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Data-Driven Marketing

Marketing With Predictive Analytics and Performance Data

Ever wish you had a crystal ball to know the future of your business? Instead of wishing, try using predictive analytics and performance data. Here's how.

17 mins read time
Wendi Williams
Wendi Williams

May 19, 2020

Ever wish you had a crystal ball that could tell you what the future holds for your business? Maybe a deck of mystical tarot cards that would plot out the perfect marketing strategy? Stop counting your lucky stars or consulting your horoscope: what you really need is data. Cold, hard, indisputable numbers that measure your performance and guide you to making informed, thoughtful decisions about marketing your brand. Best of all, unlike putting all your chips on the table and praying for lucky number 7s, when used correctly, performance data and predictive analytics (combined with a little help from your friendly neighborhood data experts)  are a guarantee for success.

These aren’t fortune tellers; they’re fortune makers. So let's dive into the world of performance data and predictive analytics and talk about how these two strategies can make you money...


Performance Data and KPIs

Marketing performance data comprises the tools and methods you use to measure your current performance based on your business’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Whatever the size and scope of your business, I’m betting you’re already tracking your analytics – but when it comes to maximizing your performance data, what matters most is what you’re tracking, and how you’re using that information. Below are three steps to put your brand on the path to performance data success:

1. Tighten Up Those KPIs

Before you can look to the future, you have to look to the past. Conduct an in-depth audit of your KPIs and ensure they still fit your evolving brand. KPIs should be dynamic, just like your business. Adjust them where needed, so you know your metrics will align with your goals. We adjust our client KPIs on a yearly basis, at minimum, but sometimes those KPIs are adjusting monthly or quarterly based on project and priority shifts. Your KPIs really should be a living, breathing document. 

In general, your KPIs should be very high-level goals, and then there should be supporting metrics laddered under that. For example, with SEO you might have these KPIs and supporting metrics:

  1. Grow Organic Revenue 

    1. Keyword value

    2. Organic conversion rate

  2. Grow Organic Traffic

    1. # of ranked keywords

    2. # of first page keywords

    3. # of rich snippets

    4. Domain authority 

  3. Improve Technical Site Health

    1. Increase site audit score

    2. Improve page load time


2. It’s Not How You Measure Up; It’s What You Measure

These days, there’s a tool to measure just about everything. Want to know how many users browse your site while taking a bathroom break? There’s probably an app for that. 

We kid, but when it comes to meaningful insights, quality is far more important than quantity. You don’t just want the numbers; you want the right numbers. If you’re looking at marketing performance, these are just a handful of the metrics you need to be tracking per inbound marketing channel and skip the rest. 

Below are the exact KPIs we use at First Page to track inbound marketing performance for one of our clients. From the below, you can see that we're focused on the big numbers that show growth. We're not focused on small things that you're often told to track in articles about marketing analytics, such as open rate and click rate in an email. As a founder, CMO or CEO, do you really care about an open rate and click rate in an email? No, you care if the email channel is driving more business. The rest is just semantics in order to optimize and improve performance. The "semantics" should be paid attention to by an Email Expert, we're not saying ignore it. We're just saying: it's important to hone in on high-level growth metrics when reporting to leadership, the company, or telling your marketer what they're responsible for in their job.


Organic Search

    • (Listed in above)


Email Marketing

  1. Increase MOFU transactions from email

    1. Transactions from Abandoned Cart

    2. Transactions from Leads newsletter

  2. Increase BOFU transactions from email

    1. Transactions from Onboarding Campaign

    2. Transactions from customer newsletter

  3. Increase Product Awareness 

    1. Visits to login page

    2. Increase affiliate purchases

    3. Upsell transactions from email


Lead Generation

  1. Grow Top of Funnel 

    1. Subscriber Growth: # of Subscribers 

    2. Lead Growth: # of leads

  2. Grow Middle of the Funnel 

    1. MQL growth: # of MQLs

    2. Percentage of leads who moved from Lead to MQL

    3. Customer Growth: #of customers

    4. Percentage of MQLs to Customers


Content Marketing

  1. Grow Revenue from Content

    1. Blog revenue 

  2. Grow Traffic from Content

    1. Blog traffic 

  3. Grow TOFU/MOFU from Content

    1. MOFU content downloads from blog

    2. TOFU: Blog subscribers


Social Media

  1. Increase Brand Awareness from Social 

    1. More traffic from social 

    2. More engagement with social posts

  2. Increase Content Distribution

    1. Increase content distribution (shares)

    2. Increase eyeballs on content (impressions)

As noted above, there are tools that should track each of these metrics, and it will require you to pull data from multiple sources such as Google Analytics, HubSpot and Facebook. But, if you’re looking for an all-in-one dashboard to track all of your marketing efforts, it will save you time and put the numbers you need at your fingertips if you setup a marketing dashboard to aggregate your data. This is what we do at First Page for our clients and after some initial heavy lifting setup, it's good to go every month with minor tweaks as projects change or are added.

