Editors note: at ClickSend Towers we believe that data should be at the heart of every marketing decision. That’s why it’s so important to have clean data. In this post, Axelle from ClicData shows how to use business intelligence to solve some of the most common issues marketers face with analytics. We hope you find this helpful!

Modern marketing campaigns collect a lot of performance data: how many views, clicks, conversions, opens, followers… you get the picture.

But just collecting data isn’t enough. Marketing analytics are also key, as they help you draw insights from the raw data you collect.

As more and more data is generated and collected by marketers every year, marketing analytics becomes more and more challenging.

Thankfully, as the challenges of marketing analytics grow, so too are the business intelligence tools that make marketing analytics easier to handle.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of business intelligence and look at five important challenges in marketing analytics and how business intelligence can solve them.

What is Business Intelligence (BI)?

Business intelligence refers to the processes and technologies that collect and analyse data so organisations can use those insights to make strategic decisions.

Most business intelligence focuses on what’s actually happening in your business, rather than trying to predict what might happen in the future.

What is Business Intelligence Tools?

Business intelligence platforms offer plenty of features that help you collect, aggregate, and analyse your data. Some popular BI tools include Tableau, MS Power BI, and Sisense.

Tableau Dashboard Screenshot Example
Tableau Dashboard Example (Source)

When using a business intelligence tool, you’ll typically find:

  • Dashboard and other data visualisations
  • Automated reporting and analysis
  • ETL (extract-transfer-load) tools and data mining features
  • Integrations and APIs for various data sources

By combining these features, you can create marketing analytics reports and workflows that will make your job a lot easier.

The Benefits of Business Intelligence for Marketing Analytics

The biggest benefit of business intelligence in marketing analytics is that it shortens the time between generating the data and effectively analysing it.

Rather than spending hours manually pulling and manipulating data, BI tools give you a nearly real-time view of your data. This helps you make the right business decisions at the right time.

There are plenty of other benefits to business intelligence too. BI platforms give you a single place to view all of your data, and you can even merge data sources to look at two different KPIs in the same place.

Another major benefit is that you and your marketing team will have more time and more data to really get to know your business.

Since you save hours of time with automated features, you can dive deep into the nuances of yourcustomer acquisition strategy, product strategy, or anything else on your plate so you can make the best decisions at every stage of the marketing cycle.

Business Intelligence Graphic with 6 Benefits
(Image Source)

Overall, BI helps your business make better decisions by providing useful data in near real-time.

Challenge #1: Filtering Out Inaccurate Data

If your marketing team is mining data from email lists, your evergreen webinars, and other types of marketing campaigns, your first analytics challenge is figuring out data will give you good insights, and what data you can ignore.

For example, if a lead fills out a detailed business assessment from your website, you will have first-hand data on any gaps in their business strategy and how you may be able to bridge the gaps.

Business Assessment Questionnaire Start Image
(Image Source)

On the other hand, ignorable data could be things like VPNs with global servers returning incorrect location data for anyone using the tool. BI tools can look for other data or markers that provide accurate location data.

Or, if your data becomes skewed during the collection process, BI tools can help you identify outliers and determine if the data is usable or not.

Business intelligence helps you ask the right questions of your marketing data to find the best insights. It can also help you identify data sources that aren’t being fully utilised or aren’t actually helping as much as you think.

With BI assistance in using the best data, you’ll make decisions more quickly and with better information. That leads to better results for your marketing campaigns and your company as a whole.

Challenge #2: Setting Up Consistent Lead Scoring Criteria

If your business uses lead scoring to move potential customers through the sales funnel, it’s essential to have consistent standards and metrics across the company.

This is important for data integrity as well using your resources efficiently. A consistent lead scoring system also helps your marketing team work more closely with sales to deliver the best customer experience.

When developing your lead scoring criteria, BI tools can help you with a number of tasks, including:

  • Identifying actions that are associated with purchase interest
  • Recording when and where a lead took an action
  • Tracking and aggregating these signals across platforms
  • Displaying lead scoring data in a centralised, easy-to-access dashboard for both teams

With a single place to access lead scoring data, your entire lead scoring system becomes instantly more useful. Plus, you can continue to use BI tools to fine-tune your lead scoring criteria and optimise your results.

Challenge #3. Testing Marketing Campaigns at Scale

It would be nice to have months to test and refine every new growth marketing campaign with focus groups and detailed reports.

Unfortunately, you’ll usually have to test your new strategies on the fly.

With business intelligence tools, however, you can test elements across your marketing campaigns while still generating data, sales, and profits from your ongoing initiatives.

For instance, this email subject line analysis looked at open rate and click data related to email subject lines across industries. It found some surprising subject lines with open rates much higher than the national average of 30.7%.

4 Examples of Subject Lines and Respective Open Rates from Active Campaign analysis
Active Campaign Subject Line Analysis (Source)

“Dork” might not be an acceptable subject line in your office, but you can still leverage business intelligence and email tracking to get these kinds of insights for your own campaigns.

You never know what email copy or social media caption just might pack a powerful punch.

In fact, with some BI tools, you may not even have to run a formal test. You can simply mine your available historical and current data to find patterns, trends, and inspiration.

Challenge #4: Maintaining Data Security and Compliance

With more data comes more scrutiny about the security, storage, and privacy of that data. Consumers and governments alike have expressed concern about the business use of data, and marketers aren’t exempt from being swept up in new data compliance rules and regulations.

Thankfully, business intelligence tools typically include plenty of security features to keep your customers’ data safe. These platforms regularly upgrade their security features and themselves have to maintain compliance with laws governing data privacy.

However, you can’t rely exclusively on a piece of software to make sure your data is compliant. It’s also smart to hire skilled professionals with experience in information security and other data-related roles so you always have experts on hand to troubleshoot problems and make sure your software stays up-to-date with the latest regulations.

Challenge #5: Translating Data into Better Customer Outcomes

One of the biggest challenges in marketing analytics is knowing what to do with the data once you have it. Too often, the focus is on the data itself, not the insights and actions you can draw from it.

Put another way, you should always be able to answer the question, “How does this piece of data help me understand our customers?”

Business intelligence is an incredible asset in turning raw data into real improvements to the customer experience. BI can identify and analyse patterns, create numerous data visualisations, and even includes custom views and filters so you can view data in new ways.

Zoho Analytics Screenshot Example of Business Intelligence Tool
Zoho Analytics Dashboard Example (Source)

BI doesn’t come up with a full marketing strategy for you. You’ll still have to make the final leap from a data visualisation to creating action steps for you and your team.

But you won’t have to spend hours manually aggregating data or miss key insights because you just didn’t know where to look. Instead, you’ll have tons of data options at your fingertips, filled with insights that you can turn into outcomes.

Improve Your Marketing Analytics with Business Intelligence

Business intelligence tools in marketing analytics help your team work more efficiently and productively while using up-to-date data to make informed decisions.

Where marketing analytics brings challenges like ensuring data accuracy, maintaining security and compliance, and finding actionable insights from mountains of marketing data, business intelligence offers solutions that increase productivity and profitability on your marketing team.

About the Author

Axelle Dervaux has experience in digital marketing with a focus on B2B marketing for SaaS companies. She’s working in various marketing fields such as SEO and SEA, social media, lead nurturing, customer retention, product marketing. She is the Marketing Manager at clicdata.com, a cloud-based business intelligence, and data management platform. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.