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To Forecast or to Predict

“The goal of forecasting is not to predict the future but to tell you what you need to know to make meaningful action in the present.” – Paul Saffo

In the marketing sphere, there is a lot of buzz about forecasting and predictive analytics. Are they the same? Do they provide the same answer to the question: What will happen in the future?

Although it’s a bit cliché to start a dispute by stating a definition, it will put us all on the same playing field. So here it goes:

John Galt Solutions, Inc. defines Forecasting as concentrating on using the past to predict the future by identifying trends, patterns, and business drives within the data to develop a forecast. Examples include: predicting weather patterns, forecasting sales for a particular time period or calculating the outcome of a football game before it is played.

Techopedia defines Predictive Analytics as describing a range of statistic analysis used for developing models that may be used to predict future events or behaviors. Examples include: determining customer behavior, identifying patients that are at risk of certain medical conditions or identifying fraud behavior.

So, what’s the difference?

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3-Step Process for Moving from Metrics to Holistic AnalyticsImagine this scenario. You’re coming off of an awesome weekend. The weather was great. You got to hang out with your best friends. The kids got along. There was no traffic on the way to work. You’re feeling good. You click the “up” button for the elevators in the office lobby. The doors open…you enter…and you realize your CEO is on the elevator with you. You smile. He turns to you and says, “Good morning. How are things in the marketing department these days?” Now, you’re feeling pretty confident after the great weekend and you’ve really been digging into the marketing metrics lately so you proudly respond, “We’ve improved email open rates by 15%, and 200 people visited our booth at the last trade show.” He frowns and says nothing. The doors open, and you get off.

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Impelling. Flashy. Insightful.

These are some of the words used to describe the October Twin Cities Tableau User Group. The theme for this month’s user group was hands-on as speakers gave impelling and interactive stories that kept all in attendance engaged. Thank you to all that attended. We hope that you were able to connect with Tableau enthusiasts and take away actionable insight.

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2014 Eloqua Fall Release BlogIf you’re like me, you will look like this when you learn what’s included in the Oracle Eloqua Fall Release. I’m a marketing geek to the core which means I totally geek-out when Oracle Eloqua pushes out functionality that makes my life (and our customers’ lives) easier. Thankfully, I’m surrounded by marketing geeks at Relationship One. So, when I shared my enthusiasm for the most recent release elements, it was met with other “That is awesome!” reactions.

Though they may seem like small changes, here are the features and enhancements that produced the largest geek-out moments, for me.

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The September Twin Cities User Group was all about getting the most out of Oracle Marketing Cloud’s analytic’s tool, Insight. It was a packed event – thanks to all that attended and learned:

  • Tips for getting the most out of the basic Reporter license
  • Shortcuts for creating meaningful dashboards
  • An aptitude for the capabilities of the Analyzer license


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Do you ever wonder how you can automate manual tasks that still exist inside of your marketing automation platform? Or, if is there a more efficient way to improve data quality? Or, how you can deploy better targeted and more personalized campaigns?

Integrate. Automate. Celebrate. That’s our motto for Relationship One’s AppCloud. Are you wooed yet?

Comprised of feature-enhancing and customizable cloud connectors, cloud widgets, and cloud apps, Relationship One’s AppCloud offerings are built based on what we’ve seen and heard as needs for Oracle Marketing Cloud customers. Our goal with every single app is to elevate the automation capabilities of Oracle Marketing Cloud and save you time. Our apps are easy to setup, easy to run, and easy to manage. An added bonus…with team-sharing included, you never have to worry about an app being inaccessible based on another user setting it up.  

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These days, companies are swallowing constellations of raw data. That’s good news for modern marketers because in the right hands, data is a powerful tool for visualizing marketing ROI. Easily said, but where do you start? Spark lines and heat maps? Bubble charts and bullet graphs? Scatter plots, histograms, or a touch of box-and-whisker? Yes, it can be daunting, but matching data with the right visualizations is critical to telling your story.

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The credit goes to our awesome guest speakers, LookBookHQ and Merrill Corp, for making the Twin Cities Oracle Marketing Cloud User Group highly attended and engaging.


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For the longest time, most marketing activities were thought of as efforts that could not be measured or counted. In today’s business environment it is no longer adequate to launch campaigns that lack the structure to measure success and justify marketing activities. As marketing and sales platforms become smarter and the opportunity to feed platform-specific data to data visualization tools becomes easier, decision makers are being better armed with clear and actionable insight using data. A data-driven marketing strategy is a practice that has become expected.

Why should YOU measure your marketing impact?

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A jam-packed user group this month – from the perspective of the number of participants and the amount of content. Thanks to all that attended and discussed the following:

  • Updates & Announcements
  • Interact 2014 Highlights
  • Promo Sampler & SFTP Exporter Apps from Relationship One’s AppCloud
  • Customer Spotlight: Cummins – Lead Management


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