As a business owner, there’s one line item that always seems to swell: marketing. You know it’s effective. You see the results show up in your sales numbers, but trying to figure out your return on investment (ROI) and properly allocate your resources is probably the greatest marketing challenge you’ll ever face.
Knowing which methods generate the best leads, or which of your marketing efforts result in the highest customer conversion rates can enable you to stretch your marketing budget and maximize its impact. This kind of info can transform your company into a well-oiled, efficient marketing machine. The trick is figuring it out.
If you’re in the dark, don't worry, you are not alone. A recent survey stat from CMO Council sheds some light on the issue. They found most business-to-business (B2B) marketers use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for most of their marketing efforts (B2B marketers using those platforms fell between 80 percent and 91 percent). However, just over “62 percent of marketers say that LinkedIn is effective, while 50 percent say the same for Twitter, and only 30 percent of B2B marketers view Facebook as effective.”
That stat leaves you with only one conclusion. Most marketers market on those three major social-media platforms, because everyone else does -- despite the documented low conversion rates. In order for your marketing efforts to have a lasting impact, you have to track the return. Doing what everyone else does may work fine at a party, but it is a terrible revenue-generator. Listed below are three clever, time-trusted ways to track your ROI and make the most of your marketing dollars.
1. Create a custom landing page.
Online marketing managers for large corporations use many methods to track campaigns. One of the best methods is to create a unique landing page for each campaign. Then use something like Google Analytics to track the return. It’s easy, cost-effective and works well.
Plus, if you have a great web-marketing team who can tweak your page accordingly, the return rate could be astronomical. Just ask Conversion Rate Experts. They designed a custom landing page for Moz that increased revenue by $1 million annually. Custom landing pages work.
2. Utilize call intelligence.
Believe it or not, inbound phone calls are surging. A recent survey showed that 65 percent of businesses rank incoming calls as the source of their most qualified leads, with phone contact bringing in between five and 10 times the revenue of online contact forms. It’s a sales generator not to be overlooked. But how do you tweak it to gain maximum effectiveness? To do that, you need to go beyond call tracking.
Call intelligence digs far deeper into your inbound calling effectiveness than the plain vanilla metrics generated by standard call-tracking solutions. It’s actually quite similar to systems that track your digital-marketing efforts. Companies like CallTrackingMetrics, Wincher, CallRail and Invoca use software to track online keywords, landing pages and advertisements that cause your leads to pick up the phone. It uses unique phone numbers to capture the digital history of callers, allowing you to add call data to your Other marketing analytics.
Are these phone calls turning into quality leads? Are they converting leads into customers? If not, where are things going wrong? It’s a level of valuable analysis that goes far beyond call-tracking. And since phone calls are such a critical medium, this beefed-up analysis will likely convince you to reallocate your marketing dollars toward this tried-and-true sales generator.
“You’d be amazed at the number of companies who are leaving incredibly valuable leads out in the cold, because they haven’t caught onto the value of a solid call-intelligence system,” says Laure Fisher, chief operating officer of CallTrackingMetrics. “Forward-looking companies that do deploy call intelligence are inevitably better informed about their entire marketing arsenal and can create a far more detailed picture of what’s working and what’s not.”
Companies like Avid Trak and Call Source provide similar services. These types of agencies are popular with large organizations like Service Master and Toshiba, because their services remove the guesswork from their sales-calling systems.
3. Ask them how they found you.
It's simple, effective and can be added to your website contact form with a few clicks. How many times have you filled out a “How did you hear about us?” field when reaching out to a company regarding the products and services they offer? This is one of the easiest, and most effective means of tracking ROI for your marketing dollars. Other variations on this theme involve training your staff to ask customers where they found you, or how they heard about you, when they call. It works and positions your business as proactive. It’s also another key to maximizing your marketing dollars.
At the end of the day, it's all about focus. The more you know about the productivity of your marketing efforts, the better you will be able to tweak your campaigns and marketing methods. If you want to stop cringing every time you look at your marketing budget, consider using one or all three of the methods listed above. It will take time -- remember, there are no shortcuts. But once your sales line begins to swell, you’ll look at all that time and effort as one great investment that helped catapult your company from a marketing newbie to a sales-generating powerhouse.