I’m struggling. I really am.

Here’s the problem: clients aren’t tracking the results of the leads we are generating for them from social media and referral sites. That’s it. That’s all that plagues me lately.

So it goes something like this: Agency (me) spends hours updating all information across all channels (we know consistency is key, right?), all cylinders are firing, even turned on google verified calls; all the right tools and content to generate leads. We even convinced them to spend some $$ on FB and Google My Business (GMB) so they can show up higher in search results.

Their analytics show 268 calls came to their offices from these various sources…at a value of $100/lead, that adds up to $26,800 worth of leads. Now, where did those leads go?

That’s where the circle is supposed to close, right? Their CRM takes over and they can easily tell us who came to them, from where, and where they are in the buying process. Also helpful would be that most important data – who, of their leads, actually converted to the sale?

Crickets.

That’s what’s happening with some of my clients who a) have second or third-level access to their own website (franchisees); b) have a volunteer or friend doing their website; c) don’t have analytics connected to their website; or d) can’t find anyone who will add a pixel or event conversion to their websites.

I am the first to admit I don’t do web. I’m not fast, I’m not experienced, and I’m not the website designer…I’m the marketing strategist.

So what’s the answer? I wish I knew. When a client asks me “What’s my return on investment on your marketing services?” I don’t have an answer. I can show increases in engagement (not LIKES because I don’t get excited by LIKES), fulfillment of the Calls to Action (CTA), an increase in traffic to the website (to the targeted pages), and a list of Contact Us submissions. But if you, as a business owner, don’t know a) how those people found them; and b) whether or not they converted.

SEO and retargeting are almost out of the question because of this gap in the circle. And I know I’m not the only one struggling with closing this loop. So what can we do?

I always start with the website. Is it functional and informative? Are there places to send people that contain a CTA? Does someone monitor the Contact Us form? What happens to the people who complete the Contact Us form? Is it attached to Google Analytics, and do they have a way to measure the value of their efforts (conversions)?

After that, it’s on to strategically updating their contact information so it’s consistent across all channels. Then verifying every listing…if Google is willing to cooperate! And finally, we can begin to populate the sites with engaging content.

As marketing professionals, our job is to pull/push people into/through the sales funnel. That includes the Engagement and Decision-making levels, and, perhaps, even a bit into the Purchasing Decision level…but after that (Purchase and Advocacy) it falls on the shoulders of the business owners. And that’s the biggest struggle I face as a marketer; how to help my clients show an ROI when the tools they need to measure it (CRM, Retargeting Pixel) just aren’t there.

I’ve lost clients over this. Once client in particular, (with a CEO from when the business was founded some 80+ years ago but still has his name on the door), chose to “test” this “ROI from social ‘thing.’” They selected a pdf ad from 2014, dropped the image onto their website on a new page, to be downloaded by customers. Nothing else on the page; just the coupon. They then threw $1800 across 17 channels for an ad budget. The plan was people would go to the coupon, download it, print it, and hand it to their salesperson at the point of sale.

The first thing I noticed was there was no lead generation form on the web page they were using to download the pdf…sigh. So I suggested THEY suggest to their WEB DESIGNERS that they add a lead gen form. Mind you, we’ve already launched this campaign to nowhere based on their timeline)!

And here’s the problem with that:

  • A downloadable coupon is only valid for someone who has:
    • Made a decision to purchase the product (bottom of the funnel)
    • Made the decision to purchase the product from YOU (bottom of the funnel)
    • The value of the giveaway was roughly $200 on a traditionally $10,000-$25,000 product.
    • It’s a downloadable PDF coupon that needs to be printed.
    • They have no CRM system in place for tracking leads; just a general 800-number type clearing house and they have no way to know where their customers came from.

They got 0 clicks and 0 downloads. Yep, 0. And I lost that client because they couldn’t see the ROI for my services.

I don’t have a solution. I’m struggling to help them help themselves! If this has been YOU (or you’re a client like this) how can we help? Marketing is a partnership between social, web, print, direct mail, and solid data tracking. When one of those is missing, it makes our job as marketers—if not impossible—incredibly hard.

So the next time you’re wondering if the money you’re spending on marketing is working, ask yourself if you’ve set up a system for KNOWING if it’s working. It’s about data, and facts, and statistics…we’re not just guessing out here!

Let’s talk. I love to discuss strategy. Call me at 269-341-3786 or email hannahgoldcommunications@gmail.com.