4 Must-Know Terms in Predictive Analytics and Lead Generation

Data marketing seems to move at the speed of light. About the time we wrap our heads around the term 'big data', we are bombarded with phrases like 'cloud-based software' and

'predictive analytics'. If you're having trouble keeping up, you are not alone. Here is a list of terms relevant to predictive analytics, big data marketing, and lead generation to help you keep pace with the moving target that is modern marketing.

1. SaaS

SaaS stands for 'Software as a Service' and it is another name for cloud-based marketing software. You will hear a lot about SaaS when shopping for CRM software, marketing automation software, and other marketing and/or sales software solutions. SaaS is like cloud-based software in that there is no installation required, you always have access to the latest software version, and it is pay-by-the-month instead of a large upfront licensing fee.

2. Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics is the process of collecting and analyzing what has happened in the past and using that data to determine what might happen in the future. It uses statistical probability to look ahead into trends, patterns, and probabilities so that the marketing department (or finance, operations, R&D, etc.) can plan ahead.

3. Algorithm

You'll hear this term a lot in analytics and big data. An algorithm is actually just an ordered procedure for making calculations. Algorithms are used to query big data as well as in the attempt to create 'artificial intelligence', which is also called AI or machine learning, among other things. You will also hear data analysts or data scientists use the terms 'data model' and 'predictive model'. These are the mathematical frames used to predict future outcomes based on predictive analytics.

4. Firmographics

Predictive analytics Firmographics is to the B2B marketing pro what demographics and psychographics is to the B2C marketing folks.

In B2B marketing, marketers need something different than the standard demographic or psychographic profiles to segment their leads and customers. The alternative is firmographics -- which is data based on a business' qualities instead of an individual person's qualities. Firmograhics include things like the industry the business is in, what size the business is, how many employees they have, etc. Firmographics is extremely helpful in customer segmentation following your lead generation efforts.

Most terms have a strict definition, so it is dangerous to assume the definition of any marketing or big data term by the sound of the term or by general context. If you are unfamiliar with a word or phrase you stumble across when reading or chatting with other marketing and data analytics professionals, take the time to look it up so you can use the term and the new strategy associated with it to its full potential.

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