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Why Marketers are Betting Big on Predictive Analytics

IDG Connect 0811 Why Marketers are Betting Big on Predictive Analytics

Give a marketer a sale, and you’ll keep his company afloat for a day; teach him to predict future sales, and you may just ensure his longevity.

That, in essence, is the premise behind predictive marketing, a concept that’s increasingly taking hold in enterprises today.

Tapping into the analytics trend that’s being felt throughout the business world as a whole, predictive marketing applies algorithms and machine learning to big data to help marketers direct their efforts in the most profitable directions. Predictive-analytics tools can help marketers gauge ahead of time what a particular customer will buy, for example, as well as when and how much. Equipped with that information, companies can tailor their campaigns accordingly.

Amazon is a shining example: Its recommendations engine reportedly accounts for roughly 30 percent of the company’s sales.

Successes like that may help explain investors’ excitement about predictive-analytics purveyors such as Lattice Engines.

Lattice on Wednesday announced a fresh US$28 million in Series D funding, bringing its total investment intake so far to $75 million. The company’s software is now used in more than 100 organizations worldwide, it says, resulting in higher sales rates, conversions and cross-sales successes as well as reduced churn.

Predictive analytics can help marketers across the entire customer lifecycle, said Fern Halper, director of TDWI Research for advanced analytics.

For instance, “predictive analytics helps in segmenting customers, finding patterns in their behavior, offering them the promotions that they would be likely to respond to, and predicting what customers would likely churn,” Halper explained.

Marketing and sales are, in fact, among the top areas that organizations start with when deploying predictive analytics, she added, as increasingly easy-to-use tools bring such capabilities within closer reach for nonexpert business users.

Also fueling the technology’s growth is the sheer deluge of data out there today.

“There’s so much data and so many channels that firms like Lattice are now necessary to help marketers interpret and understand and, to some degree, optimize their campaigns in real time,” said Greg Sterling, vice president for strategy and insights with the Local Search Association. “Firms and tools that offer ways to make sense of all the data are increasingly important.”

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IDC: China Business Analytics Services Market Undergo Accelerated Growth Including Big Data Deployments

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 IDC: China Business Analytics Services Market Undergo Accelerated Growth Including Big Data Deployments

Beijing, May 7, 2015 – With greater use of big data technology in different industries, China’s business analytics services market will maintain accelerated growth, according to IDC’s latest “China Business Analytics Services Market Forecast and Analysis, 2015-2019”. The study illuminates a strong demand for customized business analytics services from different industries, with financial services and telecommunications leading the way. IDC’s data show that China’s business analytics services market reached US$1.398 billion in 2014, up 16.4% from 2013. IDC forecasts that the market will grow at the CAGR of 16.7% in the coming five years to reach US$3.027 billion in 2019.

Nina Nie, Senior Market Analyst, Services Research, IDC China said, “as enterprises recognize the value of business analytics services in the face of changing management requirements and intensifying competition, business analytics has evolved to more intelligent applications. Precision marketing, risk management and corporate decision-making support are some examples. With the improvement of unstructured data mining and processing capabilities, the meshing of business analytics with big data has given rise to more sophisticated industry applications.” China’s current business analytics services market has taken on the following traits and development trends:

Smart City development and industry transformation promote robust growth of business analytics services.  Clients in the financial industry and the telecommunications industry, the top industries of the business analytics services market, have shown a greater need for big data technology and data governance in addition to common services such as data warehouse, decision analysis, inquiry statistics and customer analysis. In industries including government, manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, retail and ecommerce, unique business analytics applications have taken shape. Driven by smart city development and industry transformation, business analytics services in these industries will see robust growth. Meanwhile, business analytics service providers are accelerating deployments to capture emerging application market shares.

Click to continue reading and to view a video on China Business Analytics Services…

‘Dirty’ Data & Email Subject Lines

IDG Connect Marketers

This week’s marketing news roundup focuses on marketers wasting time on ‘dirty’ data and which email subject lines are most effective.

‘Dirty’ Data

Data is vital for B2B marketing but it looks like marketers could be wasting their time and effort on dirty data. According to a Spear Marketing Group recent poll, 54% of US B2B marketing executives estimated that over 25% of their marketing database included old, inaccurate, unusable or duplicate leads. Furthermore the majority of respondents described the accuracy of their data as “fair,” or “bad”. This problem also often manifests itself as a barrier to marketing across multiple channels.Econsultancy has found that 42% of marketers say inaccurate contact data is the biggest barrier to multichannel marketing.

‘Dirty’ data is not only wasting marketer’s time, it also affects the bottom line. Experian Data Quality research has found that the cost of inaccurate data has a direct impact on the bottom line of 88% of companies, with the average company losing 12% of its revenue.

Even though marketers have identified this problem, it looks like they’re reluctant to use solutions to overcome it. With 46% of respondents not employing such tools to automatically enrich, append, clean or de-dupe leads before they entered the system.

