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Convince Your Team to Invest in Big Data & Business Intelligence “Like a Boss”

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Convince Your Team to Invest in Big Data & Business Intelligence “Like a Boss”

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When it comes to purchasing business intelligence and big data, the marketing department should be first in line because if there’s anything that can boost a company’s bottom line, it’s information about customers such as customer demographics, customer behavior, location, pricing, product, and timing. However, the reality is that it’s a challenge to convince your department in to invest into any new solutions and business intelligence and big data solutions aren’t any different.

As a marketer, I have experienced this challenge and I’m writing to share some ideas on how to convince marketing C-levels to buy in to business intelligence and big data solutions. The first thing you need to do is empathize with your marketing C-level manager. “Know thy customer.” It’s one of the first steps when selling anything to anyone. You have to understand what matters to your marketing C-levels and in most cases it’s key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs will vary from company to company, but I think the most common KPI’s for marketing C-levels are marketing investment costs, revenue, profits, and ROI.

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Investing in more software, tools, equipment, space, and human capital to effectively execute on business intelligence and big data initiatives is not a cheap endeavor and is a major investment cost. In order to convince your marketing C-level to invest in BI solutions, you must show them that the marketing investment will benefit their KPIs.

How do you show that investing in these solutions will help your department meet or exceed the KPIs? For the sake of conversation, below is an example that will illustrate an approach toward convincing your marketing C-level to invest in to business intelligence and big data solutions.

John Smith is the CMO of a large food company called ABC Inc. The KPI that keeps him up at night is ROI for the marketing department. You suggest that purchasing a business intelligence and big data tool will increase marketing ROI. Prove to CMO John Smith that buying a BI tool will help him sleep better at night.

Step 1) List the KPIs that matter.

Since John’s biggest concern is marketing ROI, then the KPIs that matter are:

Marketing investment costs = (cost of BI tool)

Gross profit = (total revenue – total COGS)

ROI = (gross profit – marketing investment costs)/ marketing investment costs

If you are including the cost of hiring a new employee to oversee the business intelligence and big data tool, then subtract that cost from the gross profits. For this example, let’s assume that you don’t have to hire a new employee to manage the tool.

Step 2) Find case studies and customer success stories in your industry.

Case studies are available via Google Search and can also be found on many business intelligence and big data solutions provider websites. Find case studies in your industry that exhibit costs, sales revenue, and ROI. Calculate an average percentage increase in ROI from all the case studies that you collected.

Step 3) Get the costs of a hand full of business intelligence and big data tools that have the capabilities from the case studies. For example:

BI tool 1 = $25,000/year

BI tool 2 = $50,000/year

BI tool 3 = $100,000/year

BI tool 4 = $150,000/year

Step 4) Calculate the ROI of the business intelligence and big data tool.

Use this equation: ROI = (gross profit – marketing investment costs)/ marketing investment costs

Calculate your gross profits by using your company’s projected sales revenue and projected COGs for the following year by using this equation: Gross profit = (total revenue – total COGS)

Next, let’s assume that your calculations give you $500,000 as the projected gross profits for the following year. Let’s also assume that your research from the case study showed an average of 20% increase in gross profit due to using a business intelligence and big data tool. Knowing this, we can estimate that a new BI tool will bring in an additional $100,000 in gross profits. Let’s do calculations for scenarios using a) BI tool 1 and b) BI tool 4 as the marketing investment costs.

a) Using BI tool 1

Since we know that ROI = (gross profit – marketing investment costs)/marketing investment costs then,

ROI = ($100,000 – $25,000)/ $25,000

ROI = 300%

So, using BI tool 1 would bring in a positive ROI of 300% which would help your C-level sleep at night.

b) Using BI tool 4

Since we know that ROI = (gross profit – marketing investment costs)/marketing investment costs then,

ROI = ($100,000 – $150,000)/ $150,000

ROI = -333%

So, using BI tool 4 would bring in a negative ROI of -333% which would give your C-level insomnia.

These calculations will not only give you ROI forecasts, but they will also give you an idea of how much you can spend on a business intelligence and big data tool while still remaining ROI positive.

Step 5) Look at case studies and find specific examples of how BI has helped other companies in your industry.

This can help you find ideas on how you can specifically apply big data to your department’s marketing campaigns such as SEO, SEM, affiliate marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, blogging etc. For example, in 2014 Kraft Foods used their business intelligence and big data platform to help them find that a large segment of consumers were women searching online between 10 to 10:30pm for healthy snack options and that heart-health messaging resonated strongly with them.

This was breakthrough insight because many people were not aware of the heart-health benefits of Kraft food’s products such as peanuts. As a result, Kraft responded by applying the heart-health messaging to all campaign content. By using these real-time insights, Kraft was able to distribute content at scale, resulting in them driving twice the ROI of all other brand sites in terms of media plans. http://solutions-review.com/data-integration/krafts-big-data-integration-is-bringing-in-the-cheddar/

The above example is just one of the many business case methodologies that you can use to sell BI to your company. Keep in mind that there is no one size fits all method of selling business intelligence and big data tools and you should always consider your point-of-view of your audience before choosing any approach. Again, “know thy customer.”

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