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Predictive Analytics: As AI Comes of Age, Marketing Strategies Mature

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By Ideas Collide

Over the past several years, Ideas Collide’s ICIQ business intelligence and strategy team has noticed our marketing clients thinking, organizing, collecting and connecting data a bit differently than they used to. It’s an evolution, and we’ve got artificial intelligence to thank.

These days, marketers are investing in AI-driven strategies that can inform where customers are likely to be. Increasingly, they’re also ensuring that these AI strategies align with a robust plan to connect data across functions to anticipate demand, optimize segmentation, improve experiences and foster brand loyalty.

With a wealth of cross-functional structured data, the ICIQ team has delved into predictive analytics and scoring models. And we’re improving marketing efficiencies through more agile, responsive and targeted AI strategies. Moreover, this same data can support an enhanced user experience and better promotions, to name just a few.

Michael Fleming, Ideas Collide’s vice president of digital strategy, said AI has made these improved outcomes possible. And it’s been a game changer: Data that used to be disparate is now brought together in one harmonious whole.

The Value of Prescriptive Analytics

Predictive analytics isn’t just about successful marketing campaigns. It can also drive impact across all aspects of a business. By connecting current and historical data to find patterns, marketers and other business counterparts can gain a broader view of what consumer behavior may be saying, and lessen confirmation bias.

Through regression analysis, our team establishes the relationship between two or more variables. And from there, we predict outcomes that can help our clients with everything from offer optimizations to demand forecasting to up-sell and cross-sell modeling. Here’s what it looks like in practice.

Look-alike modeling: If an enterprise client wants to expand digital target audiences based on attendance to trainings and events, look-alike modeling can be extremely useful.

By examining a client’s existing partner base, Fleming explained, the ICIQ team can learn what makes a client’s typical customer tick. From there, we create an “ideal customer profile,” or ICP. This ICP becomes the basis for targeting new customers who exhibit similar traits. The result? Leads that are a whole lot warmer than they used to be.

“The ICIQ capability allows us to centralize that data,” Fleming added. “So now we can stitch together digital behaviors, and we can develop a 360-degree profile.”

Next-best action strategies: “Once we’re able to really give that clear view of what their customers look like and what they’re actually doing … we design strategies that support that next move,” Fleming explained. This gives the ICIQ team a much better chance to convert new customers through the marketing funnel. “Actioning that data is the key next step for us.”

By truly understanding a customer’s decision making and logic during one campaign, we can build a follow-up campaign that aligns with this customer’s likely next action.

Lead qualification and scoring: We understand not all leads are created equal, but it might not be immediately apparent which one is likely to be a home run, and which will strike out. Figuring out which is which can mean hours of staff time and effort wasted on a lead that doesn’t deliver results. AI can eliminate this frustration and waste.

ICIQ can implement prequalification for leads before your team ever has to get involved. Through this process of robust targeting and dynamic forms, all leads are assigned a score which then allows your team to assess a lead’s predicted viability and prioritize those with the greatest potential to convert. That means more time invested in the opportunities that are most likely to pan out for your organization, empowering your team to work smarter, not harder.

Data-driven design: Emails aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Different audiences seeking out different information or results will engage with the same email in very different ways – some might not even open it all. Successful email marketing means observing how each of your key audiences interact with your emails, refining your design to best appeal to each audience, setting benchmarks and finally improving on those benchmarks by starting the process all over again.

If that sounds like an overwhelming task for your team, that’s where AI can save the day. Tackling the process above on your behalf, the technology works in the background to identify what your emails need to look like for each of your audiences, determining the appropriate images and content placement that will provide you the best results so you can develop informed and optimized email templates. Plus, every time someone interacts with your emails (or, even if they don’t) those insights are captured and cataloged to continue to refine your strategy.

Activating the Data

As AI has come of age — and more marketers have gained access to robust AI frameworks that offer marketing research, operations, and impactful strategies — the technology is becoming less of a disruptor and more of a standard. Fleming feels that’s a game changer for the team’s ability to sell this service to clients. “We’re no longer feeling as though we’re having to sell them on this idea. This idea is at the forefront of their minds. They want to talk about customer data platforms, and propensity models. It’s the future of marketing.” But its ubiquity doesn’t mean these strategies are less impactful. With maturity comes growing opportunities.

Never before have so many had access to so much customer data, but that’s only part one. “It definitely takes an agency expert to understand how to activate that data, and what to even look for, and connect those data sources,” Fleming said. “And that’s where we really shine.” The critical factor is knowing what to do with what you have and, most importantly, when to do it – timing is everything. And that’s the team’s superpower: activating the data in the moments that matter.

Once the strategy is mapped and content is created from the intelligence gathered by the platform, the team can position that content to deploy at the precise moment that will reap the greatest rewards. Fleming explained, “We know your audience and we know what message they might be interested in hearing, but what’s the right time? … We can automate that triangulation and help enterprise clients scale that way.”

Predictive analytics can feel like holding a treasure map in your hands with the route clearly laid out and a big red X to mark the spot – but having no idea where you currently stand and at a loss on where to start. Consider Ideas Collide and the ICIQ team your compass, or better still, your GPS. We’ll work with you to identify where you are, where to go and when. We might even know a few shortcuts along the way to optimize your journey.


If you’re ready to see where predictive analytics and other data solutions can take you, why not drop us a line? Our dedicated team is ready to help you see how data can write your next success story. The future is here. Let’s explore it together.