Forecasting for Success

by Russ Shumaker

Nobody can predict the future.

But with consumer data, you can forecast sales more accurately—which makes ordering, inventory, staffing, and other business decisions easier and more cost-effective.

If you know something about your customers' buying habits, you can project whether they're more likely to purchase again in the next 12 months, using some basic calculations.

You should be able to create an even better forecast model than if you simply spread your ad budget equally across multiple platforms where you had zero data on intent to buy.

Of course, it’s best when you can compare your aggregate data with that of an agency, with multiple clients in similar situations.

While this trend is changing, it can still make sense in some situations to work with one primary agency, who can orchestrate data appends through firms like Epsilon, increasing your ability to forecast sales accurately.

Or, if you work with an agency backed by a large publishing company, you automatically have access to deep stores of customer data across pretty much every industry.

Partnering with an agency means that you can not only gain a strong understanding of how different segments of customers consume media, you will also have a direct line to get in front of the right people on the most optimal channels —like newspapers, magazines, television stations, radio outlets, and more—all across the country.

A rising tide raises all ships. If you have a great agency to work with, you'll know it by how other clients are succeeding. And you'll have a basis for believing it can happen for you, too.