Email Subject Lines

Email subject lines can determine the success of your campaign. With so many emails flooding into mailboxes, competition is getting stiffer. And no matter how good your email design is, it won’t be seen if your email subject if it’s not engaging. Return Path’s recent study analysed nine million subject lines received by more than nine million subscribers to discover which subject lines are gaining the most success.

You may have often heard that shorter subject lines increases your read rate chances however the study has found no relationship between subject line length and read rate. Subject lines with 61-70 characters had the highest read rate and almost twice the read rate of subject lines with more than 100 characters. Even though the study demonstrates a higher read rate in the study, longer character emails only comprised of just 6% and 3% of the study. While the most commonly used length was 41-50 characters, in one-quarter of emails analysed.

The research discussed that even though there isn’t a relationship between subject line length and read rate it explains marketers should not pay attention to length. Mobile devices display subject lines in different ways and the research suggests that it’s more important to place a CTA at the beginning of a subject line if the audience is primarily mobile.

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Leveraging Social Media for Lead Generation

Business 2 Community

In order to leverage social media to fill your sales funnel, you’ll need to invest in a tool that will help your business filter content and target influencers and prospective customers. Many small businesses are using social media to build awareness about their services, but you can go much further and target and engage prospective customers. Before you invest in any of these tools, make sure that you’re also doing the basics when it comes to your businesses’ social media profile and content generation.

  1. Branded Profile – All of your profiles are branded and have a consistent look and feel. Social media isn’t any different than your website, collateral or a sales package. Your brand image and message should be clear.
  2. Consistent Schedule of Content – You’ll need a consistent schedule of content to nurture your audience and grow your community. Keep your message conversational.
  3. Relevant Content – Most businesses have a lot to share. Think about how you can educate your audience and showcase your expertise. For example, if your business targets marketers and small businesses, then your content should help those prospects solve problems and make their day-to-day activities easier. Hubspot’s article on mixing up visual content is very helpful.
  4. Assets – Most businesses have many assets already created. Take a look at past campaigns, whitepapers and informational content that you can leverage in the social space. It’s not always about creating content from scratch.
  5. Monitoring and Listening – In addition to publishing, you will need to listen and monitor what’s being said about your business and what prospects are saying about your industry. There are several free tools that can help you get into the flow of the conversation.

Here are a few lead generation tools that help you find your target audience, engage and fill your sales funnel.

Socedo – Is a great tool to use with Twitter and LinkedIn. With this tool, you set up key words that will filter the relevant leads for your business. Socedo allows you to also establish automated messages to start engaging with prospects immediately. The dashboard feature helps you manage how those prospects respond so that you can convert them into customers. I like the free 14-day trial feature, which allows you to take it for a test run. Pricing is based on the number of prospects you generate and is relatively low.

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CIOs Lead Collaborative Team in Growing Big Data & Analytics Initiatives

 CIOs Lead Collaborative Team in Growing Big Data & Analytics Initiatives

IDG Enterprise’s 2015 Big Data and Analytics research highlights momentum behind big data deployment, investments areas and challenges

Framingham, Mass.—March 9, 2015—IDG Enterprise— the leading enterprise technology media company composed of CIO, Computerworld, CSO, DEMO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World—announces the release of the 2015 Big Data and Analytics research, which spotlights an increase in the number of deployed data-driven projects over the past year and reveals that many organizations are still planning implementations, as 83% of organizations categorize structured data initiatives as a high or critical priority. IT decision-makers (ITDMs) also provided insight into organizational data and analytics purchase plans, security concerns and the top vendor attributes when evaluating solutions in 2015.

Big Data – A Year Later
Deployment of data-driven projects has increased by 125% in the past year (Click to Tweet), with 27% of organizations already in deployment. The momentum continues with an additional 42% of organizations still planning implementation. As more ITDMs deploy data initiatives, it provides clarity into the amount of data that needs to be managed. Similar to 2014, organizations are currently managing an average of 167.3TB of data, and this amount is expected to increase by 48% over the next 12 to 18 months. The largest contributors to this data growth are customer databases (63%), emails (61%), and transactional data (53%) (View Infographic).

In 2014, with big data showing the potential to create cross-function business opportunities, CEOs were the leading supporter of data-driven initiatives and CIOs were taking the strategic lead. Today, the CEO is still involved however, many individuals collaborate during the decision process, including the CIO (52%), CEO (43%), IT/networking staff (37%), CFO (36%), and IT steering committee (35%). At the end of the day, the CIO still takes the strategic lead and is in charge of data-driven decisions. Even with the CEO’s support, organizations are facing challenges with their big data initiatives, from limited budget (47%), to legacy issues (40%), and limited skilled employees that can analyze data (38%).

“Big data and analytics continues to be a priority and a growth area for organizations. CIOs are deploying data-driven tools that help advance the business through strategic and timely decision-making,” said Brian Glynn, chief revenue officer of IDG Enterprise. “As deployment moves towards mainstream, tech vendors have the opportunity to elevate their customers’ initiatives and potentially alleviate organizational and staffing challenges by providing solutions that integrate into legacy systems and provide an ease of use.”

