3 Ways Business Intelligence Strategy Influences Business Success

3 Ways Business Intelligence Strategy Influences Business Success

3 Ways Business Intelligence Strategy Influences Business Success

&Marketing, and marketing, outsourced marketing strategy

Written By

Big data is hard to collect, organize, and view at scale, but you know you need it to compete in today’s growing digital landscape.The way you’re analyzing data now is likely a time-eating process that hardly ever results in quality business insights. It’s difficult to move beyond massive Excel spreadsheets, but it’s also daunting to invest in sophisticated tools that aggregate data but don’t integrate with one another. Telling a story through data pulled this way that can actually inform your business decisions is nearly impossible.

In order to remain digitally relevant, you must implement a solid business intelligence strategy that simplifies the ability to make business decisions from loads of data. In this blog, we discuss three ways business intelligence (BI) can form your business strategy for immediate success.

What is a Business Intelligence Strategy?

A business intelligence strategy is the process of developing and executing a BI system that will help identify opportunities and weaknesses that give your business a roadmap for achieving business level goals.

The 3 Benefits of Implementing a BI Strategy

A BI strategy will help you make informed strategic decisions, save time and money, and gain a competitive edge. Implementing a BI strategy is not an easy task: it requires significant preparation and, potentially, expenses. In the end, though, the rewards (and ROI) will outway the costs. And soon, businesses that don’t BI will experience higher costs long term than those that do. Once the automations and aggregators are set up behind the scenes, you can cut the time it takes to manually pull, align, and analyze data manually by up to 90%.

1) Understand ROI Across the Business

A solidified BI strategy uncovers where your business is maximizing ROI while also identifying the business actions not giving you a return on your investment. It’s difficult to analyze ROI across business campaigns, most often due to unstructured data coming from multiple data sources that do not talk to each other. The information in these disparate systems may be easy to report on in a siloed view; however, a siloed view limits the ability to compare the real impact (or lack thereof) of a specific campaign. By implementing a BI strategy, CEOs and business owners can review data combined from multiple sources and see insights at the business level to fully understand what’s performing and what’s not.

2) Optimize Business Costs

BI can simplify the data collection process, which can reduce your long term costs for gathering data on an ongoing basis. Budgeting and forecasting can also be accomplished through a solid BI strategy. CEOs and business owners can estimate how much they need to spend on certain campaigns in order to achieve their business revenue goals with campaign-specific performance data. Additionally, they can quickly identify where campaigns are blowing through budget without producing results and take immediate action to either stop or reroute budget elsewhere.

Outgoing campaigns are not the only area where you can use BI to optimize your costs. At &Marketing, we use it internally to understand how we are spending our time for each of our clients and identify where we can improve our own execution processes to optimize time and reduce costs.

3) Gain a Competitive Edge

By implementing a business intelligence strategy, you can get visibility into your entire competitive landscape across multiple business lines and channels. Competitor intelligence is often difficult to work into existing analytics, as competitor data does not always match up apples to apples with your own data. If you’re struggling with limited competitor information, BI tools are available that can analyze competitor campaigns by identifying where they are doing better and what areas you can improve and overtake them.

How to Create a Business Intelligence Strategy

Creating and executing a business intelligence strategy is not an easy task. It requires extensive planning and is not as easy as simply choosing a platform. Here’s what to know:

1) Identify Your Business Goals

The most important part of creating a business intelligence strategy is to define KPIs for your business. Without KPIs, you will develop a strategy that does not effectively answer the questions you need to answer.

2) Define Success

After defining your KPIs, understand the people, processes and technologies you need in order to achieve success. This step is important in getting everyone on the same page before getting too far down the road.

3) Aggregate and Align Your Data Sources

This is the most time-consuming step of creating a business intelligence strategy. You must gather all of the data and determine common connectors so it all communicates. Once you have aligned data sources, be sure to visualize the data in a way that CEOs and business leaders are able to easily understand.

4) Develop Data Visualization Dashboards to Easily Mine and Find Your Business Insights

This is the most exciting part of creating a business intelligence strategy and a critical step in taking data all the way from insights to action. Our team recommends reviewing data for multiple time frames in order to best understand your business. For example, compare months, quarters, and years to uncover trends. September might show higher numbers than October, but you might be up for the quarter or the previous year’s September.

5) Develop a Roadmap

Using the business insights from above, create a roadmap for success that details your campaigns. Use the roadmap to guide your tactics and serve as a baseline. After starting the campaigns, be sure to monitor results as soon as you have them.

6) Review, Optimize, Rinse, and Repeat

Business intelligence strategies are always evolving, just as new digital tools arrive to market every day and online trends ebb and flow. Be sure to constantly review the market for ways to innovate.

Implementing a BI strategy requires upfront work and expense that your business will need to prepare for ahead of time. Yet, a solidified BI strategy uncovers where your business is maximizing ROI while also identifying the business actions not giving you a return on your investment.

Having trouble with building your BI strategy? Download Our BI eBook to help you pave a roadmap for your own business.

About Paul Ferguson

Marketing Director Paul Ferguson helps clients develop fully integrated marketing solutions that make impressions and drive results. Whether it be design-oriented campaigns or digital market execution, Paul skillfully creates strategies to effectively reach client’s desired audiences.

