What is marketing all about? The short answer is sales. In the very beginning, marketing was about shouting “buy here” at the local marketplaces. When the era of mass communication and media began in the early 1900s, marketing was about TV commercials and street banners. Partly, that’s still up-to-date, but current marketing is a totally different beast. Now, it’s a data-driven beast. So, you need a special tool to master it – business intelligence. In this article, you will see how would the marketing industry use business intelligence. We will also look at the examples of business intelligence in marketing.
To make you aware of the importance of business intelligence for sales and marketing, let’s mention that it has created an entirely new approach called DDM (Data-Driven Marketing). The truth is, it’s the data that made it possible in the first place. But let’s start at the beginning. The first mass marketing campaigns were based solely on a range. It was a big challenge to define your target audience. There were no tools to do that. So you just had to go far and wide with your ad. Eventually, it reached potential customers. However, it was far from being called an effective strategy. Things changed when marketers began gathering data about customers and the market itself and started analyzing it. In marketing, as nowhere else, data means preciseness.
Big data in marketing
To show you the impact of big data on marketing, we will use IDC’s Digital Universe Study from 2012. Yes, from almost eight years ago! As this study showed, only 0.5% of data was analyzed at that time, while the percentage of tagged data was a bit higher at 3%. According to big data statistics from IDC, in 2012, only 22% of all data had the potential for analysis. Just five years later, the Economist claimed that data replaced oil as the world’s most valuable source. Today, internet users are generating 2.5 quintillion (2.5 followed by 17 zeros) bytes of data every day!
Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine marketing without big data. Marketers are no longer shouting at the local markets. They are sitting in front of computers, analyzing trends, researches, and feedback from the customers. No wonder that nearly 50% of respondents to a recent McKinsey Analytics survey said analytics and big data have fundamentally changed business practices in their sales and marketing.
Where do marketers apply big data? Actually, almost everywhere. Customer analytics (48%), fraud and compliance (12%), new product and service innovation (10%), enterprise data warehouse optimization (10%) are among the most popular big data use cases in sales and marketing. That leads to significant improvements in SEM and SEO, social media advertising, OOH advertising (Out Of Home), and mailing campaigns.
Big data is a tool, a source that allows business intelligence algorithms to do their job. Nonetheless, it’s business intelligence that combines and analyzes big data and helps your company to turn it into useful knowledge. How is business intelligence beneficial for marketing?
Benefits of using business intelligence in marketing
There are three main fields in which business intelligence is beneficial for sales and marketing.
- Research. Business intelligence, especially with information stored by social media, introduces marketers with great detail of consumers’ behavior and interests. That allows you to identify new target audiences and find new marketing opportunities, for instance, new niches or in-demand products.
- Analysis. It is challenging to analyze big data with no artificial intelligence algorithms. Time-consuming and, to some extent, impossible even. Business intelligence makes that doable. The artificial intelligence algorithms analyze tons of data within seconds. Thanks to that, you can make quick modifications to keep your marketing campaign as profitable as possible.
- Savings. The third and last benefit is savings. Because business intelligence algorithms handle most of the work, you need to hire fewer employees. Also, business intelligence allows you to grow outsourcing within your company. You can turn from traditional employment to cooperation with agencies, freelancers, and BI consulting companies, such as Addepto.To sum this part up, business intelligence is essential for marketing. It makes your campaigns more accurate and tailored to your audience’s needs. That means higher income in a shorter time.
Use of business intelligence in marketing
All of what we mentioned earlier does not mean that business intelligence for marketing is common within the industry. It’s not. In one survey conducted by MiQ, 43% of marketers cite the cost of advanced data science as the biggest challenge to investing in it. Some marketers struggle with such questions as “Where to start? Which operations of the marketing should I prioritize? How long will it take before I see real results?” Let’s try to answer them.
WHERE TO START?
To get the most out of business intelligence, you have to ask appropriate questions. Business intelligence is a tool, not a magic wand. If you want to receive answers and data you seek, you have to know what questions to ask. One of the most significant benefits of BI is the ability to analyze and sort through massive amounts of data and generate insights. You can turn these insights into action. To achieve that, you must indicate and define KPIs and other metrics. They will serve you as a guideline where to go and what to ask about.
