Many of today’s B2B marketing leaders are still wary about predictive. Data-driven, ROI-focused marketers realize they could benefit from knowing who the best targets are, but need to learn more. Here’s some real talk about predictive marketing that busts the four major myths:
1. It’s not just about predicting
The word predictive may evoke images of fortunetellers, tarot cards and crystal balls, but it can’t claim to tell you the future. Its power is based on data science, so you can believe in it.
Predictive marketing uses insights about your current customer base (or, if you’re an early startup, your expected customer base) to craft an “ideal profile” of your best prospects.
Growth-focused B2B teams can no longer rely on basic firmographics for profiling and targeting. It’s imperative to include the non-obvious and unique qualifiers about each company. These insights may include a company’s specific set of products or services, their unique tech stacks, and their hiring or growth histories, among others.
Once an ideal profile is in place, predictive marketing solutions evaluate every company to assess how well it “fits” this ideal. And given the pace at which business evolves, AI is necessary in this step because no human could possibly keep up with those changes.
2. It’s much more than a score
In predictive marketing, the score represents how well any one company fits your ideal profile. Scores can be applied in batch to your existing database for your total addressable market (TAM) or territory planning. And applying scores in real-time to your inbound leads helps prioritize the appropriate sales response. A score is not the end game — it’s simply a means of intelligently prioritizing your go-to-market strategies, tactics and resources.
This shared prioritization of target accounts is a powerful point of alignment between your sales and marketing teams. It is data driven so it removes any bias or subjectivity, plus it ensures marketing is driving demand in the “right” accounts while, at the same time, sales develop reps are also calling and emailing into these same high-fit accounts.
3. It’s not just for marketing
While every sales professional loves to field highly qualified inbound leads, they know they will not attain quota unless they also hunt for new prospects. Predictive marketing solutions that provide an AI assist directly to sales prospecting can significantly increase sales velocity and efficiency.
Predictive marketing allows sales to stay agile by using AI to identify the 10 (or more) companies who are most similar to the one they just landed. These insights must be immediately actionable and on hand to arm the rep with the right information for a highly relevant email or phone call.
Predictive marketing solutions can also help maintain alignment between sales and marketing teams. It’s the definition of singing off the same song sheet when both teams know that every account they engage with — for demand gen or outbound prospecting — are already pre-qualified.
4. It can (and does) happen in real time
With apologies to Ferris Bueller fans, we all know that life in B2B moves pretty fast, and it can feel impossible to keep up.
Company insights power every element of a predictive marketing solution – from the completeness of the ideal profile to the sales intelligence needed for the call to the next prospect. The saying “garbage in/garbage out” strongly applies here.
The ability to create “ideal” profiles and campaign audiences with a high fit to these new profiles is a necessity for any forward-looking company. To be agile, this needs to take minutes, not weeks or months. And every sales team member needs the most up-to-date sales intelligence integrated into their workflow and right at their fingertips so each email, call and meeting is highly relevant for maximum impact.
Every growth-focused company can benefit from predictive marketing when it’s powered by AI. These solutions are purpose-built for B2B, so teams can use the signals gleaned from just a single company to create an ideal profile.