In the previous article, we focused on how business intelligence (BI) tools can benefit sales departments, leading to improved customer prospecting, interaction and retention, as well as creating more cross-selling and up-selling opportunities and better forecast.
The sales department is closely aligned with marketing, as the two departments need to work together to generate revenues. This article will look into how marketing departments can boost their productivity and generate better leads using BI tools.
The times when marketing was about shouting on the streets and airing commercials on TV have passed. Although these strategies are still used in some places, modern data-driven marketing (DDM) is a totally different thing and to master it effectively one needs a special tool – BI software.
In a broad sense, BI can help marketing in two interrelated areas – improving customer engagement and optimizing strategies by better analytics.
Customer engagement strategies
A BI tool can integrate customers’ information into one centrally managed solution. This will allow to track all data from CRM, email marketing tools, social media and website engagements in one place. With the rising popularity of social media, customers now interact with businesses across multiple channels, which means creating and keeping a single source of truth for marketing purposes becomes more important than ever.
One of the key benefits of BI tools is the ability to go through large volumes of data and generate actionable insights from it. In marketing this means more effective segmentation and understanding of customer profiles and needs based on their size, purchase frequency, profitability and other key characteristics. BI can help quickly figure out the right message to right customers at the right time. This is a powerful combination to identify new audiences and find opportunities.
More precise customer identification and better engagement strategies create more qualified leads. A major contention point between the sales and marketing departments is often the poor quality of leads. It’s frustrating for sales reps to call leads that were collected without proper analysis and finding out they should not have been qualified to begin with. This lowers sales conversion rates, unnecessarily lengthens sales cycles and eventually decreases revenues.
Improved analytics with BI
With its ability to analyze big data faster and more effectively by slicing and dicing information from different angles, BI can improve marketing campaigns, making them more profitable. Instead of pouring a marketing budget blindly into poorly defined demographics and hoping for the best, BI can help marketers to be more precise and look at the right metrics.
BI software can assess marketing campaigns in real-time, blend different KPIs, such as cost-per-click, conversion rate, ROI, website visits, all in one dashboard to give a comprehensive bird’s eye view of a campaign. This will help to find out the ROI of all separate activities and channels, analyze them and quickly boost the effective campaigns and turn off the ineffective ones. With BI you can set up custom rules to receive email alerts and quickly intervene when a marketing campaign suddenly changes its course over a long weekend, for example. Imagine filling up a bath with water. Would you like to randomly fill it up and jump in it or have an opportunity to test the water temperature constantly?
Last but not least, BI helps to save money. Better customer engagement strategies and improved analytics mentioned above will not only improve efficiency, but of course save money by helping to achieve better results with less money. In addition, there is direct cost savings, as with BI handling a large portion of a company’s marketing activities, the company can hire fewer employees and transfer some of its marketing-related activities to outsourced agencies and freelances.
Overall, with the help of BI tools marketing becomes a more effective and efficient department within companies. No more blindly knocking on doors hoping to get the right customer. Having properly segmented, targeted and analyzed their clients, the only job of marketing specialists becomes pretty much serving customers’ needs and passing their information further to sales reps.