Predictive Is Hot. Don't Get Burned!

This month’s Demand Generation and Marketing Ops Meetup proved to be a great meeting of the marketing minds. The meetup kicked off with Ward Greunke of 1factory discussing how to influence customer behavior in order to speed up adoption of a new product, drawing from concepts in Charles Duhigg’s book “The Power of Habit.”

Greunke’s talk was followed by a panel discussion on marketing operations/demand generation predictions for the New Year. The panel was comprised of top marketing professionals Baxter Denney (Director of Marketing Operations, New Relic) and Mike Kim (Demand Generation Lead, Pure Storage), and was moderated by 6sense’s Head of Marketing Alison Murdock.

From Left to Right: Alison Murdock (6sense), Mike Kim (Pure Storage), Baxter Denney (New Relic)

A variety of predictions for the New Year emerged from the panel discussion, but the one that was most top-of-mind for everyone was predictive. Here’s a snapshot of the learnings that emerged from the discussion:

1. Demand Gen professionals are looking for new ways to understand the buyer journey.

As DG professionals strive to find new ways to understand and engage with each stage of the buyer journey, many are turning to predictive technologies for support. The promise of finding customers in-market-to-buy at every stage of the journey is highly appealing, and to some in the audience it still seemed too good to be true. For example, one audience member pointed out that if the ready-to-buy customer uncovered is simply a company name, rather than an individual, the information may be obvious and unhelpful. You may have the in-market-to-buy account, but you still haven’t found the individuals with the buying power. This is why 6sense scores accounts and contacts, a key differentiator among predictive intelligence vendors.

2. Marketing Ops professionals are concerned with quality over quantity.

The unanimous tone of the panel was that more dashboards and reports are not necessarily better. As such, there is an increasing demand among marketing operations professionals for analytics solutions, including predictive analytics, which directly increase the quality of marketing tactics. In the predictive vendor space, the most direct link to quality insights stems from the quality of the input data. As the saying goes, garbage in, garbage out.

The panel then moved into the predictive space, specifically, discussing which predictive intelligence providers use the most appropriate data, or conduct the best algorithms to reach their insights. The conclusion was that understanding each vendor’s unique scoring process and data inputs is paramount to marketing operations professionals looking to adopt predictive technologies and evaluate vendors. When in doubt ask the “next step” question: assuming the math is good, can the right type of data impact your revenues?

3. Clarity in attribution is a much-desired asset.

The question of who is responsible for the last touch with customers, and the ability to manage this ambiguity alongside sales and marketing, remains unresolved. Across the board, marketers in the panel and audience expressed a desire for better clarity with respect to marketing or sales attribution. Participants wondered if perhaps one day the predictive space would contribute such improvements to the existing, and largely insufficient, attribution system. Have your own predictions about predictive’s role in attribution? Tweet us @6senseInc. Or check out other trending predictions from B2B marketing thought leaders here.

As evidenced by the meetup, predictive is top-of mind for tech’s hottest marketing operations and demand generation professionals. Stay informed about it on the 6sense blog.

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