Data-Driven Marketing And Sales Predictions 2015 - Lattice Engines
How will marketing and sales professionals
become more data-driven in 2015?
Data and analytics are no longer optional. Companies are looking to turn information
into action to gain that extra edge over the competition. In 2014, we saw the rise of
predictive analytics, with analyst firms such as Forrester, Gartner and SiriusDecisions
releasing new reports on the topic. It’s for more than just the early adopters.
Marketing and sales professionals are looking for ways to uncover context
and insight when it comes to understanding the buyer’s journey.
WE BROUGHT TOGETHER OVER 25 THOUGHT LEADERS
FROM SIRIUSDECISIONS, LINKEDIN, MARKETO AND MORE,
TO GATHER PREDICTIONS FOR NEXT YEAR.
WE ASKED THEM ONE QUESTION:
How will marketing and sales professionals
become more data-driven in 2015?
Here’s to a great year!
- The Lattice Team
1 Fewer wrong turns, greater
profitabilty with analytics
It's important to understand that we're not simply acquir-
ing a new set of disparate tools or even a set that works
well together. This is the beginning of customer science
because when you collect data, analyze it, and come
up with hard numbers about what works, that's science.
Science is about as far from gut feel as you can get and
this represents a new era in front-office business.
Businesses that use scientific approaches will discover
that they take fewer wrong turns and achieve greater
profitability. That said, big data and analytics are
no longer optional.
My hope is that in the coming year we will see context
applied to the vast amounts of data. Many organiza-
tions are awash in more data than ever before, but they
are not performing the analysis with any context and
therefore it is having little impact.
The key to ensuring you are getting value from your
data is understanding the "what" behind it. Context
will be the key focus for data-driven marketers in 2015.
The "what" behind the data
and Group Director,
In 2015, marketing has no excuse not to be insight-led and
technology-enabled. Really. The information we need about
our buyers and customers is all around us and the tools to
make use of it in a scalable way are ready, too. This year,
smart marketers will plan better by using data to define
where their best opportunities are in actual accounts and
the buying centers in them, and not just look at general
market segments. They will use this knowledge to align
marketing execution (online and offline) to where growth
is and not waste time on the wrong things. Better data and
easier analysis of it will put a stop to artificial last-touch tactic
attribution. Marketers will embrace the complexity of the
buyer's journey and customer lifecycle, not persist in trying
to oversimplify them. Technology that allows responsiveness
to real-time cues will contribute to better customer and
buyer experiences. It's going to be a great year.
In 2015, companies will use more account-based
marketing (ABM) to target specific individuals at
specific companies. This will be true for prospects
as well as existing customers.
Increased usage of ABM will drive a change in the
metrics used by marketers; in particular there will
be a shift away from volume-based metrics (such as
number of leads) towards quality, such as depth of
engagement. More broadly, this trend will drive a
rethinking of the traditional revenue funnel as well
as the roles of sales and marketing at each stage of
the customer journey.
A shift away from
In 2015, the biggest transformation that we will experience
is embracing software that gets us closer to the consumer.
Forrester says that we are entering the age of the customer
and I couldn't agree more. Much of the customer experi-
ence will depend on digital causing every company to be
a software company. The more data-driven and software-
focused future will certainly impact how companies
Entering the age of the customer
6 Adding a mix of elements
to help score their prospects
As marketers, we already have a lot of data around our
contacts – who they are, what they purchased, content
they viewed, and so on. This helps us understand buyer
behavior a little bit, but we are missing out on a lot of
data and insight that is external to what we currently
know. We also are in the dark about our contacts out-
side of our known universe. In 2015, marketers will start
adding in a mix of other elements to help score their
prospects on all signs of engagement or interest. Media
vendors will move towards opening up their data ware-
houses to vendors for increased insights.
Michael Dell, the founder of Dell Computers, recently
said, ‘Data is the key competitive differentiator in today’s
business environment.’ I believe he is right. Data is the
megastar in 2015 and enterprises will generate new busi-
ness, optimize their current state of data, and close more
deals as a result of the improvement in data quality.
Data is not a ‘balance sheet’ item so historically was
overlooked by non-marketing executives until this point.
