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Predictive Marketing - How it works and what's possible

One of the big buzzwords in the corporate world of today is predictive marketing. It is supposed to become one of the major driving forces behind decision making, and almost all of the top-tier marketers are committed to the implementation of predictive marketing. That being said the term is somewhat new, so it's understandable if you are still unfamiliar with what exactly it implies.

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Here we will explore the topic of predictive marketing in detail. We will go over what it means, how it is used, what makes it so useful, and so on. It can be more complex than it seems, and in some cases requires a lot of computing power, as it revolves around analyzing huge volumes of data.

Predictive Marketing and Predictive Analytics

The simple definition of predictive marketing is the following - It is a process of using big data to figure out customer behavior in the future. Therefore, it uses predictive analysis in order to tell you the best way to advertise your product or service, based on historic data. So, it basically implies using data-driven decision-making.

This method of marketing is extremely popular nowadays, and a lot of e-commerce or retail business heavily rely on it to boost their sales. There are algorithms designed on these principles that basically shape our online shopping experience, and help business owners, up-sell or cross-sell their products.

A good example of this is Amazon or Netflix. Depending on the products you purchased in the past or shows that you watched in the past, the future experience on these platforms will change for you. If you were satisfied with the purchase, or if you watched 5 seasons of a certain show, the featured content on those sites will change. You will be offered something similar, or something that other people who have similar user habits also enjoyed.

Considering how all of this is automated, and it's based on predictive analytics software it can also lead to some funny moments. For example, if you purchased a toilet seat or a new toilet, the platform will start to offer you new and different toilet seats. It's funny because you are unlikely to need that product in the near future, and it's not something we purchase extensively, just because we were satisfied with the first purchase.

How It Works

Just like it was mentioned in those examples the predictive analysis usually relies on artificial intelligence and analysis of sales activity data. If you have a large store like Amazon that offers all sorts of products, having a user browse the shop until they find what they need can be tedious. The idea is to personalize the whole shopping experience so that personal interest is driving user engagement. You see something you like then you see something similar or relevant within the same product category, and you proceed to open new product taps one after another.

The more purchases you make, or even if you have a negative experience, it all sends an input to the algorithm. You are feeding it with data that it uses to adjust your user experience, and it does so through the use of predictive analytics. Moreover, this leads to a better target email marketing, as you get coupons, or discount notifications when products you like are available at a lower price.

This also applies to the suppliers. The algorithm takes into account customer engagement with merchants. So if you shopped multiple times from a single user, and if you leave positive reviews, then you will likely get a notification, when that user adds new products.

Advantages of Using This Marketing Technique

So far we have seen how predictive marketing is used to improve sales numbers or to simply improve user experience. That being said, it's really an overgeneralization of what it does, so here we will focus on all of the major advantages of this innovative marketing technology. There are many things that you can achieve by relying on customer data analytics, and the insights you gain will fuel your marketing efforts.

User experience on the website

Rather than trying to come up with a one-size-fits-all solution for a big online platform, through predictive marketing, you can create a truly personalized and dynamic experience. The algorithm can adjust the browsing experience on the fly because data collection and analysis are all done in real-time, which really leads to users spending more time on your platform.

Email marketing

You can also use predictive analytics to automate email marketing so that users receive personalized offers. This way they can actually see a snippet of products that they are genuinely interested in, rather than whatever is currently on the sale. This allows you to generate more qualified leads via email marketing actions.

SEO and Advertising

Predictive analytics can also be used to create more impactful SEO campaigns. For example, if you are focusing on Google Ads and keywords in order to display content from your ad groups, you will have a far greater impact by relying on historic data. You already know what your target audience is interested in, you already know the negative keywords, and you know which of the ads yield a better conversion rate. If you are familiar with customer behavior, you can have more accurate lead scoring, which leads to a sales pipeline filled with highly qualified leads.

Predictive marketing also relies on your historic marketing data from different sources. You know which of your marketing strategies were better and which marketing decisions performed poorly. You can now use this data to differently categorize customer profiles into more specific subgroups based on age, gender, and location.


You know what they say - You did not fail, you just found the approach that doesn't work. This is really what research and experimenting are all about. Any marketing process or marketing model you use is not an exact science, it is based on a theory that you wish to test. The results you obtain whether positive or negative is valuable data, and reduces the amount of guesswork you incorporated in future marketing strategies.

Tools for Predictive Marketing

Artificial intelligence or machine learning-based algorithms seem like a necessity for marketing analytics. However, this predictive marketing solution tends to be either very expensive or simply takes too long to build from scratch. That being said you can use other tools to collect and analyze data and create your own version of predictive marketing.

A tool like Whatagraph can be integrated with multiple other platforms of software you are using and aggregate data. You can track social media engagement with it for example, and use that data to generate the report. Based on that business data your content strategists will have a better understanding of how your marketing materials perform, what needs to be removed or adjusted, and what is performing as expected.whatagraph report widgets

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What do you mean by the predictive market?

Predictive marketing is a technique of creating marketing models that are based on data analysis, or historic data. By collecting and analyzing data marketers can come up with strategies or set of actions that are more likely to generate desired outcomes or in this case higher conversion rate. Companies nowadays largely rely on data-driven business intelligence, and predictive marketing is just one of the aspects of that type of decision-making.

What is predictive marketing Modelling?

Predictive marketing modeling is one of the techniques used for lead scoring or for predicting sales trends. It uses historic data of your customers or prospects in order to predict their behavior. It takes into account the previous purchasing decision, and the characteristics of a certain demographic, and provides possible solutions or tips for ramping up sales rates.

How is predictive analytics used in marketing?

Predictive analytics is a combination of data models, machine learning, and statistics, and it is used to predict future events. Marketers utilize predictive analytics to create marketing campaigns that are more relevant, resonate better with the target audience, or that generate more qualified leads. So, it is used to create better marketing outcomes, and to eliminate unnecessary costs. A marketing strategy that is based on predictive modeling, is more likely to succeed or to at least identify irrelevant items or approaches to sales.

How does big data enable predictive marketing?

Big data offers lots of insights, and AI systems that can process and analyze big data in real-time can also predict customer behavior. The more specific you are with an approach the better, and current systems can adjust the user experience based on personal data. It basically uses historic data of user experiences to cross-reference the behavior of multiple other users with an individual. The AI is good at detecting patterns, which is why it can identify the best approach to marketing or the most relevant content for a specific user, by analyzing historic data from other users with similar patterns. These algorithms are still evolving and as they get more refined, their predictive capabilities will only improve.

Published on May 05, 2021

Whatagraph team


Whatagraph team

The Whatagraph blog team produces high-quality content on all things marketing: industry updates, how-to guides, and case studies.

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