From accurately forecasting where an emerging market might appear to understand how leads make decisions well enough to predict which ones they’ll make next, one thing is clear: Data-driven technology has moved from science fiction to marketing fact. Big data applications give you a big-picture view of the landscape through which your prospects take their buying journey, allowing you to map a course for them and act as a guide.
The Rise of the Relational Database
Underlying this new ability to predict the future is the relational database. Unlike the last generation of fairly static data warehouses that simply stored information, the leading edge in data science involves information that’s highly interconnected. By looking at how huge sets of data interact and intersect, you learn details that no amount of study on individual leads can give you. It’s the mass of data that tells the complete story, and for that, you need a comprehensive database. Services that gather, interpret, and analyze data for you are also important to making the most of a relational database.
Applied Data Science
Marketing automation technology has big-data capabilities baked in; with it, you and your database manager can gain insight into your market, spot unusual data, and trace it to its origin, potentially discovering new markets or underused resources. Individually, prospects are sometimes hard to predict, but aggregating data smooths away the bumps and ripples created by individual variation to give you a clear image of underlying trends. The resulting analytics have potent predictive capabilities, lending weight to your projections and helping you decide on the best allocation of marketing resources.
Where Will Your Audience Be Tomorrow?
Conventional data-driven marketing applications focus on who and where your audience is today. Demographic and firmographic information are useful on their own to understand your audience in its current state, but taking data governance to its next level by making meaningful inferences and accurate predictions from it tells you what you need to know about your future market. When you know where your leads will be, you can get there before them to smooth the buying journey and shut out the competition.
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