WHICH OPERATIONS SHOULD I PRIORITIZE?
You have two options. You can either concentrate on the marketing channels you already use, or you can just start with the primary analysis of your website. Check the number of site visitors, how long they spend browsing your website and which pages they view. Try to find out where they are coming from to see your website. If there are marketing tools already in place, focus on the most important ones. Likely, you will discover new strengths and weaknesses in your marketing activity, and this will lead you to the next steps.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO SEE REAL RESULTS?
Business intelligence, on its own, cannot provide you with any improvements. It’s an instrument that shows you what ought to be done in order to improve your marketing and communication. But it’s up to you to implement necessary changes. When you do, the first results should be visible within days.
How can business intelligence be useful in marketing
First thing, use business intelligence in marketing wisely. Indicate KPIs and ask the right questions. In return, you will get valuable knowledge of your customers, their behavior, and the marketing activities you are already implementing. And of course, you have to remember that you’re not on your own. Professional BI consulting company will not only provide you with the necessary tools but will also guide and assist you in getting as much as business intelligence can offer.
There are tens of possible implementations of business intelligence in marketing. And you can expect to see more and more of them every year. What can business intelligence help you with? Let’s segregate possible utilizations:
- Analyzing customers’ behavior and market trends
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tailored to their needs
- Improving delivery and supply chain effectiveness
- Measuring, tracking and predicting sales
- Budgeting and financial forecasting
- Monitoring and increasing the performance of marketing campaigns
- Optimizing marketing and reporting processes
- Web and e-commerce data analysis
- Risk analysis
Every single utilization has a significant influence on a company’s growth and sales improvement.
Examples of business intelligence in marketing
Now, let’s turn to the cases of business intelligence in marketing and see how it works in real-life conditions. We have chosen four examples for you.
CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL
Chipotle Mexican Grill is an American restaurant chain with over 2,400 restaurants worldwide. Chipotle was struggling with tracking restaurant operational effectiveness when they decided to implement business intelligence. They have created a centralized BI application that allowed accurate tracking of every restaurant’s operational efficiency at a national scale. That saved thousands of hours for the company and allowed them to manage the entire business more efficiently.
Hello Fresh is, according to the company, America’s most popular meal kit delivery service. The company was struggling with digital marketing reporting. The previous reporting system was slow and inefficient. The company has decided to apply a centralized business intelligence solution. As a result, it saved the marketing analytics team 10-20 working hours per day by automating the reporting processes. Real-time data that the new system offered showed much more accurate statistics about customer behaviors and, therefore, allowed optimizing marketing campaigns. Conversion rates have grown noticeably, and so has customer retention.
COCA-COLA BOTTLING COMPANY
CCBC is Coca Cola’s largest independent bottling partner. The company was struggling with manual reporting processes. The problem was serious-they restricted access to real-time sales and operations data. That was slowing the company down. CCBC decided to implement BI. The results? The team automated manual reporting processes. This has resulted in saving over 260 hours a year—more than six 40-hour workweeks.
ADDEPTO BI DASHBOARD
We could not go without mentioning our BI dashboard here. We developed an analytics system with a self-service interactive dashboard to analyze customers’ data for one of our SaaS clients. Additionally, we implemented a customized machine learning system for customer churn prediction, sales predictions, and recommendation systems. We created tailor-made data integration solutions for both structured data and big data sources, combined together in one data warehouse. Of course, all of that was fully integrated with the client’s software. What were the results? A 19% increase in sales and an 11% increase in customer retention within just six months!
Business Intelligence in marketing – for your company
What can we tell you about business intelligence in marketing? It’s undoubtedly a significant enhancement of your company’s work. It helps in reaching your current and potential customers quicker and more accurately. It improves all your analytics and reporting processes. Finally, it helps in managing your company, even if it’s spread all around the globe.
We encourage you to give it a shot! If, after reading this article, you thought “this might be something for me” then it definitely is! Let’s talk about implementing business intelligence in your business. You will tell us what you expect to get, and we will show you the way to achieve it. Drop us a line, let’s chat about BI in your company!