Demystifying Data Science for Marketers

Laura Kendall

In recent years, progressive business leaders have talked at length and in public about data, predictive analytics, and how the tool of data science can transform a business, particularly sales and marketing teams. But, while infusing data science into every aspect of your business could mean the difference between surviving and thriving it’s easy to be intimidated by data science for marketing. Fortunately, having a PhD in data science or a team of engineers at your disposal isn’t a prerequisite! To help you make the most of data science and predictive analytics, we’ve put together a quick overview of what data science and predictive analytics can do for your business and how you can empower your team with data without sending them all back to post-grad. 

What is data science? 

In the normal course of their operations, most modern businesses accumulate huge amounts of data about their customers. Some of this data — such as names, phone numbers, email addresses — is used to identify and contact customers. Other data, including age, location, and demographic category, is used to better understand who customers are and what their needs and wants might be. But for modern marketers, the only metric that really matters is revenue. 

Data science is a broad category that describes the procedures and methods used to categorize, interpret, and make sense of the data that businesses collect in order to help meet business goals. Data scientists help marketers to detect patterns that can be used to help understand and even predict consumer behavior. Predicting consumer behavior, in turn, can help marketers to predict how much revenue their marketing activities are likely to generate and to adjust those tactics accordingly. 

What is predictive analytics?

The area of data science that focuses on predicting consumer behavior based on existing patterns is commonly referred to as predictive analytics. To do this, data scientists employ machine learning algorithms and statistical analysis to detect patterns in historical data and extrapolate how those patterns are likely to repeat going forward. Predictive analytics can help marketers to:

  1. Forecast the impact of a future campaign
  2. Anticipate how customers will respond to changes in messaging, frequency, content, or product
  3. Efficiently score leads based on their potential to convert giving sales teams a way to rank prospects

How does this help you? 

The most important thing that data science does for marketers is to create transparency and clarity. It's more important than ever for marketers to meet quarterly goals. Success is crucial not just to the health of a marketing organization but also in many cases to the survival of the business as a whole. Data science allows marketers to set aside uncertainty and predict with greater confidence how and when they will meet their goals. And if you’re in danger of falling short, predictive models can provide the warning you need to adjust your tactics. 

What kind of changes could you make with the help of data science?

  • Optimize Your Marketing Budget: If your goal is to maximize ROI (and it is), then data science can help to build a predictive spending model. This model will allow you to hit your goals without overspending your budget by anticipating how various marketing tactics will impact revenue. Ultimately every marketing strategy is about placing an educated bet on the tactics that you think will lead to a payout, but data science allows you to count the cards and place those bets with greater certainty. 
  • Learn and Adapt More Quickly - Instead of waiting for a campaign to wrap up so you can see the results, predictive analytics will allow your team to anticipate outcomes within a much shorter window. Understanding the impact in real-time can allow you to adjust and optimize live rather than waiting on a lengthy iterative process that could lead to missing time-sensitive goals. 
  • Identifying Top Channels: The digital marketing ecosystem grows more complex by the day, with new channels emerging with increasing regularity. Data science can examine past results from all of your marketing channels to help you identify and prioritize the channels that drive results and deprioritize the ones that don’t. This will ensure that every dollar you spend is having the maximum possible impact on your KPIs. 
  • Lead Scoring: Marketing teams pride themselves on the ability to generate leads, but not all leads are created equal. Data science can help you to rank your prospect based on how likely they are to convert or by their expected value to your business. Armed with these predictions, sales teams can make informed decisions about how to prioritize their efforts to develop various leads. 
  • Align Sales and Marketing - The partnership between sales and marketing needs to be strong for a business to thrive, but it’s often one of the most fraught cross-functional relationships in an organization because both teams are measuring success differently. Data science allows you to measure performance against a unified source of truth making it easier for both sides of the house to support and collaborate with each other. 
  • Data-Driven Pricing: Pricing strategy can mean the difference between making a sale and losing it to a competitor. Data science can provide transparency into opaque customer behavior to help ensure that you’re setting a price that allows your business to meet its goals and still maximizes your chances of making a sale. 

Ultimately, data science provides marketers with the tools to turn their customer data into real insights that can drive value. At a time when businesses have more data about their customers than ever before — and when marketers are under increasing pressure to maximize the ROI of their efforts — data science is a critical tool to ensure transparency and predict success. 

Let MadKudu Be Your Data Science Sherpa

At MadKudu, we’ve made data science and predictive analytics the very backbone of our business, and our team of experts love nothing more than to help marketers like yourself gain the power of predictive models and insights to deliver the most impactful results. Whether you’re ready for a tour of our product or just want to learn more about how data science can help your marketing strategy, schedule some time with us

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