Using Data to Predict Marketing Performance

Many marketers aren’t finding success from their data-driven marketing strategies and face varied obstacles to using predictive analytics. In the meantime, many recognize they could achieve transformative results from the right uses of their data. So what’s preventing these marketers from accomplishing their data-driven goals?

Earlier this month, Pecan AI, in partnership with Ascend2, released the results of a survey of marketers at over 200 North American business-to-consumer companies. The study aimed to understand how B2C organizations are creating competitive advantages with data-driven marketing strategies. We also explored how they’re predicting marketing performance with predictive analytics.

Striving Toward Success With Data-Driven Marketing

In our survey, just 17% of respondents said their data-driven marketing strategy was “very successful”:
rate overall success of data-driven marketing strategy in achieving objectives pie chart
How would you rate the overall success of your data-driven marketing strategy in achieving objectives?

Why are these data-driven efforts only sometimes successful for marketers? A recent Gartner study offers some interesting insights that could affect success. About a quarter of marketing decision-makers still make decisions based on “gut feelings.” Additionally, one-third are said to “cherry-pick” data to confirm their pre-existing ideas and beliefs.

One of the enormous advantages of using data-driven marketing strategies is the elimination of personal biases and prejudices. However, decision-makers have to be open-minded as they consider data. Otherwise, they won’t benefit from the objectivity offered by a data-driven approach.

Best Uses of Data-Driven Marketing

We also asked our survey respondents to identify essential or critical applications of data-driven marketing and predictive analytics. As the chart below reflects, marketers are most interested in improving the customer experience (61%) and creating personalized experiences (51%), as well as improving their data analytics tools and integration (26%).

data-driven marketing trends most critical to decision-making process bar chart
Which data-driven marketing trends will be most critical to the decision-making process in the year ahead?

We also asked which aspects of their data-driven marketing our respondents would like to predict. We wanted to know which predictions would help them make better, future-focused strategic decisions to positively affect their business outcomes and design better marketing campaigns. They were most interested in predicting customer lifetime value (39%), sales close rates (34%), and upsell/cross-sell opportunities (33%). Also high on the list: predicting customer churn, selected by 24%.

data-driven measurement approach predictions bar chart
Which part of your data-driven measurement approach would you like to predict?

Predicting customer churn is undoubtedly of great interest amid the uncertainty in today’s market, including the growth trends in customer churn. A survey released earlier this year by TechSee indicated that customer churn is up nearly 10 percentage points. Moreover, Kroger’s 84.51 group reported that nearly 90% of customers would switch brands if they couldn’t get their preferred choice.

Benefiting From Predictive Analytics in Marketing

Finally, I was intrigued that almost all survey respondents felt that predictive analytics would benefit their businesses:
ability to predict impact changing circumstances has on business bar chart
Having the ability to predict the impact that changing circumstances would have on my business would improve my data-driven strategy.

We also asked our survey participants what obstacles they faced in considering how to get predictive insights from their data collection and data sources. Many felt that they didn’t know how to get started with predictive analytics due to a lack of strategy. (To see the other obstacles that you may also share, you’ll have to grab the full report! Plus, you’ll get many more insights on the current trends in data-driven marketing and predictive analytics.)

Like many of our respondents, you may find yourself excited about the potential of predictive analytics and data-driven strategy. But you may not be sure how to start implementing an effective approach. Pecan AI is here to help. First, get the full research report to see the complete picture of data-driven marketing strategies and their challenges today.

Then, look at our helpful guide, How to Choose the Right Predictive Analytics Strategy for Your Team. The guide leads you and other stakeholders through determining what’s suitable for your marketing team’s data-driven roadmap.

Finally, if you’re interested in how Pecan AI can support your business, contact us or schedule a demo.

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