Marketing at its most basic level is an informative profession. To sell a product or service your target market has to be made aware it exists, what it does, why they would want it, and how they can get it. However, for marketing to be effective it has to be targeted to the correct target market. Simply put an imprecise approach wastes time and money by reaching customers who are not interested and missing customers who would be. Because of this much time and effort is spent on researching who to market to and how to best reach them. Two such methods are business intelligence and predictive account-based marketing which are explored in detail below.
The Two Predictive Marketing Methods Explained
- Business Intelligence: is a broad methodology and one that has been used in the marketing field for many years. It looks at past results, past trends, and past customer behaviour. It works on the principle that past successes can be studied to predict future behaviour. This is not a bad approach in the general sense as consumer behaviour tends to follow predictable patterns depending on your industry. For example, in the cellular phone industry, a company releases a phone upgrade that builds on a previously successful design with a few added features (for example a larger screen). This method has been proven effective several times due to a predictable market segment.
- Predictive Account-Based Marketing: instead of looking to the past looks to the future. It tries to narrow down and predict who is most likely to be a successful sale and how to best reach them and encourage this result. It does this by reviewing a wide assortment of past customer data and through machine learning isolated critical data and common traits. This can result in highly specific individual data points such as a majority of your customers watch a certain TV show on a certain day of the week.
The Two Methods Compared
When considering what approach to take it is important to see where each method’s strengths and flaws are. Business intelligence is rather broad, it casts a wide net based on overarching common traits (age, gender, monetary earnings, etc.) and attempts to reach past, current, and potential customers. It has endured because it is still effective in certain industries.
Where predictive account-based marketing shines is in engaging with the changing marketplace. The way people consume media is changing rapidly and trends such as cord-cutting is reducing the sheer number of people classic advertising (such as commercials) can reach. With predictive methods, you can narrow your customer focus to such a degree that you can assure that your marketing is getting through to your target market. This makes it a highly effective approach in specialized or niche industries.
The final question is naturally which is the better method? That really does depend on your industry and the products you are selling. Consider if what you’re selling has broad appeal or is it a niche product. That being said predictive account-based marketing makes use of the ever growing field of machine learning and AI which will be an essential part of future marketing information gathering and analysis. Predictive marketing does not have to be your only marketing method but it is one that should be employed on some level even if it’s only to support other marketing methodologies you are currently making use of.