July 31, 2019
You might assume an automated data science platform is best suited to business analysts, data scientists or research and development teams. However, we would argue there are huge benefits to be had across every department, especially sales and marketing.
Optimizing sales and marketing spend is one of the biggest questions that businesses face. These departments are under constant pressure to prove their value, demonstrate clear results and justify budgets. However, it’s often difficult to unpick the tangled relationship between different campaigns and track the buyer journey.
We believe an automated data science platform can be utilized to improve three core elements of any sales and marketing strategy. Perhaps more importantly, we don’t believe that this requires these departments to have an in-depth understanding of data science. Read on to discover what we mean...
1. Understanding your audience
57% of enterprise executives see improving customer experience as the biggest benefit of AI
In order to enjoy any success in sales and marketing, a business first needs to know its customers. By understanding your buyer demographic, you can empathise with their experience, identify their key desires and challenges, and present them with an offering in a way that perfectly matches their needs.
Customers have come to expect a fast-increasing level of personalization throughout the buyer journey. An automated data science platform can segment a company’s contacts based on specific values, empowering marketers and sales teams to personalize activity. We call this clustering, with unstructured machine learning finding patterns and features in your customer and prospect data that isn’t obvious to the human eye.
The extent of this personalization depends upon the consumer data collected., Companies can also analyze and more importantly, predict, customer behaviour using an automated data science platform. Manually collating and comparing consumer interactions is time-consuming, resource-sapping and near-impossible. However, an automated data science platform will pinpoint which interactions are most relevant and will be able to predict future behaviors based on your businesses own historic data.
An automated data science platform could even find your ideal customers before you’ve ever spoken with them! By drawing on existing data and setting “gold standard” example customers, the most apt machine learning model, automated and selected all within the platform, can be trained to identify common properties and important variables.
Last but not least, once you’ve won a new customer, data science can help with retention. Once a business can recognise the early signs of an unhappy customer, retention can become much easier.
We used Mind Foundry’s automated data science platform to build a classification pipeline with the goal of predicting Telco customer churn. Within minutes, we found that chances of churn increase significantly when a customer has an international plan, spends a day charge of more than 40 and makes an increased number of customer service calls.
2. Improving your productivity
Automated data science platforms are fantastic at processing huge amounts of data at incredible speed, with the expert guidance of human subject matter experts. As a result, those endless spreadsheets full of statistics can actually provide valuable business insight.
For instance, lead behaviors could be clustered to predict points of interest and provide marketers with personalised product or content recommendations, helping them to better engage with prospects. Content could even be suggested based on a lead’s previous interactions with your business, leading them naturally through the buyer’s journey.
Customer data could also be used to build and optimize propensity models that guide your sales team’s cross-sell and up-sell strategies, outlining the customers most likely to convert and products and services with the highest probability of being purchased. Every time a sale is made, data can help your business become even better at predicting the next, empowering your sales team to prioritize time, sales efforts and selling strategies.
3. Analyzing your performance
Marketing is becoming an increasingly data-driven discipline, but reporting isn’t anyone’s favourite job. Moreover, reporting is reactive, which makes connecting the dots and actioning any insights more challenges. Once again, this is where an automated data science platform can help.
An automated data science platform can augment and complement your reactive reports, helping you visualize your results for their predictive power. This can than be automatically applied back into your sales and marketing efforts, ensuring that month on month you improve.
As a result, your sales and marketing teams are free to focus on the more creative free-thinking work they enjoy doing. For instance, reporting might show that you are getting less leads from one landing page versus another. An automated data science platform will show you what features of the best performing landing pages are affecting performance, giving you the insight to adjust the landing page that isn’t performing as well.
Predictive analytics, the art of utilising existing data sets to predict future trends, have the power to transform marketing performance. Customer experiences can be analysed to identify which campaigns performed best and where efforts should be focused in the future.
Mind Foundry put this theory to the test. We used a data set hosted on Kaggle to predict marketing email statuses based on various customer attributes and email content. After a process of reviewing and retraining our machine learning model, we were able to achieve a classification accuracy of 73.7%.
Sales forecasting is another prediction-based application of an automated data science platform. Using past performance data and broader industry analysis, it's possible to forecast sales outcomes and predict short and long-term performance.
How to implement an automated data science platform across your business
87% of marketers state that AI and machine learning are already vital to their organization’s success, yet this has the largest skills gap present in the data and marketing industry.
Marketers and salespeople alike are already aware that data analysis can provide some incredible learnings, due to the ability to map complex relationships on large data sets. However, implementation is often a hurdle as teams lack the technical expertise.
On the other hand, data scientists is also prohibitively expensive and often inefficient, due to a lack of understanding around the sales and marketing activities within your business. As a result, they can also struggle to provide meaningful and actionable insights.
We believe that problem owners should be given the autonomy to build their own data science solutions, which is why we created an automated data science team in a box! Marketing and sales teams alike can use Mind Foundry to design campaigns, analyse performance and improve conversion, without an academic data science background.