions.

Rather than creating a static website, predictive intelligence makes your site intuitive and unique to each individual customer—which can drastically improve conversion rates.

3. Improve your content marketing strategy.

Content is an increasingly important part of the buyer’s journey—and predictive intelligence helps marketers tailor their content marketing strategy to fit each prospect’s needs and preferences.

Predictive intelligence analyzes prospect data and provides insights into the subjects, tones, and content types that your target customers respond to. Given the time and energy that it takes to create content, these insights are essential to a streamlined, efficient content creation strategy.

For more on predictive analytics and content marketing, check out our recent blog post: The Content Marketer’s Guide to Predictive Analytics.

4. Improve and scale your SEO efforts.

Search engine optimization is a never-ending process of adjustments and reactions. As Google algorithms update throughout the year, marketers often fall behind the current trends and their website quickly becomes outdated. Predictive intelligence allows marketers to collect and analyze data to help them anticipate and react to trends quickly.

5. Upgrade your email marketing strategy.

Email marketing is one of the oldest marketing tactics around, yet it remains one of the most effective. But, the standards for email marketing have changed. One-size-fits-all campaigns are no longer effective and must be replaced by personalized emails that pertain to the recipient’s preferences.

Predictive intelligence has made it possible for email marketers to personalize their B2B marketing emails to meet the needs of each individual subscriber.

The most common example is an abandoned cart email. A customer places an item in their virtual cart and subsequently leaves the page. After a predetermined amount of time passes,  modern marketing automation platforms can send this prospect a follow-up email, reminding your prospect to complete their purchase.

Final Thoughts About Predictive Intelligence and B2B Marketing

As technology continues to evolve, marketers can no longer rely on guesswork to craft their campaigns. To deliver consistent results, you must embrace the new wave of technology that is emerging.

But, remember, never lose the human element of your marketing. Just as technology can perform complex, data-driven analysis better than the human brain, marketers can inject personalization, humor, and emotion into campaigns—in a way that predictive intelligence can’t quite mimic.  Together, marketers and predictive intelligence pave the way for a more informed and efficient marketing landscape.

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