Marketing leaders across Europe make good use of business intelligence to achieve better performance and return on investment (ROI) from their strategies. This is the conclusion of a survey of executives at 350 companies in seven countries and across four industries. The survey was commissioned by SAS.


“Marketing leaders use business intelligence and this fact cements their leadership position,” says Phil Winters, vice-president: customer intelligence at SAS.
“Across the EMEA region, and across the industries examined, business intelligence helps marketing divisions align themselves with business strategy.
The top benefit, according to the survey’s findings, is being able to optimise customer communications, followed by generating action-ready insight based on customer value metrics.
The study, carried out by IDC’s CMO Advisory Research area, examined marketing’s use of business intelligence tools for improving planning and execution and how business intelligence can lead to better organisational performance.
Two trends were identified in this process: the proliferation of more niche segments; and the fragmentation of media and content – and thus the channels – to reach the intended audiences. These trends are making it increasingly more challenging for marketing organisations to conduct targeted campaigns to qualified audiences.
As marketing organisations face increasing pressure for improved accountability and alignment with budget, their key objective is the ability to provide insight into current and forecasted needs of individual customers and market segments – and act upon those needs.
The survey results indicate that marketing organisations that invest in business intelligence technology and utilise it efficiently also achieve better financial results and a higher return of marketing investment.
“What we find remarkable is that marketing organisations that use business intelligence tools show a 16% higher ability to provide insight into customer needs and are more effective in predicting customer behaviour by 24% than those who don’t,” says Winters.
“A marketing organisation’s effectiveness is directly impacted by its ability to leverage customer/market insight through the usage and benefits of business intelligence applications,” says Rich Vancil, vice-president of CMO Advisory Research at IDC.
“Marketing leaders, represented by one-third of the study’s participants, leverage customer and market insight – including prediction of customer behaviour – to achieve greater effectiveness in customer retention, acquisition of new customers, revenue growth and market share expansion.
“The consequence of greater effectiveness in each of these areas is improved marketing ROI.”