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Top-performing marketing organizations are differentiated in their strategies and rationales regarding predictive technologies, according to a new report from Aberdeen Group.

Competition Drives Predictive Tech Adoption

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Results of “Predictive Analytics – Driving Sales with Customer Insights” indicate a perceived tougher competitive environment is the top factor driving adoption of predictive technologies by marketers across the board. Fifty-six percent of best-in-class marketing organizations are adopting predictive technologies for this reason, as are 36% of other organizations.

Among best-in-class organizations, decreasing sales revenues (36%, respondents could choose more than one driver) are the second-most-popular predictive technology driver. However, among other organizations, falling customer retention/loyalty (25%) ranks ahead of decreasing revenues (20%).

The other major discrepancy in predictive technology drivers among best-in-class and other organizations is that 20% of best-in-class respondents are driven by a falling marketing budget, compared to only 3% of other respondents.

Offer Targeting Tops Pressures

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Dividing respondents into best-in-class (top 20% aggregate performance), industry average (middle 50% industry performance) and laggard (bottom 30% industry performance), the study finds that when asked to cite their top two pressures, the top three responses among best-in-class respondents were improving targeting of marketing offers (56%), improving cross-selling/up-selling opportunities (36%) and building unique customer profiles and personas.

The other two classes of respondents had the same top three pressures, but ranked in slightly different orders and with lower percentages. Industry average respondents ranked improving targeting of marketing offers first (50%), but tied improving cross-selling/up-selling and building unique customer profiles/personas with a response rate of 22% for each.

Meanwhile, laggard respondents ranked improving targeting of marketing offers first (42%), but then cited customer profiles/personas (18%), followed by cross-selling/up-selling (13%).

Best-in-class Dedicate Teams

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Compared to their peers, best-in-class respondents are more than twice as likely to dedicate a team to discover new insights (64% compared to 31% of industry average and laggard respondents). Aberdeen analysis indicates that part of the reason for this discrepancy may be that best-in-class respondents have a greater wealth of data to plumb for insights, increasing the potential ROI of a dedicated team.

Most Best-in-Class Companies to Raise Analytics Budgets

Facing increasing market pressure, 60% of top-performing companies plan to increase budgets for customer analytics and segmentation technologies next year to find more sophisticated ways of identifying key trends and commonalities among customers, according to another recent Aberdeen Group report.

About the Data: Between January and September 2010, Aberdeen interviewed 121 companies using predictive analytics and data mining tools for sales and marketing applications.

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