Closing the Loop on Media Spend for Lead Gen Marketers
Prioritize the initiatives that improve media spend and increase ROI.
As consumers are exposed to a growing number of service provider options, lead-generation-focused businesses are faced with increased competition for share of voice. Additionally, today’s economic headwinds are providing even more reason for many brands to place an emphasis on making every marketing dollar count. With all of these factors considered, there is an increased desire— or, in most cases, need— for marketers to understand the impact of their advertising dollars and maximize areas of greatest opportunity.
Brands that prioritize identifying and understanding the initiatives that drive customer acquisition will be primed for more efficient ad spend and increased ROI. By developing the right analytics framework, understanding your goals and KPIs, and continuing to advance your analytics maturity, your team will be best equipped to “close the loop” and optimize marketing spend. Additionally, brands that use closed loop strategies will avoid “value blindspots” that could be skewing their returns either positively or negatively, allowing them to see a clear view of the investments that are, or are not, driving revenue— and give them the opportunity to reprioritize accordingly.
In order to successfully develop a data-driven strategy, it’s important to achieve clarity in two key areas:
- First identify specific, business-first goals. For instance, are you looking to drive business for a high-value service line? Or are you trying to increase revenue for a specific location?
- Develop the right analytics infrastructure to measure and optimize performance while developing a deeper understanding of your customer engagement lifecycle.
It’s time for marketers to move beyond disjointed proxy metrics such as contact request form submissions or location web page visits, and truly understand how marketing activities are working (or not working) together to impact organizational goals.
As you think about your marketing goals, establish target metrics not only at the engagement level (such as contact requests for a specific service), but also based on the value of these engagements and how they differ across your service offering. For example, the revenue generated from securing a home remodeling consultation appointment is probably much different than what’s generated from a full-home window and door replacement. While this may be known from a business perspective, having the right thresholds to drive a marketing strategy that reflects these differences in revenue is critical.
Your digital marketing campaigns should also have granular account structures built around specific service lines. This enables your team to match highly-specific goals by service line to the thresholds that you have set, and allocate your media budget accordingly. The alternative “catch as catch can” model may drive leads and customers, but will not provide insight into which campaigns are performing and driving revenue— and therefore, should be scaled— or which marketing investments are not driving value and should be eliminated or shifted to new tactics.
Developing the Right Infrastructure
From a technology standpoint, there are also specific investments that should be made to collect accurate KPIs and develop deeper customer insights. Web analytics is the measurement foundation, and there are now numerous ways to integrate the online and offline data systems to close the loop from initial engagement to service delivery, and even determine lifetime value. In addition, a number of other technology platforms will deliver the proper insights, if implemented correctly. Outlined below are some of the most critical:
Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) - An advanced customer-driven marketing practice starts with having a CRM system that can integrate with marketing from both the analytics and campaign standpoint (such as your email platform, data management platform, and other tools).
Phone Tracking - We find that many businesses that are just beginning to scale their digital investments do not have proper phone tracking technology. Phone tracking through platforms such as Invoca enables you to understand which online ads have led to phone calls. In turn, the informational building blocks provided here can work together to help you determine which channel and even which creative unit (keyword, banner ad, video, etc.) is driving each lead.
Landing Pages - Generating higher engagement and conversions starts with delivering a meaningful customer experience. By leveraging a content management system (CMS) platform, you’re able to develop highly relevant landing pages customized by service line. For instance, the creative design, copy, and conversion funnel may be very different for a homeowner looking to casually hire a carpet cleaner compared to a homeowner who is frantically trying to hire an interior restoration company after a flash flood. Your website experience should reflect this.
ID Reporting - Is your programmatic financial services campaign generating an efficient cost-per-lead? Do you know how many of those leads were for tax accounting services versus retirement planning consultations? Capturing self-selected lead types by service line upon lead form submission enables marketers to understand correlation among all digital efforts and the types of customers they drive. A persistent ID, such as The Trade Desk’s UID 2.0, is the functional way of actually closing the loop, connecting business outcomes to IDs, and IDs to marketing efforts.
Digital Surveys - Digital surveys, such as Nielsen’s Digital Brand Effect survey, allow you to gain better insight into how your programmatic efforts are driving brand preference among your target audience. This can be broken into specific target subsets, like homeowner audiences, helping you to better understand the impact of your ads from a qualitative standpoint.
Additionally, our team has helped leading customer acquisition brands place custom tracking into their existing CRM and other systems, enabling service information to be pushed into Google Analytics upon the successful completion of a submitted contact form.
If this seems overwhelming, remember this basic, three-step framework for continuing to evolve your analytics maturity:
- Start with strategy. Define the questions you want to answer about your marketing investments. How many new customers are you trying to generate? What is the value of a new customer? How does your customer value differ by service line? How will you turn leads into converted customers?
- Then, define technology requirements. What tools or processes are needed to properly answer your questions? Once you’ve identified the business metrics you want to optimize for, develop the right infrastructure to connect the right data back to your marketing efforts.
- Finally, model and optimize. Now that your closed loop is in place, you will better understand channel-level ROI and last-touch contributions, but likely won’t have 100% of the picture. Use models to fill gaps while you refine your implementation to capture more data.
What’s Next? Do Something About It!
Successfully closing the loop will allow for ROI analysis at both the channel and last-touch level. But what will you do with this analysis?
You’ll find keywords outpacing their revenue goals, campaigns with jaw-dropping efficiency, and ads with show-stopping CTR. Great to know, but useless if nothing is done about it.
And worse: if it takes you hours to find this information in a large dataset, you’ve already missed the window to do something about it.
So what can you do?
First, once you have your reporting infrastructure lined up— CRM, media performance, call tracking, and digital content all integrated in one place— it’s time to identify the actionable metrics and engineer a playbook for fast, effective activation. Enter: automation.
Marketers, the future is here. If you aren’t automating marketing optimizations based on granular data points, you’ll be beat out by competition.
That’s why Rise expanded our proprietary media optimization platform Connex® to include Connex Alerts, proactive intelligence delivered in real time via text, email, and Slack.
- KPIs most essential to business growth are identified and configured as thresholds for an alert. For example, marketers can set up alerts to respond to needs like “show me where I am spending money that is driving phone calls below my goal conversion rate” or “show me where I am wasting money on ads that generate phone calls not resulting in actual scheduled services.”
- At predetermined time intervals (morning, afternoon, weekly, etc.), Connex Alerts deploy with a one-click linked report showing only the entities that match the KPI thresholds. This enables marketers to jump directly to the actionable media anomalies without filtering through thousands of data points to get there.
- Time to act! Using the cross-channel performance data included in the alert, like ROAS, marketers can reallocate budget to the channels, keywords, tactics, and ads driving the greatest return to business goals. Just in time for your morning cup of coffee.
Check out There's an Alert for That: The Lead Gen Marketer's Edition to learn more about some of the highly-specific ways our Connex Alerts technology is automating the optimization process for customer acquisition brands.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
To learn more about understanding your marketing investments and building a framework for closing the loop, reach out to our team at Rise.