5 Ways Business Intelligence and Online Marketing Can Work Together

When you really think about it, online marketing and business intelligence were born to work with each other. Both fields are built on utilizing data to make decisions in order to improve processes and optimize ROI (return on investment). However, for many companies, business intelligence continues to be an elusive concept that never quite finds its way to the top of the priority list.
In my experience, once you learn how synergistic these two disciplines can be, it makes sense to prioritize their integration. From advertising to audience research, below are five great ways that business intelligence and online marketing can work together.

Business Intelligence and Online Marketing Can Work Together


Providing comprehensive target audience data across offline and online platforms can help campaigns be more targeted. Business intelligence allows companies to craft their ideal audience behavior patterns across multiple forms of media — including television, radio, print and online.
This type of research often translates into a starting point for building an online advertising campaign. Along the same lines, online advertising can usually generate faster results reports because they are commonly based on impressions, clicks and online purchases. Instant data can benefit offline advertising campaigns by offering an initial glimpse into the effectiveness of a seasonal campaign, branding colors or new product ads.

Demographic & Behavioral Analysis

Business intelligence firms already offer real-time analytics based on online marketing efforts, so it makes sense for Web analytics to have more a presence here. Both social media and search engine marketing campaigns can benefit from the structured analysis that business intelligence experts are already using.
Search engine marketing is slowly becoming more of an analytical position, as many analytics platforms (like Google Analytics) now provide a large depth of data that includes basic demographics as well as user search behavior. For instance, if 90% of all American visitors to your website go to a specific product or services page, then it would make sense to further develop marketing and advertising for that product in the United States.
A 2011 article in Search Engine Land highlights that slow shift in emphasis in data analysis for many available search engine marketing positions. By placing a bigger emphasis on the data behind online marketing campaigns, traditional business intelligence reports can translate how online marketing efforts are (positively or negatively) affecting the bottom line.
Additionally, social media engagement data is a great way to get a good glimpse at the overall demographics (age, gender, location) of users that are engaging most with the company online. The raw data from social media is definitely overwhelming at first. Fortunately, key metrics and formulas that business intelligence analyzers normally use can help filter and make sense of the key information social media can provide.
Besides demographic data (IQ), social media also provides emotional pattern data, as social media comments and behavior is an indicator of brand sentiment. This can help businesses see how their customers feel about their brand, as it’s not always about the numbers.

Event Research and Analysis

When offline events are promoted online, it can give good insight into overall customer patterns, thus helping to increase event marketing effectiveness. By learning the time, location and ways that customers interact with event ticketing, event planners can learn when the best time is to promote events, what types of events do well and adjust ticket prices optimize sales.
A proper online event marketing campaign can track a customer’s interaction from start to finish. This includes tracking how they found out about the event through metrics such as entrance pages, referral sites and custom promo codes.
The chance to combine real-world events and promotions with online marketing campaigns is one of the best ways business intelligence and online marketing can work together.

Content Strategy

If big data from business intelligence is giving online marketers a good idea of their target audience, then marketers can understand what type of online content results in the most traffic and conversions. This gives the company a good idea as to what their target audience is most interested in, allowing the company to modify its content strategy going forward.
For instance, e-books and white papers take quite a bit of effort to create, but if they result in a higher conversion rate, then it might be worthwhile to focus on them more than infographics or daily blog posts.

Overall Marketing Strategy

According to digital marketing agency AccuraCast, business intelligence can give marketers a better view of how to effectively interact with their customers online:
With clearly defined objectives and marketing strategies in place, companies can use business intelligence to improve the overall effectiveness of their website by examining the site performance, usage trends, visitor loyalty, audience circulation, content and product placement, search engine performance and overall visitor behavior. A company can, therefore, use these elements to understand how their site is used, maximize revenue from affiliates, and improve site design and layout.
It’s much more accurate and efficient to combine existing website knowledge with proven customer behavior patterns to create actionable marketing goals. Any marketing campaign, online or off, needs set goals to track progress.
Overall, when it comes to business intelligence and online marketing, taking big data, forming it into goals and then translating it back into actionable insight is one of the best ways to craft a marketing and advertising strategy that works and is continually optimized.

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3 Website A/B Testing Tools

A/B testing is becoming more and more common as teams realize how important it is for a website’s success.