About &Marketing

&Marketing provides the robust outsourced marketing department growing companies need without the high overhead costs of big agencies or full-time employees. Our variable model empowers businesses to reach their growth goals through access to the guidance and expertise of senior level strategists and a flexible execution team.

Are you facing challenges of your own in generating leads and meeting your business’ growth goals?

We’d love to learn more about your challenges and how a coordinated marketing approach might help take your organization to the next level.

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Calculating and Allocating a Marketing Budget Made Easy

Calculating and Allocating a Marketing Budget Made Easy

Calculating and Allocating a Marketing Budget Made Easy

&Marketing, and marketing, outsourced marketing strategy

Written By

Marketing budgets vary drastically by industry and there’s no one single formula to perfect budgeting. Even within the same industry, each business has its own nuisances—like company structure, goals, and customer journey (also known as the sales and marketing funnel). This doesn’t even include the one-off events and ideas that come up halfway through the year or the fourth quarter blitz many businesses perform surrounding the holidays.

Allocating your budget in the wrong places will lead to spending too much in certain areas and potentially running out of funds. Setting your budget too low will lead to poor results and a likely poor return on investment (ROI). The bottom line is, there’s no perfect system or cookie cutter template for a marketing budget that can apply to everyone.

In order to set the right budget and use it effectively, you need to:

  1. Carefully plan with forecasting
  2. Give yourself some wiggle room to adjust your budget over time
  3. Report on ROI consistently

Keep reading to dig a little deeper into the three steps above.

(Curious how much you should be budgeting? Check out our marketing budget calculator.)

What is a Marketing Budget?

A marketing budget is an estimate of costs related to marketing your products or services. A typical marketing budget takes into account all overhead marketing costs (ex: software, salaries for marketing employees, cost of office space). However, much of the budget is concerned with actual marketing communications and campaign efforts like public relations, website development and hosting, advertising, etc.

How to Create and Calculate a Marketing Budget

A marketing budget plan will help you put your marketing funds in the right place. When you know how much you can spend, you know how much you can put into each marketing strategy and channel. It allows you to determine which approaches work with your budget or if an outsourced digital marketing company’s packages fit within your budget. But before you create your marketing budget, there are a few foundational steps to take:

1. Determine Your Business Goals

When you set your business’s goals, make sure they’re SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound). You don’t want to set a goal like “increase sales.” It won’t give you a precise target to work towards and achieve. Instead, set a goal like “Increase sales by 20% by the end of the year.” This goal is easily measurable and gives your team something precise to achieve.

SMART goals will give you a concrete reference point when budgeting for marketing because all activities can be measured by milestones that work toward a specific revenue goal.

2. Understand Your Industry & Target Market

Perform a competitor analysis to see how your top competition performs online. While you’re at it, perform some market research and aggregate all the places your ideal customer hangs out online and plan how much it might cost to get your message and offer in front of them. You can even use some top-notch tools to get this information quickly and easily.

3. Know Your Outside Costs

If you want to know how to prepare a marketing budget, start by establishing your external costs. You need to know the price tag attached to everything your company needs to succeed so you know how much you can allocate for marketing. Not only does it determine what services you can invest in, but it also helps you set a baseline for your ROI. Examples include: 

  • Costs for staff
  • Operational costs
  • Business utilities

4. Consider the Strategies You Want to Use

Develop an idea of which strategies you want to use for your business when creating a marketing budget. When you know which strategies you want to invest in, you can determine how they will fit into your marketing budget plan. For example, do you want a robust content marketing plan that includes blogs and ebooks? What about email automation? Social media? Influencers? Be mindful not to try and do too many things at once, and always have a way to measure the strategy against the goals you set above.

5. Plan Ahead and Be Willing to Adjust

Budgets are not unchangeable plans—they’re allotments you can tweak when you need to. Business changes throughout the year based on trends, seasonality, the economy, and other unpredictable factors. Budgets, like strategies, must be adjusted at any time.

How Much Of Your Budget Should Go to Marketing?

The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends small businesses (businesses with revenue less than 5 million) allocate between 7% and 8% of total revenue to marketing — assuming your business has margins in the range of 10-12 percent. The number goes up from there for smaller businesses.

The amount of revenue businesses typically allocate to marketing has increased steadily over the past 10 years, with average marketing percentage of revenue landing around 13% in 2021, compared to just 8% back in 2011.

Take the Next Steps

Try out our marketing budget calculator and see how much you should be preparing for your marketing budget!

Want to talk to someone on our team about how to put that marketing budget to use? Just fill out the form below and we’ll reach out to connect.

About Paul Ferguson

Marketing Director Paul Ferguson helps clients develop fully integrated marketing solutions that make impressions and drive results. Whether it be design-oriented campaigns or digital market execution, Paul skillfully creates strategies to effectively reach client’s desired audiences.

About &Marketing

&Marketing provides the robust outsourced marketing department growing companies need without the high overhead costs of big agencies or full-time employees. Our variable model empowers businesses to reach their growth goals through access to the guidance and expertise of senior level strategists and a flexible execution team.

Are you facing challenges of your own in generating leads and meeting your business’ growth goals?

We’d love to learn more about your challenges and how a coordinated marketing approach might help take your organization to the next level.

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

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In April, I had the fortunate opportunity to attend the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) Conference—an experience I'm deeply grateful for. Attending such an event is a rarity for me, and I was eager to absorb as much knowledge as possible to bring back to my...

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