Many businesses have begun to leverage the power of business intelligence tools in their overall strategic operations. With a BI tool, businesses can get better access to analytics, which allows them to extract insights and make data-driven decisions.
However, the rollout of a BI tool in an organization is often inconsistent and inefficient. Some businesses only offer their BI tools to a few of their departments, while others make each department figure out their own BI strategy. This means that businesses can still have an ineffective data strategy even if they have ownership of a BI tool.
Sometimes businesses really do want to bring the power of their BI tool to their whole organization, but they can’t get buy-in from their departments to extend their data strategy. Departments, especially ones that work mostly autonomously, don’t like being told what to do.
They’re happy to just use the same inefficient and data-starved processes they’ve been using, even if those processes don’t help anyone. This is especially true for departments where there’s emphasis placed on individual knowledge and expertise.
Nowhere is this mentality more prevalent than in marketing. Many marketing teams think they know better than their data, so they keep using outdated and inefficient marketing strategies, long after the data has shown that those strategies are unsuccessful.
Since marketing teams are so skeptical of the value of a BI tool, it’s hard to get any buy-in from them during implementation. Marketing teams are consistently some of the most vocal opponents of data analytics, even though data analytics can be extremely useful for them.
To convince their marketing teams that there’s value in a BI tool, businesses need to learn about the benefits of data analytics to marketing. With better knowledge of the benefits, they can show their marketing teams how marketing analytics can lead to wins.
How marketing analytics can help businesses succeed
Marketing and public relations might be the most important departments in any organization. A company can create the greatest product on Earth, but unless they have a good marketing strategy, their potential customers won’t even know it exists.
If a business is going to design a data-driven business strategy, marketing has to be at the core of that strategy. Businesses need to use data to make their marketing decisions; otherwise, they won’t be able to connect consumers to their products.
With modern analytical tools and strategies, businesses can track their marketing efforts more closely than ever before. Since so much marketing is digitally-based nowadays, it’s simple to collect data from campaigns and analyze it for insight.
Here are just a few ways that businesses can effectively leverage their marketing analytics towards success:
Using data, businesses can get a better understanding of who their customers are, how they buy and use products, and what sort of things they want to buy. This knowledge allows marketing teams to better tailor campaigns and boost customer retention.
With better customer demographics data, marketing teams can tailor their campaigns to the demographics that are actually buying their products, or launch new campaigns that target demographics that aren’t being effectively reached.
By tracking customer behavior, marketers can figure out why people buy their product. From there, they can lean into their current successes or introduce new products that can pick up the slack where their product falls short.
A classic, simple example of this strategy is in the soft drink industry. Many consumers like to drink soda but don’t because they dislike how unhealthy it is. Marketers for soft drink businesses saw this behavior, and introduced diet and zero-sugar versions of their products to fill that market niche.
In the digital era, this sort of targeted marketing has become even more important. With tools like geotargeting and digital profiling, businesses can narrow their marketing strategies to just the customers most likely to buy their products. These strategies rely on big data analysis that’s only possible with a BI tool.
No good marketing team relies on just one channel to connect with customers and run their campaigns. Most, if not all, marketing strategies rely on simultaneous pushes through multiple different channels of communication.
This is especially true in today’s marketing ecosystem, where audiences are so fragmented. Using just one channel, it’s difficult to connect to any substantial part of a target demographic.
Also, digital marketing strategies mean using multiple methods of communication at once. A business might run the same campaign through email, on social media, and through site ads, all of which reach different audiences, have different effectiveness, and lead to different results.
This gets even more complex when businesses run similar campaigns through both digital and traditional channels. Marketers need to be able to compare the effectiveness of a YouTube ad to a TV ad or an email to a physical mailer.
All that campaign data is going to be collected in different tools, and it’ll be siloed and limited in usefulness unless a business can combine and compare it all. Luckily, that’s exactly what a BI tool does.
With business intelligence, marketers can get a handle on their entire marketing strategy at once, instead of having to manually compare the results from multiple tools. This way, they can compare key metrics like conversion rates, cost per acquisition, and return on investment directly.
From there, it’s very easy to see which sorts of channels are effective and which don’t result in enough success. Marketing teams can prioritize their successful channels, rethink their strategies for ones that are struggling, and even decide to stop using some channels entirely.
In addition, with this broad, omnichannel tracking, marketing teams can get a full sense of how their omnichannel campaigns are working as a whole. They can combine the data from all their campaigns to get a full picture of campaign success.
Simplified digital marketing
In today’s marketing environments, digital marketing strategies are a priority. Traditional, offline marketing strategies are much less successful than they were even ten years ago. So many customers only interact with online marketing channels, that not investing in digital marketing is a failing strategy.
One major disadvantage of digital marketing, compared to other channels, is that marketing channels are so much more decentralized. Businesses need to use different tools to manage their Google search ads, their site ads, their email campaigns, and so on. They even need separate tools to manage each of their different social media presences.
Managing all of these different digital channels separately is a massive headache. Without some way to manage an entire digital strategy at once, there’s no way that marketing teams can effectively respond to market trends and drive digital success.
A BI tool allows for this sort of overall management. With a BI tool, businesses can see all of their digital marketing data in one place without having to check a dozen different tools. This way, if there’s a change in one channel, marketing teams can react to it as soon as it happens.
Active campaign tracking
One of the most powerful BI use cases across every department is KPI tracking. Using KPI dashboards, decision makers can track their key measures of success in real time, with their visualizations updating whenever their data does.
This allows them to make more agile decisions whenever there are business problems. Instead of relying on slow, manually generated, static reports, business leaders can take charge and start implementing solutions as soon as a problem occurs.
Marketing teams can make use of these techniques for tracking their campaigns as well as tracking overall marketing success.
In the past, marketing teams had to wait for their campaigns to run their course to get any sense of how they performed. Analyses of campaign success could only be performed post-mortem, when it was too late to actually do anything about them.
Even worse, by the time marketers had their analytics from the last campaign, the next campaign was usually already in progress, so the lessons learned from the last campaign couldn’t be used on the current one, either.
Nowadays, with the combination of better tracking, especially for digital marketing channels, and BI tools, marketers can track their campaign success as their campaign is ongoing, which allows them much greater input into how the campaign executes day-to-day.
Marketing teams can use this KPI tracking to cut failing campaigns short, adapt their tactics for campaigns that aren’t performing as well as expected, and even prolong campaigns that are succeeding.
Beyond just campaign tracking, marketing teams can track their broad KPIs using dashboards. This allows them to get a real sense of how their marketing efforts are performing in real time, and whether or not they’re working well, or if they need to put in more effort.
Boosting marketing success with business intelligence
Marketing is extremely important for the continued success of any business, but it’s also one of the departments that most frequently rejects business intelligence. To stay competitive and win business, marketing teams have to use data. Without it, there’s no way that their business can succeed against its competitors.
BI tools shouldn’t be marketing’s enemy. They don’t make marketing expertise useless, and they won’t put marketers out of a job. What they do is make marketer’s lives much easier, simplifying their processes and streamlining their decision-making.
With marketing analytics, businesses can understand their customers on a deeper level, track all of their campaigns in one place, streamline their digital marketing processes, and react to changes in their KPIs in real time.
BI empowers marketers to make data-driven decisions. They can blend their expertise with the implications and insight from their business intelligence tool to discover the marketing strategies that will lead to the greatest success.
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