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Predictive Analytics: When to Use It and How

Predictive Analytics: When to Use It and How
What is Predictive Analytics Infographic - Massa & CompanyI have a client with an incredibly creative marketing team – they have some of the most off-the-wall, clever emails I’ve seen in a while, and meeting with them always keeps me on my toes. But when it comes to strategy, like so many of us, they’re relying on their gut, their intuition to reach audiences. So they’re not always getting the return they hoped.

I’ve written before about predictive analytics, which allow us to use the data we have on purchase histories, location and psychological profiles to predict customer purchasing habits. (Plus, check out our new infographic on the right – click to enlarge!) And with this client, it was definitely worth re-visiting.

In today’s crowded, ever-more-niche market, it’s not just smart to use predictive analytics to reach our customers and leads; it’s absolutely vital! As marketers spend more on social platforms that allow us to target down to the zip code with specific purchasing habits, it’s more important than ever that we use our data to pick the right audiences and reach them at the right time. This is why we use Predictive Analytics: to spend less money on marketing and make more money on sales!

So when can you use predictive analytics for your business?

Here are a few common issues:

  1. Are you unable to group your customer database into meaningful segments that you can target with tailored messages and offers? By starting with your customer data, and not your assumptions, you can successfully segment your customers and determine which segments to spend marketing dollars on and what messaging or offer will be most effective with those segments.
  2. Are you only using monetary value to determine your most loyal customers? Combine recency, frequency and monetary value from your transactional data to complete a full RFM analysis and find your most loyal customers.
  3. Are you testing campaigns and determining the highest response rate is the winner without statistical validation? Run the numbers to use science, not your gut or the loudest voice in the room, to drive your success.
  4. Are you unable to discern which customer ‘segments’ within your low-responding campaigns have the characteristics of the high responders? By drilling down in your data, you can find commonalities to help you maximize revenue – or cut your losses with dead leads.
  5. Are you unable to determine the attributes shared by those most likely to purchase, so you cannot score a customer accordingly? With a cross-section of all of your customers’ data, you can pinpoint behaviors to predict purchases across segments.

With predictive analytics, you can reach your customers with the strategies that are effective and at the time they’re most impactful. As a result, you can:

  • Cross-sell and up-sell more effectively to your current customers
  • Choose the best lists to more easily acquire new customers
  • Select the best offer for each customer segment
  • Test your campaigns and choose the best one
  • Increase response rates for all of your campaigns

The best part is that predictive analytics work for all types of businesses. More often than not, you can leverage the data you already have in place to start better marketing, and add in more info-captures along the way as you fine tune your funnels and targets. It does require the purchase of specialized software and someone with a knowledge of how to build predictive models.

Ready to get started? Massa & Co. can take you from whatever state your data is in today through to creating and testing a predictive model, all to help you spend less on marketing and make more in sales! Contact us today at or (312) 463-1050.

Food for Thought: Crock Pot Chicken Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup via Damn DeliciousSpeaking of needing help with something that seems hard at the moment: Food is obviously a passion of mine, and given that you’re reading this section of a post on predictive analytics, you must love it, too. So imagine the absolute agony of being laid up all winter with an ankle injury that left me unable to walk or spend time in the kitchen for weeks! Talk about devastation.

Thankfully, I discovered this tasty dump recipe for crock pot chicken soup, and I practically lived on it for two months through the slow process of healing. Using the modern luxuries of online grocery shopping, I got everything I needed, dumped it into my slow cooker and climbed back into bed. In these final cold weeks in Chicago, I can’t recommend it more highly. Image and recipe via Damn Delicious.


Contact us to get started on your predictive analytics project today: or (312) 463-1050.

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 40 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 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.


Since 1985, Massa & Company has helped businesses reduce their marketing costs and increase sales by turning data into actionable insights.


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