Sin #5 Obsession
The fixation on tracking leads instead of measuring results
The quick skinny:
- Track leads through your Inbound advertising like your website and search marketing efforts.
- Use your Outbound advertising to tell your unique story in an emotionally compelling way so that when customers search for you, they know you and what you stand for.
- Measure results by gross annual sales vs. the market.
How’d you hear about us? Business owners have become obsessed with tracking leads. They know they need to advertise. They want to make the most efficient use their ad budget, so “How did you hear about us?” is a question many local advertisers insist on asking potential customers when they come in contact with their business. It’s a noble attempt at tracking the effectiveness of their ad spend, but it is counter to the way consumers behave today.
Let’s say, in an extremely rare but plausible scenario that on the way home from work a consumer calls a plumbing company upon hearing an ad for that plumber around the same time his wife calls to tell him that the water heater just exploded. The receptionist asks, “How’d you hear about us?” He says “I heard an ad on the radio”. The lead was tracked to radio, but does that mean that the ad “worked”? What about the next person? Is your ad plan to try and time your ads for the exact moment a pipe bursts or a toilet clogs? Of course not. So how is it an accurate measurement of radio or TV to ask “how’d you hear about us”? It’s not. Lead generation is NOT the best use of broadcast media. Period.
Tracking leads is a process for Transactional mode through your passive media.
According to eMarketer, on any given purchase decision, 92% of consumers use the internet to search for products and services. Generally speaking, when the need arises for a product or service, if consumers don’t already know where to turn, they go to Google or some other search engine. Sure there are exceptions but they only prove the rule…most consumers nowadays use internet search. It gets back to the #1 sin of local advertising: using different media in the same way. As stated before, internet and search marketing are the greatest tracking mechanism ever invented. They are built for such a purpose, so use them for that purpose.
Measuring results is a more comprehensive process and a result of sound strategy in four key areas:
The Four Pillars of Advertising: Ultimately in a well-run business, repeat business and referrals (word of mouth) is always going to be your best source of leads, but long-term growth is built on all four pillars of advertising. Measurable results year after year requires sound strategy and execution and each pillar needs to work in concert with one another for a solid foundation.
As customers cycle in and out of a given market, effective Relational Advertising predisposes consumers emotionally to the business, which makes the Transactional Advertising more effective which drives more customers to the business which creates the opportunity for an excellent Customer Experience which leads to Repeats & Referrals (Word of Mouth) which is validated by the Relational Advertising, which generates new customers and so on and so forth. The key to measuring results is synchronization of the four pillars.