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2015 Big Data and Analytics Survey

CIOs Lead Collaborative Team in Growing Big Data and Analytics Initiatives

Dataversity

A new article reports, “IDG Enterprise— the leading enterprise technology media company composed of CIO, Computerworld, CSO, DEMO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World—announces the release of the 2015 Big Data and Analyticsresearch, which spotlights an increase in the number of deployed data-driven projects over the past year and reveals that many organizations are still planning implementations, as 83% of organizations categorize structured data initiatives as a high or critical priority. IT decision-makers (ITDMs) also provided insight into organizational data and analytics purchase plans, security concerns and the top vendor attributes when evaluating solutions in 2015.”

The article goes on, “Deployment of data-driven projects has increased by 125% in the past year, with 27% of organizations already in deployment. The momentum continues with an additional 42% of organizations still planning implementation. As more ITDMs deploy data initiatives, it provides clarity into the amount of data that needs to be managed. Similar to 2014, organizations are currently managing an average of 167.3TB of data, and this amount is expected to increase by 48% over the next 12 to 18 months. The largest contributors to this data growth are customer databases (63%), emails (61%), and transactional data (53%).”

Continue Reading…

IDG Enterprise: 2015 Big Data and Analytics Research

 IDG Enterprise: 2015 Big Data and Analytics Research

Framingham, Mass.—March 9, 2015—IDG Enterprise— the leading enterprise technology media company composed of CIO, Computerworld, CSO, DEMO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World—announces the release of the 2015 Big Data and Analytics research, which spotlights an increase in the number of deployed data-driven projects over the past year and reveals that many organizations are still planning implementations, as 83% of organizations categorize structured data initiatives as a high or critical priority. IT decision-makers (ITDMs) also provided insight into organizational data and analytics purchase plans, security concerns and the top vendor attributes when evaluating solutions in 2015.

 

2015 Big Data and Analytics Survey

 

2015 Big Data and Analytics Infographic

Gamification Can Help People Actually Use Analytics Tools

Harvard Business Review

If you’re trying to use advanced analytics to improve your organization’s decisions, join the club. Most of the companies I talk to are embarked on just such a quest. But it’s a rocky one.

The technological challenge is hard enough. You have to identify the right data and develop useful tools, such as predictive algorithms. But then comes an even tougher task: getting people to actually use the new tools.

Why is the people factor so important? It’s easy enough to automate routine decisions, such as identifying likely buyers for a product upgrade. But many decisions in today’s knowledge economy depend on expertise and experience. Think of bankers deciding on business loans, product developers determining tradeoffs between features and cost, or B2B sales reps figuring out which prospects to target. Analytics can help codify the logic of the best decision makers, but it can’t replace human judgment.

Moreover, the tools developed for contexts like these can be complex, often involving a steep learning curve. If decision makers aren’t willing to experiment with the tool and improve their outcomes over time, then your investment in the technology is wasted.

Right here, some say, is where a company could use gamification to encourage people to invest the time and learn how to use the new tools.

 

Gamification means using motivational techniques like those the videogame industry has put to such effective use. Anyone with teenagers in the house knows that they will spend long hours on their own, trying to get to the next level of their favorite game. Motivation experts like Dan Pink would say that the games are tapping into some basic human drives: for autonomy (you control your own pace), for mastery (you get better over time), and for a sense of purpose (you’re aiming at a well-defined goal). The social factor is important, too. Gamers love to match their skills against others and to compare notes on how they’re doing.

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The top demographic trends for every major social network

Business Insider

The demographics of who’s on what social network are shifting — older social networks are reaching maturity, while newer social messaging apps are gaining younger users fast.

In a report from BI Intelligence, we unpack data from over a dozen sources to understand how social media demographics are still shifting.

Purchase the full report >>

Here are a few of the key takeaways from the BI Intelligence report:

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This is Your Brain on Twitter

Medium

Twitter’s senior director of market research, Jeffrey Graham is always looking for ways to show the effectiveness of ad campaigns on Twitter — surveys, home visits, data models.

One of the more interesting studies involved two groups of people watching the NCAA basketball tournament on television. One group was permitted to bring their phones and tweet all they wanted. The other had to leave their phones outside and somehow manage without a second screen. Both groups had sweat monitors on their wrists and foreheads, a pulse rate monitor, and eye tracking goggles, to track how engaged they were. In comparison with the no-device crowd, the metrics went wild for the group permitted to tweet. “For people able to do Twitter and TV at the same time, there was a huge lift versus people who were just watching TV,” says Twitter’s global president of revenue and partnerships, Adam Bain.

But Graham felt that Twitter could really make a mark using a technology he learned about in an advertising research association’s report. It described how using neuroscience could get you other unavailable data, stuff from the subconscious reaches of people’s minds.

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