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The Biggest Marketing Mistake You Don’t Know You’re Making

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After returning from a trip to Italy, I found myself inspired to recreate all of the incredible Italian dishes I’d sampled during my vacation.

Although cooking is a passion of mine, I find that my tastiest creations still require following a recipe.

But my Italian escapade had me so inspired; I decided to let intuition be my guide.

I chose Tagliolini con Tartufo as my dish of choice, because it’s super simple – homemade flat noodles, freshly grated cheese, and grated truffle shavings.

Sounds easy, right?

Boy, was I wrong. Without a trusty recipe to follow, my homemade pasta fell apart, the truffles tasted terrible, and the entire dish was pretty much a disaster.

Many companies treat marketing in much the same way: they dive in without a plan, and remain mystified when everything falls apart.

The Power of Prediction

Successful marketing strategies are never based on intuition. Instead, they are based on proven ‘recipes’ that are backed up by data.

Instead of throwing a plan together and hoping for the best, smart marketers use Predictive Analytics to inform every step they take.

Predictive Analytics gives you a clear indication of what has worked in the past, and shows you how your customers are likely to behave in the future. It shows you the data, and then shows you what to do about it.

Marketing in a Bubble

Besides employing intuition-based marketing strategies, another mistake many marketers make is creating a marketing plan in a bubble – that is to say, they focus on best marketing practices instead of analyzing what works best with their customers.

Here’s how this mistake typically plays out: the marketer knows that email marketing and social media are trendy online marketing techniques, so they invest heavily in email and social-based strategies without looking at the data.

When their campaigns fall flat and they finally turn to Predictive Analytics, they discover that their target market isn’t active on social media and is much more likely to respond to direct mail.

What You Need To Do

How you can begin making marketing choices based on science, not intuition?

The first step in creating a marketing recipe for success is to analyze past customer behavior.

Ask yourself…

  • If you send a sales email to a particular customer segment on a Wednesday morning, what is your conversion rate? How does it change when you send that same email on a Friday morning?
  • Which of your customers is most likely to make a purchase in response to a direct mailing? How do you know? What does the data say?
  • Which customers find you through search engines like Google and Youtube? How do you know? What are you doing about it?

Getting crystal clear on how your customers currently behave will help you predict future behavior.

If, for example, your 33-year old female customers tend to purchase from email but not direct mail, you can segment that customer base and refrain from wasting money mailing to them in the future. In this way, Predictive Analytics tells you exactly which actions to take in order to market your products more effectively.

As tempting as it may be to throw caution to the wind and market without a recipe, the result is likely to fall as flat as my Tagliolini con Tartufo.

Instead, use data to create a marketing plan based on your customers’ behavior, and allow that data to inform every marketing decision you make.

To find out how Predictive Analytics can boost your company’s bottom line (or how to make really great Pomodoro sauce), contact Bonnie at (312) 463-1050 or by clicking here.

Ina Garten’s recipe for Tagliarelle with Truffle Butter.

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About the Author:

Bonnie Massa is Founder and President of Chicago-based Massa & Company, Inc. She works with companies and nonprofits to make the best use of their information about customers, partners, donors and sponsors. With more than 30 years of experience in marketing and predictive analytics, Bonnie is passionate about helping clients make informed, data-driven decisions to increase the value of their customer base. She works with organizations of all types to attract new customers and constituents, segment existing customers and analyze customer behavior to predict future behaviors. She speaks fluent “geek” and is an effective translator between business executives and technology experts. Bonnie currently serves as President of American Marketing Association Chicago Chapter, a volunteer position leading the best marketers in the city. She strongly believes that making pasta and ice cream from scratch are worth the effort, and she spends much of her free time testing and re-testing that theory.