Blogs > Online Leads – Challenging
February 20, 2014 Michael Bickerton
We love this stuff, we really do, but it never ceases to amaze me that marketers and advertisers today want to measure and evaluate everything. I’m not suggesting that measurement and evaluation are not necessary, they are. BUT, and this is a big BUT, being effective and successful with your digital marketing isn’t just about measurement.
There are some things you might consider if you are evaluating and measuring. Just like marketing automation has its place, in many cases it’s not overly effective because it’s not real. Users and consumers ultimately know a genuine response from an automated one. As such, you have to ask yourself and your team, what are the risks, and what are the rewards of all this measurement?
If you are not going to use the information or utilize the process for an effective and engaging result, it’s my recommendation that you don’t take action.
When it comes to online leads there are a variety of ways to evaluate and measure inbound leads, notably where are they coming from? What’s working, what’s not, who is your ideal prospect, what is the optimum lead generator? The list is significant and considers that these efforts may overlap from program to program, platform to platform.
Yet for all you measurement types here are some other considerations. Lead scoring ranks leads from your website and other tactics according to their purchase readiness. The idea is to use characteristics of your best customers to identify those that are responding to calls to action, making larger purchases, repeat purchases, driving referrals, providing feedback and purchasing profitable products from your line.
As you measure and evaluate your BEST customers, here are a few things to consider: demographics, industry type, location, company size, job title, income, and interests. Integration with your brand, opting in to newsletters or downloading a whitepaper are some other notions to consider. With all this information you can assign a score, rating or ranking to each of these evaluations.
Lead scoring isn’t overly difficult or overly time consuming, but may assist you in finding customers and prospects that fit your online profile. Keep in mind; lead scoring may effectively limit other client and prospect opportunities.
There are a number of scoring solutions; there are a variety of platforms that assist marketers with CRM (customer relationship management). These are as recommended by Mikal Belicove of Entrepreneur fame:
1) Optify – qualify and score leads in real time
2) Genius – incorporates into your website easily
3) Marketo – modules for sales and marketing (integration with Salesforce.com)
4) Eloqua – lead development using direct mail, voice mail and text messaging
These tools will allow you to check and measure the value and effectiveness of online lead generation, but keep in mind, there’s more to this process than measurement. Many of your marketing initiatives cross over and work together, and brand building is very difficult to measure.
Most importantly, you are ready to sell, but let’s face facts – gathering leads, dealing with inbound requests and traffic means new prospects. This is imperative and required by all businesses; yet, you still have the issue of the customer. The biggest question in the process is, yes, you’re ready to sell, but you have to ask: is the customer is ready to buy? The tools you use to measure and how you measure and track inbound leads is important, but keep in mind the toughest challenge is measuring your brand reputation and brand awareness.
Michael Bickerton, Raven5 Ltd, Oakville, Ontario February 2014