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Web is a huge, competitive marketplace with very few (if any) untapped markets, meaning that being successful by offering something unique is rare. Much more common is that you’re competing for the business of your customers with several other websites, so attempting to convert every visitor into a customer or upselling/cross-selling your services better could make all the difference to your bottom line.

Due to this, the market for A/B testing tools and CRO (conversion rate optimization) tools is growing exponentially. But choosing one can be quite a time-consuming challenge, so in this article, I’ll compare the best A/B testing tools to help you decide which is most suitable for you or your team.

A/B testing is about experimenting with visual and content changes to see which results in more conversions.A/B testing often follows usability testing as a means of testing a solution to a flaw in the user experience identified using metrics like bounce rate in an analytics tool like Google Analytics, and thanks to the depth and quality of A/B testing tools available now, A/B testing is accessible to designers as well as marketers and developers.


1. Optimizely

Optimizely is one of the leading — if not the leading — A/B testing and CRO tools on the market today. It offers analytics tools to suit users of all levels and a multitude of A/B testing tools. (You could think of it as the Google Analytics of A/B testing, with a much simpler user interface.)

Consider this scenario: You have an eCommerce store built with Magento. You’re aware that in certain cases it may benefit stores to add a one-step checkout solution instead of the standard multi-page checkout, but you’re not sure if your store fits that use case. You need to test both options and compare the results with/without the one-step checkout experience. You know that running two versions of the checkout simultaneously requires changes to the code, which is a complex matter.

With Optimizely, you can send a certain amount of your users to a totally separate checkout experience to collect conversion data. If the experiment yields negative results, you delete the experiment and the original checkout web page still exists and works fine. No harm was done.

With their Web Experimentation tool, which offers an easy-to-use visual editor to create A/B tests without requiring a developer (optional), the ability to target specific user types and segments, and create experiments on any device, Optimizely has all your bases covered.

Although you can run A/B tests without a developer, your variations can be more targeted (for example, your variations can go beyond color, layout and content changes) if you have the skills and/or resources to develop custom experiments with code. By integrating your A/B tests into your code, you can serve different logic and test major changes before pushing them live.

Also, if your product extends beyond the web, Optimizely works with iOS, tvOS and Android apps. Optimizely’s Full Stack integrations make it possible to integrate A/B tests into virtually any codebase, including Python, Java, Ruby, Node, PHP, C#, Swift, and Android.

2. Google Optimize

Google Optimize is a free, easy-to-use tool that integrates directly with your Google Analytics Events and Goals to make A/B testing quick and easy! It’s ideal for traditional A/B testing, focusing on comparing different CTA (call to action) elements, colors, and content.

Developers aren’t required for implementing Google Optimize since it’s as simple as adding a line of JavaScript to your website and then customizing your layout with the visual editor. With this, you can change the content, layout, colors, classes, and HTML of any element within your page.

It’s not as sophisticated as Optimizely, since it doesn’t allow you to create custom experiments with code/developers, but it’s free. It’s great for those starting out with A/B testing. For each Google Optimize experiment, you’ll need to specify which Google Analytics Goals or Events will be the baseline for your A/B tests. For example, if you were A/B testing a product page, you could use an “Add To Basket” event that you’ve defined in Google Analytics to evaluate which of your variations converts the best. The Google Analytics report then gives you a clear indication of which variation converts best. It’s ideal for those on a low budget!

Just don’t get carried away, as Google famously once did, by testing 40 different shades of blue to see which converted best!

3. Unbounce

Unbounce focuses on landing pages and convertible tools. Convertible tools use triggers, scenario-based overlays and sticky bars to A/B test offers and messages to learn when, where and why your visitors convert. An example? If a user tries to leave your site, they’re shown a discount code in a modal or a sticky header, and a test will determine which is more effective.

Landing pages can be an amazing way to validate your ideas, build excitement around a new product, and/or re-engage dormant customers. The problem with them is that they can result in false positives. If you get very few conversions you may feel like your idea is invalidated or demand for the new product doesn’t exist, when in reality users were just unimpressed and/or unconvinced by the landing. Unbounce helps you to determine what your landing is missing.

While you can choose from over 100 responsive templates designed for many markets, goals, and scenarios, and then customize it with your own content using their drag and drop UI, you can also integrate Unbounce with your own design, making a terrific solution for designers and marketers who need to collaborate. Unbounce also works with Zapier and Mailchimp, so data can be transferred across the other apps and tools that marketers use.


Author: Jamie Murphy
Source: sitepoint.com

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