By now most B2B marketers understand the importance of marketing analytics. No lead generation strategy would be complete without some kind of analytics tool behind it.
A survey by Regalix earlier this year revealed that 82% of B2B companies use marketing analytics tools. Of the remaining 18%, 67% said they would be doing so in the next 12 months.
So it’s fair to say that B2B businesses are sold on the idea.
It’s not hard to understand why. Even putting aside the fact that 71% said marketing analytics had increased sales revenue by 11% or more (nearly 30% saw revenue increase by at least 25%), using analytics is simply the logical thing to do. Indeed, all of the 500 B2B respondents polled agreed that such tools were either very important (84%) or somewhat important (16%).
From the most basic spreadsheet software up, it’s hard to understand why anyone would opt not to use tools which make tracking and managing your data and campaigns easier.
Not all analytics are predictive
However, upon drilling down into the numbers, it becomes clear that the majority of “analytics” users were indeed going for the more rudimentary options. The more advanced the platform, the fewer businesses were utilizing it.
For example, 91% used web analytics and 80% use spreadsheets, but just 14% were using predictive analytics.
Of course, cost is one factor here. But on further inspection, it’s clear that’s not the whole story. Despite being the least utilized marketing analytics tool, more respondents said they would be paying predictive analytics more attention in 2016 than they did about any other tool (65%). That indicates a growing interest in the emerging predictive analytics industry reflected in countless other surveys on the topic.
So what to make of those numbers? B2B businesses are clearly aware of the merits of marketing analytics tools, but are only waking up to its true potential painfully slowly. Once they do, however, increasing numbers are realizing that predictive analytics is the obvious next step.
Predictive analytics—the logical evolution for marketers
If marketing analytics as a whole are an intuitive tool for improving efficiency, predictive analytics is the logical conclusion.
Because whereas other analytics tools help you understand past and current trends, predictive analytics takes that data and helps you plan your future strategies. In short: it all depends how far you want to see – into your past actions, or into the future.
There are varying levels of sophistication within the predictive analytics field as well. Most predictive models will simply use an algorithm to predict which kinds of leads are most likely to convert. It’s basic, but still useful (if done accurately of course).
The more sophisticated predictive models give you far greater levels of insights into the profile of your ideal customer, to help you learn about them and begin to form an Ideal Customer Profile to apply in prioritizing future campaigns.
Predictive Analytics yields increased lead conversion
The bottom line to all this is greater efficiency at every stage of the sales funnel: more effective lead prospecting, increased pipeline velocity and – most importantly – greater conversion rates and higher ROI.
Watch: How Predictive Scoring works
A Demand Metric study released in the same month showed that those who adopted predictive analytics are more likely to have an effective demand generation process. That’s a fact we’ve seen play out with every single one of our customers too. Predictive analytics works.
And now a word about account-based marketing
Assuming your predictive analytics model doesn’t take a black box approach – which will severely limit its utility – the applications are endless.
Once you know how and why certain traits influence the way leads and accounts behave, you can always stay one step ahead of the game. And of course, you won’t waste time on unqualified leads.
Predictive analytics provides a degree of focused, targeted prospecting and lead generation, which is perfect for account-based marketing (ABM) in particular. You can form an Ideal Customer Profile (or multiple profiles for different campaigns), and then set about strategically targeting the right accounts and picking out the best leads within them systematically.
Marketing analytics are very much an integral part of the current B2B scene.
Predictive analytics is the future.
Check out our hand Buyer’s Guide to B2B Predictive Analytics for more:
Top image courtesy of iStock