5 Ways Business Intelligence and Online Marketing Can Work Together

business intelligence

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.

Business Analytics Photo via Shutterstock


Jayson DeMers Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of EmailAnalytics, a productivity tool tool that connects to your Gmail or G Suite account and visualizes your email activity -- or that of your employees.

17 Reactions
  1. Any business analysis will help with online marketing. Knowing your market is key for producing well on the web.

  2. Hi Jayson, I follow you everywhere. I found you here as well and once again very informative and educative post.

    I honestly believe that online marketing and business intelligence are inseparable. It will be a unintelligent for any business to think otherwise.

    Thanks for your insights.

  3. Your content strategy is most effective when your content “speaks” to your audience. You can spend time and energy creating well-written, compelling content; but if it doesn’t fit your audience, they’re not going to be interested. Reviewing your analytics and other data will help you narrow down what your followers are looking for to help fine tune your content strategy.

  4. Great point about content strategy, Jason. We’re trying to do the same thing – kind of let the organic search listings dictate what we write about.

  5. Strategy is everything in anything you do and creating content for your target audience is no exception. To develop successful strategy, sound research and analysis is crucial.

  6. Thanks Jayson for your great insight into how business intelligence and online marketing can work together. Loved the way you have put this together. Great information that every online marketer should probably read. The online data of the target audience and its behaviour received or gathered will make no sense businesswise, if not acted upon intelligently. Proper and constructive decisions are made based on that. That’s where business intelligence plays a key role. I absolutely agree with what you say about Demographic & Behavioral Analysis. Focused marketing efforts eventually pay off for retaining customers and getting new ones. Great article.

  7. Creating content that is valuable to your audience is very important. Content should be 50% informative 30% personality and 20% self promotion and this is regarding any platform you use, weather it is social media, blogging, infographics, or slideshares. If you provide value content your conversion rate will increase.

  8. Very good relevant pointers no doubt but a point of caution is not to get lost in numbers at the cost of lost common sense!

  9. Digital marketing strategy is the best technique to improve your business. It creates the online presence to your business and generates more leads to your business it is the smart way of improving your business.

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