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Why Every Marketing Team Should Have a BI Strategy

Aug 14, 2017
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Do you know if your marketing strategy is working or are you relying solely on hunches? Don't get me wrong, intuition is great, but tracking your results and using data to make smarter decisions is what the best organizations in the world do. Business Intelligence (BI) is not just something IT people are interested in. With more access to data than ever before, the companies that have the greatest impact today have planted data and BI into their culture. 

In the video below I'll share why having a BI program is essential to successful digital marketing. Big Data isn't as scary as it sounds. Smart marketing is all about using the tools we have available to us to measure, track, and adjust our strategies so that we make the right connections with the right people at the right time. 

 

 

Video Transcript

Hey, what's up, everybody? Welcome to Hack My Growth. Today we're going to be talking about the power of merging BI in marketing to get better results than ever before. Let's go.

Having the right analytics and the right data to back your marketing decisions could be the difference between you succeeding and having a lot of success online or you falling short of your goals. We're going to talk about three ways that are merging a BI strategy with your marketing campaigns. Your marketing ideas can actually help you deliver better results. Now before we get started, I just want to say thanks again for watching and if you really like what you're seeing, go ahead and hit that subscribe button below. All right so let's get into it.

BI or business intelligence is really the practice of merging data with your culture and using that data to help make more informed decisions. So BI as a strategy should really be throughout your business. It should be all through your finances, your sales, your CRM, your marketing, your processes and procedures, the things that you do on a day to day basis. You should be tracking all of that and tracking the data and the KPI's behind that so that you can make better decisions. But a lot of times when it comes to marketing we tend to think of marketing as a creative aspect. Even in today's digital world, we have so much access to tools and analytic software we still often rely more on our gut than we do on the data. Now I'm not saying that intuition is a bad thing, it can actually be an extremely powerful thing. But the power and intuition come behind verifying or de-verifying whether or not something is working and I think that's the key for marketers in today's economy. We're collecting so much data, why not take the time to understand that data and then put it back to work for us.

And that's really the power that BI can have throughout your organization and specifically right in your marketing department. Whether you're building a website, you're doing social media; it doesn't matter. We can track all of that, we can track how users react, and then we can help make better decisions, and that's really the first benefit to using BI with your marketing strategies, you're going to be able to make better decisions. Now you may have an idea, and you may have a thought that this is going to work really well and then you can implement that idea. What you do than track it and see how users are engaging and then use that data to either verify what you thought would happen or say hey that didn't actually work out that way and actually worked out this way. Now you have some really powerful information, some lag information, information that you got as a result of that study, and now you can use that on the front end, what we call lead information when you're doing something new. And you can say okay I've got a new idea, and knowing what we know from last time, looking at the data, here's what my hypothesis is.

And that's really going to help you predict better trends in the future, and it's actually going to help you create better ideas on the front end so that you can go into the situation with some information at hand. It really makes you a lot more knowledgeable. The second benefit to using BI is in your marketing campaign; you get everybody involved in the data process, from the bottom person to the top person. When you really construct a BI strategy or a BI program for your marketing department, you're going to have data access for everybody on that team, so a junior associate up to executive level employees are going to be able to see what's going on, they're going to be more knowledgeable about what's going on, and it's actually going to help them be more cohesive because everybody will have this same data in front of them, everybody's going to be able to see the same thing, and everybody's going to be able to have a say in the conversation of what's working and what's not working and it really helps to build that team collaboration and also helps just to empower, maybe even lower level team members who maybe see some trends but never felt like they had the authority to speak up.

Well, now we're giving them that access to the data and allowing them to really shine through with interpreting the data in their own world view. And this could be really helpful for coming up with new strategies or plans or maybe seeing things that we've missed.

Now the third benefit to using BI with your marketing strategy is surprises. Now a lot of people don't like surprises, but often times they can really point us in a whole new direction we never thought of in the first place. So I'll give you a great example for myself. We do a lot of content marketing, social media marketing, pushing our content out in social and really trying to amplify our message online to gain new customers just to gain new brand awareness and just to really build the business overall. Now my channel of choice is Twitter, and I like twitter because it's fast and I can get in and have a conversation with somebody and share some cool stuff and like people’s stuff and retweet stuff.

And then I've got to get out here and go about my day. Now Twitter has proven time and time again to be a very valuable social channel for not just me personally but for the business as a whole. Now another social channel that we were using was Pinterest. And Pinterest was kind of an after thought. One of my team members was like hey, we should do more with Pinterest, posting the stuff on there, the infographics, and the videos, I said yeah sure go ahead. I can't see where it would hurt us. And maybe we'll get a little bit of a boost in traffic. What actually happened is I was starting to look at the reports and trends over time, and Pinterest has now become our number two social channel, and what's even more important, Pinterest is our number one converting social channel. Converts at almost 15% and what this really showed me is that people on Pinterest liked what we're doing. Now, this blew my mind because I really wasn't putting any emphasis on Twitter in the beginning, but because I had access to the data and we have BI as part of our marketing practices here at our agency, we were able to see that Pinterest was a really really nice surprise.

It was actually driving a lot more traffic and a lot more engagement than we ever thought it would up front, or I ever thought it would up front. So this is where the surprises can actually be really beneficial and help you see your data in a whole new light, and now we actually put a lot of emphasis on Pinterest because we're getting a lot of people there and we're trying to encourage our Pinterest users also to follow us on other channels, so we're starting to build that community, and this would have never come to fruition if we hadn't taken the time to actually look at the data and had BI as a part of our culture.

So whether you're new to marketing or whether you've been in it for a long time, having access to data and giving your team access to data and having business intelligence big data, business analytics as a part of your culture can really help you deliver amazing results. It's going to help you know what you're doing is actually working, it's going to help you empower your full team, and then it's also going to lead to some really cool surprises. And also maybe some surprises like hey this isn't working at all, we need to shift our gears.

When you do that, you can do some really powerful stuff and grow your business online. Well, thanks for checking out this episode of Hack My Growth. If you liked it, please hit the subscribe button, we do this every single week and until next time, happy marketing.

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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