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Among the areas of business that benefit from predictive analytics, marketing is not often among the most mentioned. This is partly because many marketing departments already embraced the concept to some degree. However, the depth in which ad campaigns, direct promotion and other methods of getting customers into the sales funnel is yet attested, meaning that many companies still haven’t gotten used to the idea of applying business intelligence software to their marketing departments. Still, there’s always been a case for using analytics to better assess the direction of customer acquisition and retention, and now there are studies to back it up.

“55 percent of all companies with predictive analytics met demand generation objectives.”

A strong force for demand
Several firms and publications looked into the effects of predictive analytics to assess how effective the concept is within marketing. Key was to generate demand so as to create more prospects into leads. Marketing Dive reported a survey which found that 55 percent of all companies that applied predictive analytics to business-to-business marketing plans met their demand generation objectives. Only 30 percent of those without analytics could say the same. The importance of marketing as a source of revenue creation can be significant, as they’ll be just as likely as sales to acquire customers directly through promotional materials.

Marketing blog eMarketer took this a step further by assessing how marketers use predictive analytics overall. Citing a survey by VB Insight in a recent story, it found approximately half of all processes related to analytics involved customer acquisition and retention. Surprisingly, one of the most important factors of marketing that feeds into gaining and preserving clients, campaign effectiveness, only polled at 17 percent. Still, there was another survey by OnTarget Consulting & Research which suggested 43 percent of respondents used predictive analytics to find out where leads were in the sales funnel. This can matter significantly, as it can enable businesses to determine what kind of campaigns to deploy during the process to apply the proper amount of persuasion to win customers over.

What can help in applying the sales funnel is understanding the different touchpoints clients and leads receive information. Another study eMarketer cited was one by Forbes Interactive which found that the most common source of information was website data at 47 percent, followed by demographics, digital transactions, social media interactions and mobile app data. There are many more data points from which marketers can use to create actionable models, but it’s a matter of knowing what works best with the customer.