"Digital is everything" refers to the ability to examine, segment, target, track, remarket-to and analyze an almost omniscient amount of information on consumers online. Business Intelligence (BI) allows us to utilize that information in extremely powerful ways and pivot quickly. Once identified and understood, we build learning into our systems so that we improve each week, further extending or deepening our understanding of, and relationship with, our consumers. Today's battleground is data.
Business Intelligence is the cultivation and harvesting of data, the analysis of which provides meaningful, actionable, and competitive insight. Today we expect our competitors are examining data and know that those who do, will "win", and those who do not will wonder: "what happened?". Today's world has changed into a race to understand everything we can about our audiences, to cater to them, understand their needs, and solve their problems proactively.
By providing useful, relevant and actionable data on every customer who uses your website, business intelligence works to foster and maintain the customer’s interest in your product or service. It works well as a strategy in combination with measures such as SEM and PPC advertising, which work to bring prospective customers to your website in the first place.
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How does business intelligence differ from other forms of digital marketing?
Business intelligence works with a unique set of data: the behavior of your clientele while they are interacting with your website. It provides the information which allows other forms of digital marketing, such as inbound marketing and content marketing, to do their jobs. Are more customers leaving your website after viewing one particular page, as opposed to those who leave after viewing any other pages? Perhaps that particular page could use some improvement. Are you losing a lot of orders at the point where customers access your shopping cart? Perhaps there’s some intermittent lag in your checkout process, and it’s making your customers nervous about the security of their financial transactions.
Is the gathering of business intelligence invasive?
Business intelligence deals specifically with your customers’ interactions with your website. It notes where they arrive from, and where they go when they leave, but is otherwise unconcerned with their activities outside of your own web presence. Meanwhile, the data that is gathered -- rather than being used with overt, “cold calling” techniques -- is used to improve your web presence in such a way as to leave your customers wanting to spend more time thereby improving the value of their experience. In short, no: business intelligence is not invasive. It is the passive accumulation of data based upon voluntary interactions, and is used to make future interactions smoother and more enjoyable for the customer by giving them more of what they want to see.