• Predictive analytics is a lot like mental time travel; it can help identify the best plan of attack before you set out
  • Personas aren’t just for messaging anymore; say hello to the persona waterfall!
  • Eighty percent of organizations use digital advertising, but without a way to guide tactic selection, marketers risk becoming lemmings

After another amazing week in Nashville attending the SiriusDecisions Summit, my mobile phone is full of great pics and takeaways from the sessions I attended. If you weren’t able to attend (or just want to compare notes), here are my top three “aha” moments from Summit.

SiriusDecisions Summit 2016 Three Highlights

Predictive Analytics – A Lot Like Mental Time Travel

We think ahead all the time in order to plan out the best thing to say to our boss, the best way to impress our date, and even the fastest way to get through our to-do lists so we can get down to the pub. Predictive analytics offers us a computer-based way to simulate mental time travel. It also helps us factor in all relevant variables without letting our own bias get in the way.

Use predictive analytics to build lookalike profiles and rank, prioritize, categorize and group target prospects. Don’t expect it to decide the best course of action for you, though. In many cases, you’ll still have to interpret and decide how you want to proceed. So no sneaking off to the pub early – physically or mentally!

Persona Waterfalls – It’s Not Just About Messaging Anymore

Last year, we heard about the importance of creating industry, segment and geo filters for the SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall®. This year, we heard from SpiceWorks about a new type of micro-filter that’s gaining popularity – the persona waterfall. SpiceWorks wanted to apply a persona-based approach to every aspect of its business, including lead tracking and reporting via the Demand Waterfall. It even went as far as assigning marketing program managers revenue goals aligned to personas.

The problem? Not all leads’ personas are identified from day 1. To fill the gaps, SpiceWorks used predictive analytics to identify a persona for all newly acquired leads. This meant 100 percent of leads could be attributed to a persona waterfall from the start, which drove campaign logic, content selection and revenue attribution.

The result: a 40x increase in Web traffic, more than double the email click-through rate, and a quarterly revenue goal outpaced by more than 50 percent – proof positive that applying the right Demand Waterfall filters can deliver huge benefits.

Digital Advertising – Are We At Risk of Becoming Lemmings?

In a recent SiriusDecisions study, 80 percent of organizations said they are using digital advertising as part of their marketing mix. So we are all doing it, but is it really effective, or are we playing follow the leader?

There are four types of digital advertising: paid search, paid social, display ads on Web publisher sites and banner ads in mobile apps. The reality is that organizations lack a structured way to identify the right type for them and their target personas, resulting in lackluster ad performance.

To fix digital advertising performance problems, you first need to understand them. Typical problems fall into three categories: targeting issues, media performance issues and Demand Waterfall issues. One way to resolve targeting issues is to revisit your personas’ watering holes and analyze how well your media partner performs there. Figuring out media performance issues requires you to honestly evaluate the three C’s: creative, content and conversion strength for your ads and landing pages. Finally, to diagnose Demand Waterfall performance issues, you need to look beyond click-through rates and analyze the impact that digital advertising has on Demand Waterfall conversion and velocity.