Executives now assign company initiatives to improve
data as they realize the direct correlation of the effec-
tiveness of the inquiry to close conversion process to
that of the quality of data in their customer relation-
ship management and marketing automation databases.
Data is the megastar in 2015
CMO’s career credibility relies heavily on the data quality
when reporting on their impact to the business and they
too will invest more cycles in improving the current state
of their data.
From this point, companies will begin to experiment
with the predictability models. SaaS-based enterprises with
large volumes of inquiries and with client usage data will
continue to be earlier adopters of such predictive technol-
ogy. SaaS companies will sort out the most probable to deal
close or most probable to upgrade, with other companies
eventually following suit.
Head of Strategy,
It all starts with culture. In 2015, CMOs will begin to
instill a culture focused on customers. Budgets will
shift away from paid promotion and into brand content.
We will see a culture of content emerge. Chief content
officers will become a real thing, with budgets and
authority to drive strategic content programs. We'll move
beyond quantity + quality, to creating the right content
for the right person in the right place and time. Content
gets personal as people-centric marketing takes over.
A culture of "content"
Director of Digital
Marketing & Analytics,
B2B marketers will scale their reach and operations by
• Leveraging Programmatic media buying via real-time
buying and ad exchanges,
• Enhancing their nurturing utilizing re-targeting
technologies and dynamic creative optimization,
• Increasing sales efficiency by deploying
takes the front seat9
With digital now as the primary channel for engaging
prospects and clients, the mid-point of our decade will
give rise to the "data scientist" as a formal role of the
modern marketing organization. Larger enterprises will
be the first to budget and staff the role and many will
leverage agencies to provide this function as it requires
tremendous expertise in data capture, systems, analysis,
interpretation, and utilization. This marketing data geek
will be a highly sought after and their expertise and out-
puts will help transform how sales and marketing operate.
The role is in many ways analogous to the scene in the
Matrix where “Tank” would look at a monitor displaying
The emerging role
of the "data scientist"10
a green binary waterfall and interpret what was hap-
pening. He could see the right path, identify risks, and
the personas using what seemed like his super powers.
The data scientist will leverage big data, technology,
and process to help marketing teams with everything
from targeting, segmentation, research, reporting,
prediction and more.
As we look forward into 2015, B2B sales organizations
will be shifting from single points of data-driven insight
to correlated data analysis that will provide forward-look-
ing sales intelligence. This transformation is being driven
by the need to provide sales reps with real-time data
about leads, accounts, contacts and opportunities.
SiriusDecisions anticipated this transition with our intro-
duction of the Dynamic Guided Selling concept during
our 2014 Summit. As buyer behavior continues to be-
come harder to predict, which slows the velocity of op-
portunities, sales reps need real-time data to stay agile
and aligned to their buyers. Sales operations has become
progressively more proficient in the measurements nec-
essary to track the pipeline, but much of this measure-
A much more strategic
approach to sales analytics11
ment is still based on lagging indicators. As we enter
2015, we will see a much more strategic approach to
sales analytics, requiring sales operations to take the
insight from measurements and correlate those data
elements to deliver real-time, forward-looking
Welcome to the age of sales science!
Start now to get ahead in 2016
12Doing the same is not the formula for growth in 2015.
Marketers must be comfortable with experimenting and testing
of new technologies and tactics. Now is the time for new ideas,
processes and tools. Analytics can really tie all your marketing
investments together. Without that, you will be flying blind.
Successful organizations will set themselves up for continuous
learning and improving. They will take a deep dive into their past
programs to fully understand how they performed — and then
will make changes based on that analysis. Whether it's optimiz-
ing SEM, dropping poor-performing events, or improving a
nurture program, the focus will be on stronger performance.
Marketers have to also look at how their investments are scaling.
The most successful marketers will embrace analytics and find
strong results. Marketers who ignore this in 2015 will realize that
they are a few years behind come 2016.
13 There are two types
of marketers for 2015
Marketers who have built a substantial technology platform
that is managing high volumes of lead flow. The natural
progression for them will be predictive analytics. Many so-
phisticated marketers have realized that engagement scoring
is only one piece of the puzzle and not necessarily predictive.
They have to be able to better identify the right people and
companies to queue up for sales. Those people may not be
"looking at the pricing page" or downloading ebooks.
