Business intelligence is one of the best ways companies can visualize their data, understand it, and make intelligent, informed decisions based on it. By accumulating raw data and transforming it into actionable insight, you can identify trends and patterns of behavior among consumers and your demographic in general.

While this information is useful for numerous business practices, implementing it into an online marketing campaign can take your campaign to a whole new level of insight and ROI. In this article, I'll discuss how business intelligence and online marketing fit together, and how to combine them to optimize your online marketing initiative.

Understanding the Performance of Multiple Channels

In order to run the most effective marketing campaign possible, it's important to understand which marketing channels are driving the most traffic and which ones aren't worth anymore time. Through an understanding of your analytics and data mining, you can determine how well each channel is performing and make informed decisions on how to modify your existing campaigns.

For instance, a campaign might incorporate several marketing facets, including SEO, social media marketing, and email marketing. Business intelligence software might reveal that your SEO and social media campaigns are bringing in the bulk of your website traffic, while email marketing is only bringing in a minimal amount. With this information, you could halt your email marketing campaign and divert resources to one of your other marketing tactics that's resulting in better ROI.

To break it down one step further, business intelligence would show you which keywords are resulting in the most traffic in your SEO campaign and which social media channels are resulting in the most conversions. For example, 75 percent of traffic may be coming from Facebook while only 25 percent is coming from Twitter. With this information, diverting resources to your Facebook campaign could be wise.

Audience and Customer Behavioral Trends

Tracking the behavior of individual visitors and leads is another way that business intelligence fits in with online marketing. Although software products will vary, many will display information like:

·         Bounce rate (how long visitors stay on your website)

·         Visitor and customer location

·         How many pages are being viewed during the course of a visit

·         Which pages are most popular

·         Areas of a site that are getting the most clicks

·         Conversion rates

·         Real time data

The more thorough the information, the better your understanding will be of your audience and customers' behavior. Consequently, this should help you establish a marketing campaign that's built on fact rather than assumption.

After gaining a clear perspective of how your site is being used and found by your visitors, it's much easier to capitalize on your strengths and improve upon your weaknesses. Even if your campaign is in a dire position initially, the information gained through business intelligence should put you back on the right path to success.

Better Visitor and Customer Experience

Additionally, you can expect to develop an online marketing campaign that's tailored to meet your visitors' and customers' expectations. By examining things like visitor loyalty, site exploration trends, time on site, bounce rate, and overall campaign performance, you'll have the insight you need to optimize and improve customer experience, which will lead to better conversion rates and happier customers.

Here's an example. Let's say some blog posts about one topic are getting tons of clicks and keeping visitors on your site for an extended amount of time, while other posts about another topic aren't resulting in much traffic. Understanding what makes visitors and customers tick is a great way to build rapport and establish repeat customers. In some cases, this can even lead to brand ambassadors who are willing to go to bat for your company and spread a positive message.

Also, experimenting with product placement, content placement and landing pages while simultaneously gathering data is perfect for maximizing your conversion rate. Maybe products on your website's sidebar are resulting in a high conversion rate while products on an individual landing page are converting very poorly. Business intelligence would help you spot these trends, allowing you to make adjustments to product placement to maximize conversions of your most profitable products.

Now that we have a better understanding of how business intelligence correlates with online marketing, here are my top 3 recommended business intelligence products on the market.

  1. Domo
  2. SAS
  3. Tableau

After comparing all three, I'd recommend Domo for most situations. It's designed to provide marketing professionals with solid business intelligence and encompasses several areas including customer relationship management, web analytics, marketing automation and social data. According to VentureBeat, "Domo hopes to give executives and managers a single, customizable, sharable view of the business metrics that matter to them, delivering its product as an online service, similar to the way, Omniture, Microsoft's Office 365, and other software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions work."


In an expanding global economy where competition in many industries is at an all time high, business intelligence is becoming increasingly important. Regardless of how effective business operations are and how high conversion rates are, there's always room for improvement.

By integrating the right business intelligence software into your online marketing campaign, you're taking a big step to optimizing your performance and truly understanding consumer behavior. In turn, this can lay the framework to building a thriving company, even in the midst of a highly competitive industry. 

July 17, 2013

Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.

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Search Engine Guide > Jayson DeMers > How to Use Business Intelligence to Optimize Your Online Marketing Initiative