Let’s start with some deep, philosophical pondering. Do you know who you will be tomorrow? What about next week? Next year?

If you approach this analytically, you’ll probably try to think about the variables that could influence your answer. Whether or not you enjoyed the previous day, week or year are contributors, and health and relationships add to the mix – positively or negatively.

If you approach it truthfully, you’ll have to admit that you really have no idea, and often very little control, over the factors that will impact who you will be as time progresses. Don’t feel bad! It’s not your fault. There are certain limitations of the human brain that keep us from making such predictions (maybe for our own good!).

Now think about how all of this applies to consumer behavior and finding success in your marketing. Seems like quite the leap, doesn’t it? Well, not really. As marketers, we are constantly trying to learn more about our customers and prospects. Who are they? What do they like / dislike? What will motivate them to buy / buy again? Why do they leave?

Many of these questions can be answered by customer profile and preference pages, and basic analytics. Marketers have relied on this level of analysis to build segments and automations that target customers based on these preferences and behaviors. Actions and attributes from the past are used to anticipate potential actions in the future.

Is this correlation accurate? Dependable? Well, under some circumstances, it can be enough to launch some targeted campaigns and move the needle on your numbers. The commerce landscape, however, has changed, and much of it as a result of massive shifts in consumer behaviors.

Relying on this “the past predicts the future” methodology is losing some steam.

So how can you start to answer forward-looking questions such as: What will my customer be interested in next week? In which city is my customer likely to shop? Which channel is likely to connect with my customer when they are ready to buy? Which products are my prospects waiting for?

Marketers need to make the shift to a more predictive model. That may sound like a daunting task, but luckily marketing automation platforms have made it easier for marketers to gain these customer insights.

Smart Insight is the Emarsys customer intelligence module, designed to maximize the revenue from your customers by automating your retention marketing. The purpose of Smart Insight is to convert your data into a unified profile that is integrated into your marketing automation platform.

This creates an actionable and easily automated tool for marketers to use for predictive analytics and insights that will help to build sophisticated programs that connect with consumers regardless of the channel or device.

In other words, don’t be afraid of this shift. Find a technology provider that suits yours needs and embrace the new direction we are all taking.