Author - Bruce Shely

Predictive Analytics Transforming Marketing

Predictive Analytics and Marketing

Predictive Analytics Marketing and Sales

Predictive analytics has become one of the newest marketing buzzwords in 2016. However it’s more than the latest catch phrase. It’s the wave of the future in a myriad of disciplines. The use of predictive analytics in marketing and sales has become one of its most valuable business applications.

 

What is predictive analytics?

Many in the business world still don’t know what predictive analytics is or how it works and often fail to understand its full potential as a marketing model.

It the use of data, statistical algorithms and machine-learning to predict future outcomes. It is a multi-step process consisting of the following:

– Collection

– Analysis

– Interpretation

– Implementation

A key goal is to intelligently automate communications.

 

How Does Predictive Analytics Work?

Data is collected behaviors and actions of consumers and potential consumers from a from a variety of sources. This data is then combined with profile data about consumer characteristics.

The data is distilled and interpreted by sophisticated algorithms. Based on the analysis relevant communications and/or offers are made to likely consumers. Predictive analytics goes beyond descriptive statistics and reports on what happened in the past to provide a best assessment on what is likely to happen in the future. This streamlines decision-making and produces new insights that lead to better actions.

The ultimate goal is to apply mathematical models to predict the probability of an outcome.

 

The New Marketing Model

In a predictive analytics marketing model, relevant actions are carried out based on your collected and interpreted data. Predictions are made and the optimum marketing message is then delivered to current and potential customers via their most relevant and preferred marketing channel – and at the optimum time. The result is the improved likelihood of achieving higher engagement and greater sales.

As always, you decide what your marketing goals are and the predictive analytic algorithms determine the optimum way of achieving it. And with the advent of big data, you’ll be able to leverage even more diverse data and further optimize your marketing focus and spending.

Early surveys of companies using a predictive analytics model have shown great promise. They include:

– An in depth survey of 123 financial services companies by research firm the Aberdeen Group. They found that the companies utilizing a predictive analytics model achieved an 11 per cent increase in the number of clients over the previous 12 month period.

– A Forbes survey of 306 companies with $20 million or more in annual revenue found that those using predictive marketing initiatives for at least 2 years increased return on investment 86% as a result.

 

Looking to 2016 and Beyond

For 2016 and beyond, we’ll see the continued dramatic growth of predictive analytics marketing. As the design and price barrier lower, more  small and medium sized businesses will enter the world of predictive analysis marketing.

Your competition has, or soon will have, predictive analytics models to attract, retain and grow the most profitable customers and maximize their marketing spending. If your marketing model does not yet include an anlytics model to forecast, determine customer responses, purchases and promote cross-sell opportunities, you’re in danger of falling behind.

Social Media Marketing Expands Your Reach

Does Your Corporate Strategy Include Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing SMM

Social media marketing is the word-of-mouth that drives customer perceptions and purchasing decisions. Today, any effective corporate strategy requires that you need to be actively involved in the conversation. Here are a few essential points to think about if your company’s not already immersed in social media marketing:

– Most adults in the U. S. use social media. The social media explosion is far from over. Future growth is expected to come from duration or total time spent interacting via social media sites. In other words, your clients are already using social media and will do so at an even greater rate in the future.

– Social media impacts other organic search results. Social media is increasingly used to rank other forms of online content ranging from a website to blogs. Google and other search engines place great relevancy on sites that engage users in a meaningful manner.

– Social media is already part of the corporate strategy of most businesses. Sit on the sidelines and you run the risk of surrendering a meaningful market share to your competition.

– Social media expands your reach. The possibilities for growth are limitless. No other marketing medium compares to social media’s ability to connect with the vast network of user friends and family.

– Reaching new clients through social media costs less. Finding new clients can be expensive. Numerous studies show that social media marketing tends to cost less per new client – and substantially less for existing clients, than traditional methods.

– Social media is timely. Today’s pace of news and information is measured in hours or even minutes and seconds. Are your marketing efforts able to keep up? For businesses effectively using social media, the answer is “YES.” Advertising and marketing campaigns can be created as soon as a hot trend is spotted – leading to increased insight, active participation and sales.

A well-planned corporate social media marketing strategy allows you to focus on existing clients while, at the same time, target new customers. Social media marketing is allowing businesses to expand into new areas and reach new audiences that were totally unanticipated just a few years ago.

Project Milestones Help Monitor Project Health

Project Management Needs Project Milestones

Project Management Milestones

Project milestones are special events that signify the completion of a promised deliverable. No project lasts forever; each has a defined beginning and an end. Because each project has a unique outcome (as opposed to business as usual), each must be managed with its own set of unique milestones built in.

Project milestones not only help project managers accurately determine whether or not the project is on schedule, they add significant value to project scheduling.

Managers and clients love project milestones because they provide an opportunity to validate the current state of the project against the overall schedule, since each milestone signifies some set of underlying work has been completed.

If a milestone date is missed, everyone knows immediately that the project is behind schedule.  Clients don’t need to know the individual status of all the activities in the work plan; he/she just needs to keep track of the status of the milestones to know if a project is on schedule or not.

