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 useful it is to implement business intelligence in your marketing department. We will also look at real-life examples of how leading companies use business intelligence in marketing to propel their success.
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DDM (Data-Driven 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.
Today, about 3 out of every 4 marketing leaders (76%) base decisions on data analytics.  Moreover, data-driven marketing increases ROI, with campaigns that leverage data-driven personalization reporting 5-8x ROI for their campaign spend.
Find out more about Data Analytics BI Tools.
Big data in marketing
Big data is everywhere. One of the most interesting aspects of big data analytics is its ability to extract data from disparate sources, such as Twitter mentions and sales records, and combine the data to create interpretations based on the given parameters. When it comes to marketing BI, big data helps businesses by providing valuable insights about their customers and potential clients. Big data also helps marketers understand why their efforts are not helping the company grow and why they are losing money. With big data and business intelligence in marketing, marketers can easily maximize efforts to increase profits as well as optimize their critical workflows.
What are types of big data for marketers?
Marketers are interested in three types of big data: customer, financial, and operational data. However, these three types of data can be categorized as unstructured, semi-structured, and structured.
Customer data helps marketers understand their target audience. Such important metrics about your audience can be sourced from social media activity, surveys, and online communities.
Financial data helps you measure productivity and improve efficiency. This category includes your organization’s sales and marketing statistics, costs, and margins. This category might also include financial data from competitors, such as prices.
Operational data refers to business processes. This could include shipping and logistics, customer relationship management systems, or feedback from hardware sensors and other sources. This data can be analyzed to boost productivity and reduce costs.
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 beneficial is business intelligence in marketing?
Read more about BI technology: Business Intelligence Helps Managers.
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 in marketing 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. Marketing BI makes your campaigns more accurate and tailored to your audience’s needs. That means higher income in a shorter time.
How to implement 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 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 in marketing, 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 and applications of business intelligence in marketing is the ability to analyze and sort through massive amounts of data and generate insights. You can turn these insights into action. So, 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 you 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?
There are many applications of business intelligence in marketing which provide important information about customer models, customer behaviour, allowing the company to understand their desires, attitudes and increase revenue due BI tools.
Therefore, use business intelligence in marketing wisely. Indicate KPIs and ask the right questions. In return, you will get valuable knowledge of your 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.
What can business intelligence help you with? Let’s take a closer look at these applications:
Business Intelligence can integrate the entire business of a company into one centrally managed system as well as customer information. The company’s data management platform can track customer data from CRM, email marketing, social media campaigns, and website interactions.
Furthermore, Business Intelligence in marketing combines data mining, data analysis, and data visualization to provide executives and other business users with a comprehensive perspective of corporate data, which they can use to make business decisions in a more informed way. Also, marketing BI helps in analyzing customers’ behavior and market trends, improving delivery and supply chain effectiveness.
Predictive analytics reveals future trends by analyzing data. Predictive analytics provides information that supports the sales team’s approach and helps them increase revenue. Furthermore, predictive analytics not only determine the best message for customers based on their past behavior, but also inform the company which products to sell to which customers.
According to Robert Daityle, Chief Commercial Officer of technology services provider UST Global, predictive analytics associated with business intelligence tools can provide business users with near real-time updates to accelerate action or to automate aspects of decision making and execution.
Personalized Sales Strategy
Business Intelligence in marketing helps companies develop better and more effective sales strategies. Using business intelligence tools, the company has all the necessary data about the target company’s turnover, budget plans, strategies for future expansion, sales figures, competitors, etc. Such analytics can provide additional information to the sales and marketing departments to support in the evaluation and preparation of a quotation based on this information.
Today, given the competitiveness of the modern era, it is critical to find and maximize sales opportunities. Applying business intelligence in marketing is a great way to optimize a company’s trade operations. Moreover, Business intelligence helps sales teams to concentrate on attracting high-quality customers and improving everything from conversion rates to overall bottom line.
Reporting is the most essential business application of BI. Data is transformed into simple information through reporting and analysis transforms data into usable insights. Both help businesses in increasing productivity and getting control over their operations. Consequently, with a faster reporting process, marketers don’t have to waste time reconciling data streams and adjusting calculations as needed.
Real-life 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.
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. Due to business intelligence in marketing, 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.
Business intelligence technology is used also by American Express to develop new payment service solutions and market offers for customers. As a result of the company’s testing in Australia, it has been able to identify up to 24% of all Australian users who close their accounts within four months. American Express uses this data to take action in order to keep clients. Also, BI helps the company in accurately detecting fraud and protecting clients whose credit card information could be hacked.
This company has a big advantage in the business intelligence and marketing sector thanks to its 209 million subscribers who are using its services. Netflix uses data in many different ways. One example is how this company develops and verifies new programming concepts based on previously seen programs. Moreover, Netflix also uses business intelligence to keep viewers engaged with its content. The service is so good at promoting targeted material that it provides over 80% of streaming content throughout its recommendation algorithm.
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, marketing BI helps in managing your company, even if it’s spread all around the globe.
So, 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!
 Gartner.com. Marketing Data and Analytics Survey 2018. URL: https://www.gartner.com/en/documents/3883171. Accessed October 15, 2021.
 Invespcro.com. The Importance of Data Driven Marketing – Statistics and Trends. URL: https://www.invespcro.com/blog/data-driven-marketing/. Accessed October 15, 2021.
 Constructdigital.com. The Importance of Business Intelligence in Marketing Today: 3 Benefits of Dashboards for Marketers. URL: https://www.constructdigital.com/insight/the-importance-of-business-intelligence-in-marketing-today.