Business Intelligence in Marketing Explained

What is business intelligence in marketing and how exactly can it help your marketing initiatives? Learn about BI in marketing here.

Blog Post

5 minutes

Oct 09, 2023

What is business intelligence in marketing and why is it such a significant component for modern campaigns?

For business owners and marketers, it can be difficult to fully understand the connection between technology like business intelligence (BI) and more traditional initiatives involved with typical marketing campaigns.

We know this can be difficult simply because the uptake of tech like BI is very low among organizations today.

The global adoption rate of business intelligence—even simple cloud applications—across all organizations is just 26%.

The question for many organizations is to what extent can business intelligence improve their operations and what tangible benefits can be realized through BI adoption in digital marketing and other operations.

Let's dive in.

Want to take a look at what implementation involves first? Use Impact's checklist, What Businesses Need for a Successful Business Intelligence Strategy, to see what's involved in making the best use of your data.

What Is Business Intelligence in Marketing?

Business intelligence in marketing is using customer data to better target specific marketing campaigns toward the audience groups who will benefit from them the most.

Without business intelligence, organizations may have an idea of who they’re targeting with their marketing efforts, but it’s unlikely they’re making the most out of their campaigns. This leads to a scattershot approach and potentially leaves valuable audience groups untapped.

By implementing BI into your marketing efforts, you can expand the efficacy and reach of your marketing campaigns with actual data that informs your marketing strategies. For example, organizations can use customer information to build profiles, segment audiences for more efficient campaign targeting, and receive higher quality insights into reporting on campaigns.

What Are the Benefits of Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence encompasses a wide range of tools that are designed to improve efficiency and productivity through better data and analysis.  

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits derived from implementing business intelligence solutions:

  1. Better reporting
  2. Predictive and prescriptive analysis
  3. Segmentation

1. Better Reporting

First and foremost, business intelligence tools are best when integrated with existing customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, or other preexisting processes, systems, and workflows.  

For example, if you’re using Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, typically it will be paired with Microsoft PowerBI, though there are numerous solutions available on the market. Once these systems are synced, users can add business intelligence dashboards into their CRM for tracking, analysis, and reporting.

Most CRMs like Dynamics 365 CRM will already have a built-in dashboard for reporting, but it doesn’t come close to the capabilities and depth of an integrated BI platform. Integrating the advanced analytics of PowerBI into the Dynamics CRM is as simple as entering a URL, enabling PowerBI visualization, and adding the fields you want to report on.

PowerBI (as with other business intelligence suites) allows you to connect data from over 120 supported sources—meaning data housed in practically any application can be imported and reported on in your CRM with BI.

Once you’ve embedded BI (and your data) into your CRM, reporting on your data through a unified platform is significantly easier and delivers a substantially improved user experience. 

2. Predictive and Prescriptive Analysis

Predictive analytics refers to using data to assess trends and uncover likely outcomes in the future weeks, months, and even years.

By integrating data into business intelligence tools, employees can use machine learning to determine probable outcomes and can better inform overarching marketing strategies as well as individual marketing campaigns.

BI tools generate predictive analysis by assessing past trends to project possibilities into the future —this is particularly useful when a business is working to make the most out of their marketing campaigns or are considering new initiatives.

Consider, for example, buyer behavior. Understanding the behavior of customers—what they’re interested in, why they’re not completing orders, why they buy products at certain times of year, why they do not respond to particular email campaigns—is crucial for effective marketing.

In fact, the Predictive Intelligence Benchmark Report published the following figures:

  • Predictive intelligence shows a 40.38% increase in revenue after 36 months of implementation.
  • 34% of purchases are influenced by predictive intelligence recommendations.
  • Website sessions that are influenced by predictive intelligence achieve a 22.66% increase in conversion rates.

A variety of consumer behavior can be determined by analyzing data with business intelligence, providing deeper insights, actionable information, and better positioning for your future marketing initiatives.  

A typical example of predictive analysis in marketing would be an organization using historic purchase behavior to help shape how existing customers are approached.

If a customer or group of customers has a history of buying a particular product, that information can be used to then inform a targeted email campaign recommending similar products for them. Many e-commerce sites use this technique very effectively, and there’s a good chance you have some of these emails in your inbox right now.

This kind of highly targeted marketing is only possible through business intelligence in the digital marketing space and adds a level of personalization that modern consumers value. 

3. Segmentation

Segmentation concerns the division of your audience into groups depending on several different factors:

  • Demographic segmentation: Sorts customers based on age, income, gender, race, occupation.
  • Geographic segmentation: Sorts customers based on region and where they live.
  • Psychographic segmentation: Sorts customers based on interests, opinions, values, and lifestyle.
  • Behavioral segmentation: Sorts customers based on patterns in their decision-making, such as purchases, use, consumption, and product preferences.  

This information can be used to group together audiences based on common interests, locales, beliefs, and behaviors, all giving businesses the opportunity to target audience groups in a more granular, specific, and personalized way.

You can get an improved understanding of your market with business intelligence that derives better analytics which can be enormously beneficial to organizations who are looking to better serve their audience. 

Bottom Line

Business intelligence in marketing may seem complex, but really, it’s all about using existing customer data to better inform marketing initiatives by giving companies improved insights into their various audience groups.

Through better reporting and unified data across applications, organizations are able to use their collected data in a more actionable way that allows for the execution of better, more specific, and more efficient marketing campaigns.

Learn how to easily implement business intelligence and see the benefits of its analysis of customer data with Impact's checklist, What Businesses Need for a Successful Business Intelligence Strategy.


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