Marketers who need to get their technology machines hum-
ming. They still need time before they jump into predictive.
Should they wait to jump into predictive? Not necessarily,
but it makes sense to build the foundation first and layer
predictive analytics on top.
There is no doubt in my mind that personalization via
advanced segments and dynamic insertions will be the most
coveted digital marketing technique. Without a data-driven
culture, your personalization efforts are going to fail. Any
company who hasn’t adopted a data-driven mind set, will be
left behind as their competitors turn their website into one of
their best sales assets rather than a non-converting billboard.
Companies are going to look at how customers behave within
different segments, and in real-time provide a personalized
experience to boost the user’s experience and increase
conversions. The goal is to make the experience as close to
a 1-1 relationship as possible. Companies who use one of
the many emerging advanced personalization tools coupled
with predictive analytics will undoubtedly see their business
booming in 2015.
Heinz Marketing Inc.
Up until now, gut-driven decisions and data-driven cam-
paigns have existed separately. The sales "cowboys" haven't
been too interested in over-analyzing decisions, and the math
marketers think the "old school" sales & marketing pros are
just winging it.
I believe in 2015, those worlds will finally merge. We'll have
more educated guesses validated and prioritized by data,
and we'll have more math marketers working between the
spreadsheet cells to identify new focus areas and advances
in their results.
I can't wait!
More educated guesses
validated and prioritized by data15
Director of Marketing,
I believe that 2015 will be an interesting year due to in-
creased cohesion between departments and an abundance
of integration between systems and processes within those
departments. I'm starting to see a transition from 'Sales' and
'Marketing' departments to a grouped 'Sales and Marketing'
department. I'm seeing indicators that a wave of integrated
processes between sales and marketing will ultimately result
in one large, streamlined process comprised of multiple
differentiated roles within.
Also, the technological advancements in sales and marketing
programs may trickle down to the rest of the organization
to provide insights into prospect and customer behaviors.
As a result, I see marketing professionals in companies having
a larger buy-in regarding technology — even technology
that is not specific to marketing functions.
Merging "sales and marketing"
Initium LLC /
In 2015, we'll take another transformative step towards
enabling deeper understanding about customers at the
individual level, in addition to what's happening in aggregate.
Most companies have already realized that today's challenge
is not in gathering data — it's deriving meaning from it. While
people and things continue to be instrumented to gather and
store more granular data, the challenge (and opportunity) will
continue to grow.
The skills required to make sense of the data are still largely
manual, but we'll see more of this burden passed on to more
complex and intelligent algorithms.
The surfacing of data-derived insights, timely prompts for
action, combined with intelligent recommendations will
help marketers, sales (and service/support) personnel
present more relevant offers and content in the path of
their customers and prospects.
We'll also see a growing disparity between the organizations
who are leveraging these emerging capabilities and those
who are not.
Spear Marketing Group
I see 2015 as the tipping point when B2B marketers start
measuring campaigns based on the metrics that matter —
namely pipeline contribution and ROI. So many companies
continue to focus on click rate and cost per lead, at a time
when there are now solutions that make the process of
measuring ROI easier and more accurate than ever. It’s mind
boggling that so much money is invested in B2B marketing
without any concept for the true return on that investment.
Measuring ROI not only makes B2B marketing more efficient,
it has the potential to radically change a company’s demand
generation mix once they realize which programs, channels,
offers, etc. are really working, not just driving clicks.
Measuring campaigns based
on the metrics that matter18
While marketing professionals have had their eye on data
for a long time, the data and tools available today are far
more robust than ever. Marketers now have access to
detailed, real-time data providing deep insight into their
customers and prospects. They have always had good ideas
as to the what and the when, but more than ever before, they
have insight into the why. Social media, electronic surveys &
CRM just to name a few sources of rich data, when utilized
properly can enable marketers to get to the all important why.
Why customers purchased and why they continue on as a cus-
tomer, or in the worst case why they are no longer a customer.
Smart salespeople will team up with marketers to gather and
analyze data with a keen eye on the why. Understanding the
what, where, how, when are all important, however those sales
and marketing teams that leverage data to understand the
why will crush the competition.