3. Transform Data Into Action

See something, say something. Or in this case, do something. The great thing about real-time market performance data is that it gives you an opportunity to make adjustments to your marketing strategy in the moment, reaching buyers wherever they are in the customer journey with the message they need to hear. What are some of the benefits of performance data tracking? We’re glad you asked! It's hard to tell sometimes what exact marketing tactics are going to result in growth for your brand because every brand is different. For that reason, it's usually better to diversify your approach and test out many different growth tactics. So, tracking your data will help you understand:

  • Efficiency: with data tracking, you ensure that you’re putting your people power where it matters, rather than wasting hours and energy on tactics that will never pay out. 

  • Adaptability: real-time performance data measurement keeps you agile and flexible, and allows you to make changes as needed, rather than waiting weeks or even months for reports and analysis.

  • Savings: the bottom line is that it all comes down to your bottom line. Performance data tracking will save you money, time and a lot of headaches along the way.

Predictive Analytics and Marketing Strategy

Now that you’ve looked to your past numbers to help you adapt and customize your marketing strategy in the present, it’s time to start looking toward the future. No crystal balls here, but with the right tools and data, you can get a glimpse into a brave new world of marketing success.

1. What is Predictive Analytics?

Predictive analytics is the process of marrying consumer data with artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and algorithms to make and model predictions about future behavior. Predictive analytics doesn’t just use old data to influence strategy now – it makes theories based on your information to hypothesize likely future actions and influence decisions. It’s come a long way in the last decade, and in fact, a Salesforce study indicates that 91% of top marketers are already using it. So, how can you begin to implement predictive analytics? It starts a lot like the performance data process we outlined above, with firming up your KPIs, choosing which metrics to analyze, and making marketing decisions based on those findings. However, predictive analytics continues from there...

2. The Next Steps in Predictive Analytics

Once you’ve nailed down your performance data process, you can begin with a predictive analytics plan. The steps you’ll need to add on to your process include:

  1. Modeling: Once your data is collected, put on your fortune teller hat and start making predictions. These shouldn’t be shots in the dark; they should be educated theories backed by your data. 

  2. Implementation: Create a marketing strategy informed by your predictions, focusing first on the tactics that have the most certain outcome.

  3. Monitoring: Watch the results closely, and don’t be afraid to make adjustments. Like any performance tracking, the numbers will change… and so should your strategy.

3. Applications of Predictive Analytics

If you’re still wondering exactly what predictive analytics will do for your business, here are just some of the areas in which future-casting will have an impact on the way you market:

  • Understanding Consumer Behavior: predictive analytics offers a deeper and more accurate look at what motivates your customers, and what influences their decision-making process.

  • Generating More Qualified Leads: with a better understanding of buyer behavior, you can target leads further down the funnel, and create content your sales team can use to nurture and eventually convert.

  • Maximizing Customer Retention: when you know what a consumer needs, you’re going to be in a better position to give it to them.

  • Influencing Budget Allocation: like any data tracking, predictive analytics will give you a big picture view of what’s working… and what isn’t, allowing you to put your money where it counts.

Understanding and adopting a smart strategy for performance data and predictive analytics in your business may seem daunting, but the investment is quite possibly the best decision you could ever make because it'll start improving your business quickly. There are no sure bets, no tea leaves to interpret or palms to read, but there are numbers and data that will help you make educated predictions about the future.

Analytics Got You Overwhelmed?  Feeling in over your head with all the data? Looking for accurate analysis  when you need it most? We're here to help. Learn More

Wendi Williams

After beginning her career in broadcast media, Wendi spent the next decade writing for clients in a variety of industries, including healthcare, business and tech. She’s been writing since she was 8 years old, and more than 30 years later, doesn’t foresee slowing down anytime soon. Her passion is using words to bring brands to life, and telling their stories in unique and engaging ways. She shares a life of wonder, curiosity and exploration with her husband, two children and pet lizard.

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