If A Predictive Tech Company Has A Birthday Party, Does It Know Which Presents It’s Going to Get?April 24, 2017
Eight decades ago Alan Turing applied early predictive analytics to decode German messages during World War II and helped win the war. Fast forward to today and predictive analytics has edged its way into mainstream business and progressed to become a practical form of AI (artificial intelligence) that’s increasingly influential across marketing and advertising.
Predictive Analytics Suits Up For 21st Century Business
AI in business doesn’t really mean self-aware machines magically running the show. In reality, business AI technology is much less Hollywood than we’re all lead to believe. But is very useful in more mundane (compared to conscious robots) and practical ways.
Right now, about 40 percent of agency professionals and brand marketers either currently use predictive analytics or have set aside a budget to implement a program in the next 12 months. This makes sense, considering that marketers are under intense pressure across the board to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their campaigns.
Using predictive methods, marketers can identify important information, like someone’s propensity to make a purchase, and focus their marketing efforts on the best targets. In short, marketing AI essentially means identifying what people will do and how they will react to what you do.
This can be useful in a lot of ways: universities are using predictive technology to identify students likely to abandon programs and develop better ways to retain them, decreasing the rate of student dropouts. Smaller financial institutions are finding people who likely want to abandon neglectful big banks and retailers are using predictive to set pricing and even plan runway shows using in-store shopper behavior.
The Man Versus The Machine
People today expect one-to-one experiences with companies, instead of irrelevant mass marketing and advertising. Young adult coffee drinkers might appreciate a special offer on their specific beverage of choice in their Snapchat feed, while late-30’s genre movie buffs awaiting a next film installment may respond better to a direct mail piece with a promo code for an exclusive sneak peek at the new trailer and a free coke at their local theatre.
But, awash with data, it’s not easy to identify specific real-time audiences and create relevant messaging. Many consumer marketers have been forced to rely on data experts and scientists when they need answers to business questions. Data scientists have to manually clean and de-duplicate data, and then sort individual consumer data into groups by household address. After the data is prepared, predictive models have to be built based on analysis of a starting data set and a comparison data set. Manually, it takes data scientists days, weeks or even months to build and analyze the strength of a few predictive models.
This Is Where Reach Comes In.
We created a self-service SaaS predictive marketing platform specifically for marketing teams at mid-sized companies. The platform uses marketing AI to complete all the predictive steps with a high level of quality, much faster than before, and at an affordable price. It makes the predictive marketing process simple and foolproof, so marketers can predict outcomes without needing to overly rely on scientists. This lets marketers maintain control of their campaign timelines and not get stuck waiting on other teams for data manipulation and insights.
The platform connects and completes the predictive process in minutes: from the cleansing, de-duping, house-holding of data; the algorithmic model building (running hundreds of predictive models and regresses to the ideal model); the creation of reports and lead scoring; to the downloading of the brand’s best marketing targets.
But how do you ensure that the algorithms aren’t running the nut house? This is a good question today. But it’s also easy; don’t make black box platforms. The Reach platform is automated but it’s also transparent. It includes quality controls and lets you review the strength and validity of the predictive models it creates. This lets you predict marketing outcomes fast, but confidently, without waiting on other teams to manipulate the data.
To Infinity and Beyond
Reach wasn’t born yesterday. The current company evolved out of decades of experience we gained as a consumer marketing analytics consultancy in our past life, before the launch of our cloud-based marketing AI software. We’re proud to mark our first birthday today and we’re even more excited to see the future ahead. We have many great things to come. As they say, the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You can check out our latest infographic to see how it all works, or you can request a free demo of our software to see who your best customers are, how to reach them, and how to keep the ones you already have.