Understand the "why"
and crush the competition19
2015 will be the year that consumers fight back concerning
content overload. They will become more aggressive about
screening messages and more selective in which devices
they use. Mobile will become the more dominant content
consumption platform, which will further limit the size of
messages that marketers can reliably deliver. As a result,
marketers will need to work even harder to create short
messages that deliver real value, either in terms of
information or entertainment.
The messages will also have to be more carefully crafted to
encourage further engagement on more expansive platforms
such as the desktop or TV screen. Channel owners like
Facebook, Google and Amazon will limit the amount of
at the individual level20
commercial traffic they deliver and drive up prices as they
decrease supply. Paradoxically, broadcast media will become
more important as one of the few remaining ways to reach
broad audiences without paying for detailed information
about specific individuals or segments. Marketers will become
more skilled at measuring the incremental impact of individual
messages and channels, further helping them to allocate their
funds between mass and targeted media.
We'll also see a growing disparity between the organizations
who are leveraging these emerging capabilities and those who
New Business Strategies
2015 will be the tipping point in what it means for marketing
and sales to be data-driven.
We'll start to see a shift towards value-chain based, environ-
mental pattern analysis. Sophisticated marketers and sales
teams will move beyond analytics designed to improve
specific decisions. They are looking to spot and decipher
underlying macro and micro patterns of behavior in markets,
customers, partners, processes and employees. Data-driven
technology will evolve to help individuals, teams and
companies see the bigger picture in actionable ways that
haven't been possible to date.
This is part of a larger multi-year trend of moving away from
a reductionist view of the world to an emergent one. Instead
How environments and
cues trigger behavior21
of a sum of all the parts to explain behavior, emergent theory
focuses on how environments and cues trigger behavior.
Emergent behavior pattern analysis does a much better job
of explaining the "why" by linking multiple cross-dimensional
drivers and factors. Marketers will move beyond analyzing
event-based behavior and begin to understand swarming,
which is how markets really behave.
The challenge is — are marketers' ready to step up their
skillsets to fully leverage these new data-driven insights?
Sales leaders are increasingly hungry for data to drive
predictable growth strategies. That’s one reason field sales
activities are now being scrutinized like never before while
inside sales organizations are experiencing explosive growth.
The difference? Field sales largely takes place “off the grid”
(hidden from view), while inside sales largely happens “on the
grid” (where everyone sees what’s going on). The data that’s
generated is used to analyze behavior, forecast outcomes,
and make performance-driving, course corrections. For this
reason, expect an increasing amount of selling activity to be
made trackable and observable. While in-person, face-to-face
meetings remain critical in many industries, the very fact that
they happen off the grid helps explain why relatively fewer
resources are now devoted to conventional field selling.
Getting on the grid
This isn't to say that field sales is in irretrievable decline —
merely that the activities and interactions associated with it
must become more visible from a management, coaching
and improvement perspective. Indeed, you can expect
more and more sales conversations conducted by field sales
professionals to involve a phone, a shared screen, and other
digital interaction technologies. That's good news. They will
not only make more of their limited time, they'll produce
valuable data -- the resource you need to amplify insight,
learning and growth.
A steady stream of engagement
to keep the relationship budding23
Oracle Marketing Cloud
At Oracle Marketing Cloud, our content and demand gen
teams will continue to ramp up our collaborative activity
in 2015. We don’t subscribe to the idea of delivering “random
acts of content”. In a longer sales cycle, what our organization
faces, you need a steady stream of engagement to keep
the relationship budding, and build interest momentum.
We leverage data to uncover performance and content
effectiveness by channel. This strategy has allowed us to
enforce a continuity of content delivery for prospects, and
has helped us refine our messaging to also be relevant to
Reality Works Group
In 2015 we will see continued investments in virtual selling.
This is a prediction based on data—the best kind. Our recently-
completed research shows that 40% of companies over $1B are
shifting headcount from the field to inside sales. Smaller com-
panies under $100M already generate more than 50% of rev-
enues without traditional face-to-face selling. (Source: Reality
Works Group and ZS Associates 2014 Inside Sales Survey.)
