Predictive analysis: The future of smart marketing

istock
Glen Westlake
Founder and CEO
Kairos Analytics
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Data is energy. With it, businesses can run faster and more efficiently by being able to reduce risks and better anticipate their own needs as well as those of the customers.

The increased awareness of the potential to gain valuable insight and a competitive advantage from using historical data are driving organisations to place data at the heart of their strategy to exploit growth opportunities whilst minimising risks.

With the vast majority of all of the world’s data having been generated in the last few years, it is not surprising that organisations on both sides of the Atlantic are feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the data challenge they face.

The field of predictive analytics holds great promise in helping businesses navigate an ever-changing business and customer landscape. Statistical techniques including modeling and examine current and historical facts to make predictions about future.

By putting data at the center of corporate strategy and ensuring that appropriate skills and technology are in place, businesses in both the UK and US will be well placed to steer their organisations to future success.

US vs UK approach

While firms on both sides of the Atlantic are recognising the potential of predictive analytics and the need for investment in these skills, the US, as so many times before, is further ahead the adoption curve than the UK.

However, although US is by far the more frequent user, it’s been suggested that predictive analysis adoption amongst European businesses is more advanced than their US counterparts. Whereas Americans tend to go broad and basic, Europe has opted for a more advanced system, which suggests that they will gain much more insight and benefit, whilst also experience quicker growth.

It’s seems as there are two totally different marketing tactics being applied on the different sides of the Atlantic and the ideal scenario would be if one could learn from the other.

European businesses should look at their US counterparts and appreciate the significant opportunities that would come by taking advantage of predictive analysis to gain customers for life. 

The next big thing

Predictive analysis isn’t a new concept by any means and it’s been the ‘next big thing’ for quite some time now. However, it’s not until recently that the market seems to be ready to open the door to what will allow us to turn big data into business benefits. As we start to appreciate the complexity around big data, we also start to appreciate that this is a phenomenon that can’t be handled by traditional means.

Another hurdle that has delayed the pick up in predictive is the amount of money businesses are expected to spend in order to fully understand how to use the system. To prevent this from continuing, easier tools are now available that give people access to predictive technology without having to overinvest in new skills. This is crucial as in many instances it’s the small to medium-sized enterprises that are most likely to experience a noticeable growth as they’re able to calculate their customers’ next move.

Trend spotting

The success of internet companies such as Google and Facebook has helped the predictive approach immensely by showing how it’s done in the real world, not just as a concept. One of the key factors to these companies’ incredible success is based on leveraging their data which allows them to spot patterns, make predictions and adapt their business to take advantage for their own findings. As a result, they have managed to build the foundation, allowing mainstream businesses to see the benefits of adopting solutions that will enable them to ‘get to know’ their audience and act accordingly.

What the future brings

Although Europe may use a more advanced level of predictive analysis, US companies have incorporated it into their core, allowing it to play a crucial part in the sustainability and future success of their businesses. This provides them with a powerful tool, which allows them to recognise what the customers actually want and then cater for that accordingly rather than walking around blindfolded, guessing what their customers need.

However, having heaps of data for the sake of it doesn't benefit anyone; the key is to know how to turn that insight into action. Many organisations fail as a result of trying to cut corners in the implementation process. Proper training may result in parting with some hard-earned money, but looking at it as an investment will allow a company to properly apply predictive analysis in day-to-day business. Growth will follow.

Businesses that decide to implement predictive analysis will greatly set themselves apart from the competition. From impacting revenue growth to predicting marketing trends and customer needs, historical data holds the key to maximising potential in the future.

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