When it comes to testing and measuring marketing, it isn’t hard to be caught up with the dazzling statistics of how many people responded to a promotional campaign. Information can be found on the number of marketing levels such as comments, eyeballs, visitors in-store, household circulation, usage. That is all very well and good, however Business Leaders, especially those of small to medium size enterprises, will need to know how their carefully allocated marketing dollars are working to grow their business. Marketing can be used for a number of things – build a reputation, reinforce a choice, introduce new concepts – but the main use for marketing activities is to generate leads.
Generating leads can be costly as we heard in the One Week At A Time video where, for one company, the yearly telephone directory advertising cost them approximately $AUD27K annually to maintain. So the real question here is which activity will generate leads where the conversion rate is the highest? In this paper we will explore how measuring incoming leads can relate directly to the number of sales conversions.
Metrics made easy
When a business chooses a way to promote their product or service, that way, or “channel”, has a unique set of measurements to find out the level of responses it can obtain. For online activities like Google AdWords, Facebook Advertising, Online banner ads, the measurement include click throughs, likes and followers. For Radio they measure that by how many listeners tune in. When it comes to events we talk about measuring the number of visitors or attendees.
After we look at the various terms of measurement the easiest way to approach all the of them is to simply look at the number of sales enquiries the business gained during the period of promotion. Let’s call those enquiries “leads”. Then ask those leads how they heard about the business, in other words, “qualify the lead”. This way we (a) flag them as a lead (b) check they have been in contact with one of the marketing promotions.
There are only a few ways marketing activity can incite action in people to turn them into leads. Marketing directly communications that a person should call (telephone number), visit (come in-store and speak to a sales person face-to-face) or click a button (online purchase). Marketing is used to create those lead opportunities for the sales team to be able to convert them into concrete sales.
To measure leads against conversions, first list out the different ways the business currently promotes its product or service, examples may be:
|Marketing Method||Leads Per Channel||Conversions|
|Referrals from customers/clients||10||8|
|Google Search engine (SEO)||210||36|
|Marketing Method||Leads Per Channel||Conversions|
|Account Manager Meetings||43||5|
Next to the marketing methods, list the total the number of enquiries (leads) each one brought in e.g. 120 enquiries from online, 20 enquiries from newspaper advertising, 50 enquiries from email campaigns. For business-to-business organisations total the number of clients who have demonstrated to ongoing conversations with the organisation (‘hot’, ‘cool’ and ‘cold’ leads).
Now list out the number of actual sales that have come about from each of the individual channels and focus on the channels that had the highest number of sales. This is slightly counter-intuitive as some channels may have a very high number of leads which business leaders automatically want to maintain, but the sales are not high.
For business-to-business organisations, total the number of clients who came on board and the main vehicle that was used. For example, account manager meetings gathered 5 clients, each committing to 2 year contracts, whereas, Tele-sales may have only gathered 1 client and used twice as much time and cost to gain that 1 client.
Once the best channel is found, it’s not that we turn off all others. It is much wiser dial it down the efforts in the other channels (especially if the competition are highly active), and simply boost up the more profitable one.
Business Leaders need to continually test out if those channels with a high number of leads are actually producing a high number of sales conversions. If they aren’t then consider using a different avenue to market.
For small to medium sized businesses who have found a positive combination of marketing activity by measuring in this way will see how quickly this method starts to make sense (and dollars).
Quality over quantity
The one problem with sending out promotional messages is that we don’t know if the market has cash to spend. When a product or service has a high price point, the competition for a share of that spending cash is fierce. Major credit card companies are known for working their marketing activities hard for a continual piece of weekly household disposable income. Businesses who market directly to the public need to be aware of their target market spending habits. The tighter the economy, the more competitive a business will need to be to gain access to those dollars from the household purse strings.
For business-to-business organisations the best way to analyse if a client or prospect has spare cash for suppliers is by tracking and receiving trend reports on their client’s performance in the market. Industry reports can be bought through reputable companies for each category. For example, car sales figures can be tracked through VFACTS, allowing suppliers to see which manufacturers are doing well and which are taking a downward trajectory.
Investing in testing and measuring
When a Business Leader is able to generate quality leads and a steady conversion rate the cost of marketing is no longer an expense, it is a valuable long term investment.
Measuring and testing out which combination of activities gets the best quality must be at the forefront of a Business Leader’s mind. Finding the best lead generators that produce the highest number of sales conversions is the fuel that feeds the engine of successful businesses.
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