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Business intelligence: Turning data into opportunity

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Every successful marketing executive knows that in order to get results, you need to know your target. Sending bulk emails or posting ads without an intended audience is simply firing blind.

Without strategy, you’re unlikely to hit a bullseye, and you’ll be wasting resources in the process.

Business intelligence is the tool you need to set a laser focus on your target and hit the mark each time.

In the current market, data is key. Data and BI can help you find the right customer at the right time, while spending smarter and having a stronger return.

There are two critical components to BI – the data itself and the analyst who interprets the metrics.

However, when it comes to incorporating BI into strategy, many marketing teams encounter several questions.

<HOW TO START COLLECTING DATA

Customer demographics, transactions, successful campaigns – you have all this information at your fingertips but aren’t collecting or collating it because you don’t know what will be helpful.

This is where customer relationship management software can compile your data into digestible dashboards or spreadsheets. You’ll learn who your customers are and what they want.

Knowing this will help you find potential customers with similar interests and demographics to more effectively target with your next campaign.

CRM software also prevents information silos, bringing together the data so nothing is overlooked.

<USING THE INFORMATION

Once you have the market data you need, consult an expert to interpret the information and turn it into actionable steps that can generate results.

It’s not the software or the tools that make the data valuable; it’s the knowledge behind it.

To develop a carefully targeted marketing plan for your audience, you need to sync the right metrics with the right analyst who understands your industry – whether it’s someone internal or an outside consultant.

You could have all the right numbers, but if your analyst specializes in health care and you’re a banking institution, he or she may miss nuances important to transforming your data into a specialized plan that’s particular to your business.

BI is all about working smarter and getting the most out of your time and money at every stage.

Have your expert work with you to identify the most relevant key points of interest before you even set up your customer relationship management database, ensuring that all of your efforts are optimized toward achieving the best results.

<OTHER USES FOR BI

Data can come into play during the initial strategic planning stages of a campaign, as well as after a campaign, to measure success.

Understanding your customer can help you build your business – and it also can increase customer satisfaction.

Knowledge is power in every facet of marketing.

<

This is your own data. It doesn’t come from an external source and doesn’t cost extra to obtain.

Take this data and learn how to make it work for you. Understand what your data is telling you about your existing clients and how to go out to find additional business opportunities.

Once you’ve successfully added BI to your strategic arsenal, you can aim high, going after greater and further targets with confidence.

Missy Orlando is president and chief operating officer of The Anderson Group of Sinking Spring, a full-service integrated marketing agency. She also contributes to projects that involve strategic planning, integrated marketing, public relations, business intelligence and product development – especially those involving banking or addiction recovery. She can be reached at 610-678-1506 or morlando@theandersongrp.com.

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