If someone sees my service truck while my radio ad is playing, and later sees my TV commercial, and then gets on their iPad and searches for my business, how can you possibly track the effects of each one?
By watching the “pulse” of your marketing through your online laboratory.
So let’s start with that heart rate…
When you fly over the red rock formations surrounding Moab, Utah you can’t help but be fascinated by the unique beauty of the area.
Arches National Park is truly one of the most beautifully mysterious corners of the planet.
It’s one thing to see it from the comfortable, encapsulation of a commercial jet at 30,000 feet.
However, sitting in the back of a small prop plane with the door removed for effortless mid-air exit and a man strapped to your back, the thoughts of the intense beauty fade into the background drowned out by the idea you’ll soon be hurtling toward those red rock formations at 120 mph.
For a fleeting moment, you consider the wisdom of this particular adrenaline rush…
Then, over the roar of the wind, you feel the “signal” from a wild-eyed, greying jump instructor looking for the “OK”.
You’re only option is to give the thumbs up and juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuump.
If you’re a data-junky like me, when you go skydiving, you wear your Garmin GPS watch with heart rate monitor.
Looking at the data, it wasn’t hard to tell when we stepped out of the plane.
My heart rate spiked!
Interestingly enough, when you have the monitoring tools in place, your marketing impact can actually be tracked the same way as your heart rate.
Just as your heart rate is an important measure of overall fitness, your online activity is the core of any marketing plan. When you launch marketing offline that generates interest in your market, you can see that spike in activity online.
Tracking your lead sources
Is marketing so complex that it’s become harder to track lead sources instead of easier?
If you understand the goal of each lead source, you can track the effect of each lead source more accurately than ever before.
All marketing is not independent of each other. If executed well, all marketing works together with the focal point being the internet.
Have you ever put a call-tracking number on a TV ad, radio ad, or billboard? Did you get many calls? Probably not.
But did you measure the effect that had on your online search volume?
Just because you didn’t receive calls doesn’t mean that marketing didn’t work because most people do not respond to TV commercials by immediately placing a phone call. Instead we get online and do some research.
The exciting part is, my heart rate monitor doesn’t care if I’m running, sky-diving, or car racing, it still measures the change in my heart rate.
Your online search volume can be tracked the same way when you have the right tools in place to measure the impact of all of your marketing.
The Optimized Marketer’s Funnel
Now you need to understand the GOAL of your marketing.
The problem with the traditional funnel is that it doesn’t really help us understand the marketing process because:
- Everything you put in the top of a funnel comes out the bottom.
- Everything you put in the top of a funnel naturally moves along thanks to gravity.
Unfortunately, in the real world neither of those 2 points are true, which is why an upside-down funnel is so much more useful.
Now that you have an upside down funnel, imagine all of your inquiries are being fed in the bottom and are climbing their way up the walls.
For anyone to come out the narrow top of the funnel we need a driving force to help them out. That force is a combination of your Value Proposition and Branding.
Without that force, people will just naturally fall out.
For example, if I see your TV ad and go online to search for your business but you don’t show up in the results, guess what happens? I fall out of the funnel. Naturally. With no effort on your part.
- What if I see your Google Ad but I like one from a competitor more? Fall out…
- What if I click on the Ad but your landing page doesn’t solve my problem? I’m falling…
- What if I fill out a form on your website but you don’t call me back for an entire day? aaaaaaahhhhhhh…
That little image of an Optimized Funnel brings up a few crucial points.
- You will naturally lose people at every step in the process so you should measure every step.
- The goal of each marketing piece is not to generate a lead. The goal of marketing is to have the prospect go to the next step and move them further up the funnel.
- You can measure what works (and what doesn’t) at every step and use that information to improve the entire funnel.
Without defining and understanding that your goal is to get the prospect to take the next step, you’ll never be able to track the effectiveness of your marketing.
If you run a TV ad, your prospects go online to search for you and they can’t find your website, you won’t get any inquiries and you may say, “See, that darn TV didn’t work!”
In reality, you can measure that TV did indeed work but your web presence is what failed.
Let’s take this one step further and define the goal of each marketing medium.
All of your marketing should be categorized as Interruption Marketing or Response Marketing.
Interruption marketing simply means that, as a consumer, you didn’t ask for me to market to you but I did anyway. Television, radio, direct mail, billboards and even online display advertising are all Interruption marketing.
The goal of Interruption marketing is to generate interest. Period. If you define its goal as generating a lead, you’ll have almost no way to track how well it works.
Google Changed Everything
Google did something amazing and a bit scary to the marketing world. For the first time in history, we, as marketers, are able to read the minds of our prospects and respond immediately.
Google is our therapist as we type all our problems into that magical little search box.
In Response, we can market to people with a problem for which we have the perfect solution. That is Response Marketing.
The defining characteristic of Response marketing is that the consumer is asking you to market to them. Yellow pages, email opt-in lists and remarketing campaigns can also be considered less precise forms of Response marketing.
The goal of Response marketing is to generate a contact or inquiry.
Measuring the Net Change
To determine the effectiveness of your marketing, you can only measure when something changes. An engineer or scientist conducting experiments might refer to this as “isolating each variable”.
With a heart rate monitor strapped to your chest, it’s very easy to see when something changes. You engage in some cardio and your heart rate goes up.
However, if you never measure your resting heart rate, it’s hard to tell just how much of an impact different workouts have on you.
In marketing, if you are running radio, TV, direct mail, branded delivery trucks and search marketing at the same time, and you ask my team to tell you which is working, it’s nearly impossible.
Why? Because nothing has changed. Your heart rate is never at “rest”. We haven’t isolated any variables.
Instead, if you are running radio, delivery trucks and search marketing, and then ask us to track the effect of an upcoming TV campaign, now you have a baseline and a change to measure.
Even when our customers don’t tell us about these changes ahead of time, we often notice the spikes in our data shortly after an effective offline change.
To your success in accurately tracking your marketing,
P.S. To my knowledge, there’s no other company that offers this level of data analysis for small businesses with internet budgets as low as $800/month. Contact me if you’d like to increase your leads by only investing in marketing that you know is working.