Let me paint a picture for you. It's the year 2000. You're the CEO of a marketing firm. You receive a knock at the door. You let the bright-eyed, optimistic Google AdWords salesperson into your office. You listen skeptically as he explains the value of "keyword-rich content" and advises you regarding which specific keywords you should purchase.

You don't really believe him, but it all sounds really nice and futuristic, so you ante up and hope for the best. At this point, the market hasn't caught on, so you can only base your decisions on the promise of delivery—not on consistent, industry-wide results.

A month later, you receive an all-too-familiar knock. This time, the AdWords salesperson has shown up with fancy graphs and charts displaying your search results, and you sit and listen (slightly less incredulously) about the ROI that has already been generated. You decide to choose a few more keywords.

The salesperson shows up again the next month with updated graphs and charts to show you.

Rinse and repeat, month after month. Chart after chart.

The game has changed

Sweet relief came when Google rolled out the AdWords self-service program, which gave any marketer with a credit card the power to choose his or her own keywords and receive real-time analytics.

Today, marketers can hardly fathom having to wait a whole month for Google campaign results.

Predictive analytics and Big Data have changed the game entirely. In fact, they've invented a new game. A better game. Marketing and sales teams now have real-time access to millions of data points across the Internet that provide scarily accurate insights into their potential customers.

This new game is called "predictive marketing," and it's the key to unlocking more value from marketing automation and CRM systems.

Predictive marketing campaigns use data and machine learning to increase the marketing effectiveness throughout the customer journey with omnichannel and multichannel orchestration.

Through automated nurturing, predetermined customer journeys are transformed into predictive customer journeys. Simply put, this process engages sales prospects with the right message at the right time through the right channel—while it also arms marketers with the deep data needed to tap into uncharted markets.

So, what does predictive marketing mean for you? 

Predictive marketing does five things that foster success in marketing.

1. Predictive marketing empowers marketers with the knowledge of data scientists

True marketing automation through predictive marketing campaigns gives a single person the type of organized data insight he would receive if he had terabytes of information and multiple data scientists working for him.

Because of this extreme insight into potential customers, marketers can devise highly personalized campaigns and deliver their messages to individuals across multiple platforms.

2. It weeds out the time-wasters

Oh, they're the worst. Why spend all your time chasing down leads that probably won't close?

Predictive marketing uses detailed analytics to create "customer DNA" (i.e., scary-accurate customer profiles that enable marketers to focus on those people most likely to buy). Armed with that information, sales efforts are streamlined, and the need for the cold call is eliminated.

Let's face it—the puzzle every marketer endeavors to solve is how to reach the right person with the right message at the right time. Predictive marketing is the solution.

3. It provides a work/life balance for marketers

What is this strange, foreign concept I speak of? Work/life balance is what you are achieving when you aren't spending all your time chasing down cold leads or being stuck in a cubicle poring over endless data points.

Predictive marketing software increases efficiencies for your business—and your customers. Plus, it puts the power in your hands to work anywhere in the world. All you need is an Internet connection and a decent laptop.

4. Keeping Sales happy creates career momentum

For marketers, better results mean more opportunities to demonstrate real value.

If your customers' sales grow 700-1,000% (realistic numbers), that means the company will grow. It will inevitably end up hiring more people and, as a result, stimulating the economy. That kind of tangible value is what every marketer seeks.

You want to become indispensable to those who pay for your services. When you achieve indispensability, you've achieved career momentum.

5. It builds a gateway to greater human connections

Ultimately, data is the gateway to greater human connections. The promise of email marketing was efficiency. The result is like a game of dodge ball, with Sales and Marketing bombarding potential customers with email blasts, and prospective customers dodging and hiding from those unwelcomed inquiries. However, with knowledge come power, value, and results.

By comparison, predictive marketing helps sales and marketing professionals know more about their customers, which creates tangible bonds. People will engage with, discuss, and even buy something when they feel understood and respected.

Predictive marketing fosters an environment where people help people—a true human connection. Happier sales teams and happier customers are among the rewards for businesses that venture into the exciting new area of predictive marketing.

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Five Reasons Predictive Marketing Software Should Be Your New BFF

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image of John Bara

John Bara is president and CMO at Mintigo, a provider of a predictive marketing platform.

LinkedIn: John Bara