For lead generation ROI is the mother of all metrics. Trust me, we love CPC, search impression share, quality scores, total leads (by channel), total traffic, time on site. We love all of it. Digital advertisers love stats the same way baseball fans have loved stats for decades. With an unending curiosity we love statistics about our ad spend.
It's a gift and a curse. Being curious makes us good digital marketers. But in many cases the details and minutiae and even the process is not what our clients care about. Some like to know more, but most are busy business owners that need concise information from trusted sources to help make decisions on how to advertise their business.
CYS is very much an Adwords agency. We take on clients that do or want to do Adwords (when we think they stand a chance of making money via PPC). But our history is really grounded in answering the ROI question especially for businesses that need leads to thrive.
The Problem: Disconnect Between Sales & Marketing
The problem has always been simple--a disconnect between what happens in the marketing systems and what gets collected by the financial systems. We invest marketing dollars in Adwords for example, then the phone rings. We can easily measure that call, and do that in all cases using tools like Call Tracking Metrics and CallRail.
But Then Things Get Tricky...
This is where we have to understand what systems our clients use to run their business and what sort of culture they have around the handling of incoming leads. What happens when the phone rings? Where does the info get stored? What get captured?
We've seen it all. From sticky notes to spreadsheets, to wonderful and not-so-wonderful CRMs. But it all boils down to this. Whoever answers the phone needs to 'pass the ball' back to marketing by giving us some information about the quality and the end result of each lead.
With this simple feedback loop, as your marketing partner we get the information we actually need to optimise your campaigns in Adwords and--without overstating things, we can now really help tune your whole digital marketing mix.
It's not just the ecomm guys having all the fun anymore with all their revenue data directly wired back in!
Part I: Getting Lead Quality Data Back
Getting the data back from our clients is always the interesting part. Each setup is unique but here's a general outline, from least complicated/lowest data to most complicated/tightest integration
Option 1: Spreadsheets
Pros: Familiar tool, Easy to implement, Good option to start behavior
Cons: Challenging to get data back to Google Analytics
We still use good old fashioned spreadsheets in many cases where it makes sense. It doesn't work when you're trying to isolate things that are working (or not working) in a complex, or even basic multi-channel marketing mix. But if it's a new project and investments are being made in one place, or one at a time this can be a good place to start.
We start with a Google Doc, then ask our client partner to note each 'new business' interaction. We usually give them some structured fields to work in so we can analyze more effectively. A lot of this is really about getting the interaction behavior working consistently.
The bummer part here is that we're not really completing the loop by associating this with sessions back in Google Analytics. So we have to infer more about which components of the marketing mix are driving the high quality leads that convert to revenue.
Takeaway: Solid solution for startup projects without a complicated marketing mix, but has some serious blind spots for actual conversion by traffic source (or even Adwords campaign).
Option 2: Using Call Tracking Software
For part two we discuss our 2nd option for capturing lead and close data--using a webapp like CallRail or CallTrackingMetrics as a sort of intermediary CRM.
(To Be Continued...)