Forward-thinking, best-performing companies are betting
on the data-driven, measurable, predictable sales and profit
growth they see from virtual or remote selling approaches,
not just in inside sales but also in field sales. In some
companies, the distinction between inside and field sales is
blurring, given the number of buyers that are comfortable
with or even prefer the convenience and instant availability
of phone and online communication and decision-making,
enabled by data and technology.
Something else to watch in 2015: some companies are
making moves to rebrand inside sales to remove outdated
preconceived notions about the function and its capabilities.
IT buyers are always moving through a purchase process in
one way or another. It’s called the customer journey. They’re
either identifying their needs, researching their options,
buying, deploying, using or replacing products and services.
So how can savvy marketers influence buyers on their jour-
ney in 2015? It’s called contextual marketing, and it will be
the dominant B2B marketing theme next year. Many mar-
keters will talk about it, but few will do it well.
Here are three ways to excel at contextual marketing in 2015:
1) Build customer relationships to gain trust & influence.
Don’t waste buyers’ time with irrelevant marketing
messages. Invest the time and effort to understand
their needs first. Vertical social networks such as
Spiceworks are a great place to get the dialogue started.
Contextual marketing in 2015
2) Pinpoint the customer’s location on his journey and help
him along the way. Once you understand what problem the
customer is trying to solve, you’ll be able to engage with
the right content at his critical “moment of need”.
3) Be in it for the long term. Many B2B marketers think the
job is done once they pass the lead to Sales. This is a big
mistake. Smart marketers solidify customer relationships
in the “post-purchase” phase to build loyalty and advocacy.
Because the journey never ends, existing customers will
be passing through the “buy” phase again soon, and when
they do, you’ll be there to help them.
My prediction last year was that Marketing Automation
would finally go mainstream and while I think that’s happened
to some extent, there’s still a ways to go. So this time I will
take it a step further and predict that marketers will increas-
ingly leverage big data from multi-channel customer touch
points to drive their marketing automation strategy. Modern
marketers have more data available at their fingertips than
ever before in history and marketing automation will allow
them to manage that data into actionable insights and scale
their campaigns. 2015 should be the year where big data be-
comes less of an opening act and more of a featured headliner
when it comes to marketing automation solutions.
Big data becomes an "opening act"
CEO, Selling Power
2015 will be a year where we'll have more of everything. More
data, more insights, more predictive analytics, but also more
doubt in our capacity to grow. Technology continues to im-
prove year over year, but people and their leaders don't im-
prove at the same rate. In 2015 we'll see technology accelerate
the disruption of middle-class jobs. Unless we match the speed
of innovation with an accelerated solution for improving hu-
man performance we'll risk high unemployment.
More data, more insights,
more predictive analytics27
Transforming data into action
28In 2015, marketers will realize that science has taken the
lead. To move the needle, marketing and sales professionals
will focus on using data and analytics to make better
decisions that help make their customers more successful.
They will add a level of performance transparency, previ-
ously unachievable. With the amount of prospect and
customer information available today, each step of the
marketing and sales process will become more data-driven
and the need for guessing will finally be eliminated. It is
more than just having more access to information. Successful
companies must have a plan in place to see impactful results.
CEO, Lattice Engines
More data, more insights,
more predictive analytics29The gap between those who engage in digital transformation
and those who wait will widen. With 52% of the Fortune 500
merged, acquired, bankrupt or fallen of the list since 2000,
a digital divide widens. The top 3 companies in every catego-
ry lead their market with 43 to 71% of the market share and
48 to 83% of the profits. Disrupt or be massively disrupted.
302015 will be the year that sales team look to reduce friction.
World-class sales organizations will strive to reduce friction
between themselves and their customers, making it easier to
do business with them. World-class sales teams will also strive
to reduce friction for their own salespeople in managing their
Chief Revenue Officer,
Lattice is pioneering the predictive applications market for marketing
and sales. Lattice helps companies grow revenue across the entire
customer lifecycle with data-driven marketing and sales applications
that make complex data science easy to use. By combining thousands
of buying signals with advanced predictive analytics in a suite of secure
cloud applications, Lattice helps companies of all sizes including Citrix,
DocuSign, Inc., HireVue and SunTrust Bank to increase conversion rates
by more than three times. Lattice is backed by NEA and Sequoia Capital
with headquarters in San Mateo, CA.