Data, Data Everywhere, and Not a Megabyte to Spare

Lisa Fiondella

July 29, 2015

Do you know what your business prospects and customers are thinking about when they consider, purchase, use and dispose of your product or service?

This lengthy process is known as the customer life cycle. And, it is the lifeblood of your business. Not only is it important to know what drives their purchases, it is also critical to know what keeps them coming back.

Companies have been using data for years to understand and to model consumer behaviors. It is only recently that the quest for predictive analytics has emerged as an asset in the business-to-business (B2B) market. But it has arrived like gangbusters.

Gaining access to large volumes of data today is limited only by imagination … and funds. But having voluminous data doesn’t mean a thing if it isn’t the right information. Why? Because it’s vitally important to not only understand what information is available, but to recognize what is valuable.

In a recent white paper, I explained why companies need to diagnose their current data assets as the very first step in building a successful B2B predictive sales and marketing organization. You must ask yourself: “Am I collecting the key data necessary to effectively manage these efforts?”

Once that foundation is in place, it’s time to find out who your “good” customers are, what makes them good, and why they are satisfied.

Good customers share commonalities. They have similar characteristics, attributes, attitudes, and behaviors. Good customers can be defined as customers who are profitable, highly satisfied and are strong advocates (or evangelists) for your business and products. At the same time, your “worst” customers typically share commonalities, too.

They are described as customers who are not profitable, are not highly satisfied and would not positively recommend your business or products to others in their sphere of influence. They may even speak negatively about you. The right data helps segment the wheat from the chaff so you can focus on those that will grow your business. Including those who are not currently profitable, or satisfied, but have the potential to be.Predictive lead scoring helps you make the right offers at the right time across the right channels – to current and prospective customers.

But, prospecting costs money, right? Usually a good chunk of your sales and marketing budget is devoted to attracting new clients: web-based marketing, SEO, social media, direct mail (print and email), online and offline advertising, and outbound appointment setting. Except for click through rates, it can be a lot like throwing your marketing and sales budget against the wall and seeing what sticks.

That’s why the right data and the right analytics, when applied effectively, can make your marketing, and selling, more efficient. Or, to paraphrase another well-known, Atlanta-based marketer: Predictive analytics helps you spend less and get more!

In my next blog, we’ll take a look at four steps used when sourcing predictive data. Be sure to tune in. I predict you’ll find it very useful.