November 2, 2020 Four Columns Marketing

Do You REALLY Know if Your Marketing Works?

We have all asked the question, “What am I getting out of this?” It’s ingrained in our human nature. We all reach for tangible affirmations that our time and effort are reciprocated by real results. It’s difficult to make improvements to your marketing strategy when you are unsure of true progress. Companies blindly invest in marketing without a process in place to track the metrics or fully understand whether the marketing spin they’re executing is actually resulting in growth. 

We recently began consulting a company in the real estate market. While they are receiving reports on various metrics, they don’t have a process in place to understand and provide direct attribution to homes sold, tracing it all the way back to the marketing strategy. 

Let’s break this down––If you are spending money on a paid search and aren’t able to track time spent and clicks it generates to specific web pages, then you don’t really know if spending money through Google Ad Words is driving a positive ROI.

The same is true for social media, public relations efforts, money spent on your website and video production. Can you prove the money you spent on these things results in an end goal you must reach in order to grow? The conundrum is this: in order to be done correctly, it must step outside of the marketing “box”.

We had the chance to work with an automotive dealership where we tracked every marketing effort made to generate detailed reports on how many contacts, engagements, calls or leads off the internet we generated from our marketing. This translated to phenomenal lead numbers! From less than 200 leads per month, the dealership saw growth up to 650-750 leads per month. However, the number of inbound leads (i.e. calls, walk-ins, internet) is not the ultimate metric for a car dealership––it’s vehicles sold. The tough part from a marketing standpoint is that we can’t control what happens to a lead after it gets to a dealership. At that point, most would say our job is done and it’s time to leave it to the salespeople. 

One of the biggest issues most marketing agencies face is that they inherently have to cross out of the realm of marketing, yet receive resistance from clients who demand they stay in their lane. It requires nuance and stepping out of the tribalistic, divided mindset. We’re not just marketing professionals––we’re a team composed of cross-disciplinary backgrounds, talents and experiences. Within a marketing ecosystem, we can translate ROI anecdotally, carefully tracking what paid ads do while also getting into phone calls and developing lead flows that make sense. 

Thus, marketing must have feedback and input into sales. When marketing professionals are brought into sales conversations, we can ensure consumers with great potential aren’t simply falling through the cracks. In the B2B world especially, leads become even more valuable. One good lead per month has the potential to pay for itself five times over. A fundamental lack of understanding makes it difficult to effectively set a marketing budget. There’s no way of knowing how much to spend on marketing if you don’t even know how much money you’re making.

In order to verify if marketing is connected to an eventual sale, businesses need structures in place to track what happens with marketing all the way to the close of a sale, shortchanging the ability to understand whether your marketing is actually working. As a leading marketing agency that tracks every metric, we work with our clients to help them establish structures to best definitively understand what they’re doing to drive positive ROI in their particular case. If you are wondering whether your marketing tactics are working, contact us at [email protected]. We’re here to help.

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