Each project has a distinctive scope and set of goals. Project milestones provide a means to measure the inputs and the outputs of the project against the work plan. They also provide a great way to take a step back and validate the overall health of the project.

All successful projects have milestones, created at the beginning of the project and regularly reviewed and updated as the project continues. To insure the success of your endeavor take note of the following:

– Before the project begins, make sure that the client has approved the scope and goals, required inputs (time, money and resources), processes (planning, project management, analysis, testing and implementation) and outputs (project milestones and key deliverables) of the project.

– At each milestone, check the work plan to make sure that you and your client understand where the project is and re-validate the activities required for completion of the project.

– Evaluate what’s been accomplished and the effort, duration and cost estimates for the remaining work. Are your remaining estimates accurate? If not, modify the work plan. If it appears that your budget or deadline will not be met or if there are other potential problems, raise the issue and resolve the problem now.

– Issue a formal status update and make any other communications specified in the work plan.

Project milestone dates provide a great time to validate where you are, make any needed adjustments and get prepared to charge ahead.

Local SEO: 4 Essential Factors of Success

Keys to Successful Local SEO

Incorporating keywords your prospecs use to search the internet is the key to a successful local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. Optimizing your web pages to get “organic” traffic from the search engines is critical for successful local SEO, but today it is much more complex. It’s about integrating with the other internet marketing strategies such as social media marketing, content marketing, Pay Per Click (PPC), blogging, and website design.

1. Strategy & Initial Optimization

The first step in any local SEO plan should begin with a keyword discovery process that focuses on achievable primary keywords and “long tail” keywords. The approved keywords are embedded into your meta tags and content — this helps search engines (including Google) organize and rank information. Coding, style, positioning, and saturation levels of relevant keywords are also important factors that are a part of on-page SEO process.

Your local business’ domain name, keywords in titles on your own websites, and the presence of key NAP (name, address and phone number) contact information on your websites have a significant influence in determining performance. Make sure this information matches the info in any and all directories you use.

2. Link Building

Link building creates links that connect directly to your website. The quantity and quality of links to local business’ websites from external sites significantly influence performance. The more quality links to your website, the more your rank increases. Relevant and effective link building through partners, articles, press releases, bookmarking, blogs, reference sites, etc., is one of the most important factors in your search marketing.
Create a listing in Google Places that includes accurate and optimized categories, notable keywords in business titles, and the business address, and contact info.

3. Content Marketing

Articles, press releases, blog posts, eBooks, webinars, landing pages, and more, will allow for the enhancement of your digital “footprint” in your industry. Fresh, original content needs to be written for submission to industry channels and social news sites such as Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon, and it needs to be promoted through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn, among others. Social signals such as Facebook Likes, and Twitter Followers can have a significant influence in determining SEO performance.

4. Reporting & Analytics

To measure the success of your efforts, regularly review your site analytics. Traffic, the referring sites, keywords, etc. must be analyzed to see which pages are working and which are not. Based on these reviews, your local SEO plan may need updating or infused with fresh ideas.

Social Media Strategy Can Boost Local SEO

Your Company Needs a Social Media Strategy

User-generated content on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are now a required element of a comprehensive location-based search program. It’s now just a matter of developing the right social media strategy that will give your marketing efforts the greatest possible impact.

Selecting the right social media strategy allows you to:

  • Communicate directly with your customers and prospects
  • Create engaging discussion topics
  • Go viral with your marketing
  • Boost your online brand-awareness
  • Organically propel your business to the top of local search results

The speed at which the social media landscape is evolving can make social media sites confusing places for most marketers.  Here are a few basic tips that can help your company achieve your marketing goals with a social media strategy:

1. Build a fan base on Facebook.  Nearly 50% of Facebook users follow a specific brand. Most will eventually purchase that brand. Facebook “Likes” have the potential to spread your brand awareness virally, delivering information to your fans and everyone befriended by your fans.

2. Tweet to keep in direct touch with your customers.  One in every four Twitter users follows a specific brand. Nearly 70% percent of them will end up purchasing that brand. Use your Twitter account to engage consumers by providing them with helpful information about your products and services. Incorporatr special offers, videos, and/or images to your Twitter followers.

3. Encourage customers to rate and review your business.  Consumers love online reviews because it allows them to see what others think about your business before making a purchasing decision. Reviews on social media sites improve your search engine rankings by helping drive free web traffic.

4. Leverage YouTube in local search results.  Embed your videos in Google Place Pages, websites, and social profile pages. Videos showcase your products and services, while putting a human face on your business.

5. Give customers incentives to share your information online.  “Share and Receive a Reward” programs encourage consumers to share your offers with their friends via Facebook, Twitter and other web channels. In exchange, offer discounts, special prizes or rewards.

6. Pinterest gets a huge amount of referral traffic. Your content must be visually “Pin-Worthy” in order for this social media portal to be effective for you.

Creating an effective social media strategy marketing will make it easier for your customers to find your business. It also makes it easy for your customers to spread the word about you online. The result can greatly amplify your web marketing results, generate calls, and boost your long-term brand awareness.