Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting a wonderful dinner following Hero Conference in Philadelphia. The night included networking amongst digital marketing leaders, amazing food and drinks thanks to Morton’s the Steakhouse, and conversations on significant marketing topics.
Since the evening followed a conference specific to paid search, we focused the discussion on finding solutions to our guests’ pain points regarding the following hot topics: attribution, conversion rate optimization, display, and the marketing technology stack. We also gained a better understanding of the additional needs marketing leaders are currently facing. Here’s what we learned:
How Do We Attribute Leads Within the Customer Journey?
Many marketers look at last click when attributing a lead to a sale, which isn’t the best model if the last touch is a direct site visit. If the first touch was from a paid search ad then no credit is given to the keywords that were initially searched. Wouldn’t you want credit for contributing to the sale if you were on the PPC team?
During our attribution conversations, we discovered that one of the biggest concerns is having to rely on a call center for attribution from a call to a sale. If the call center cannot handle large call volumes, it becomes difficult to use click-to-call campaigns. To solve this problem, many PPC marketers use contextual call routing. Whether you want callers to be directed to a specific group, person, or wait in a queue, the call center agents will be equipped to handle each customer in a smooth, timely manner.
Take this one step beyond call routing. One guest attributes a call to a conversion if it lasts longer than 60 seconds. Wouldn’t it be even more helpful knowing exactly what happened on each call to determine if it was a successful conversion? Tools like Conversation Insight automatically record, transcribe, and sort through all of your calls to determine success or failure.
If a call is considered a conversion then why aren’t they being tracked? Phone calls are the most important leads a company can receive (66% of sales managers rate them as excellent/very important). It is an intimate conversation with a customer who has an immediate need, whether that is to get questions answered or to purchase a product. Therefore, it’s important to attribute phone calls back to the marketing campaigns. This, allows you to connect the dots between online searches and offline sales.
Another issue we discovered is that direct companies or their clients are not utilizing a CRM system. A CRM system is one of the best tools a marketing team can take advantage of to attribute revenue back to a customer from each campaign. If your client doesn’t have a great CRM system or the capabilities to see revenue data tied to a conversion, then the only way you can see what is happening is through AdWords. Integrating your data into a CRM, such as SalesForce, is crucial for comparing revenue to the cost per acquisition for that customer.
How Do We Optimize Our Conversion Rates?
When we asked our attendees what they considered to be a conversion, the answers varied. One mentioned that downloading an eBook would be considered a warm lead, but not a conversion. Another considered calls as a conversion, yet they did not track them. For most, an actual sale was the conversion.
When it comes to building a strategy for increasing conversions, it’s important to take on the right mindset. What’s more important: growth or efficiency? Try using dynamic search ads (DSA). DSA’s do require watching, but it will monitor your website and mine keywords that your customers are using when they land on your site. It’s an easy way to come up with new keywords to bid on for increasing conversions while lowering your CPC.
Lastly, we asked our audience what they found to be more successful when testing landing pages and ad copy. Most focused on ad copy first. Creating ad copy that makes the company unique is important, but the copy also needs to be engaging. If you can figure out how to create unique, engaging ads in just 35 characters and rely on calls to drive business, try testing out call only ads. They then worked on improving their landing pages by testing the language and CTAs they used to understand what was and was not working.
How Do We Use Display To Our Advantage?
The overarching opinion was that display and programmatic ads don’t drive quality traffic. There was an assumption that the leads were cheap or junk with a low click through rate. However, if awareness and branding is important to your business or client, then display is still useful. It is best for driving top funnel leads, especially if you rely on impressions as conversions. Display ads are a great way to help with brand search. Use Facebook display ads. This won’t result in a last click, but it will be a first touch and bring brand awareness to the consumer (see how Facebook ads actually help boost mobile search clicks).
How Do We Integrate Our MarTech Stack?
With now over 3,500 marketing technologies, it can become overwhelming thinking about which platforms to utilize. When we asked folks which platforms they use, many listed Marin, Acquisio, Marketo, DoubleClick, SalesForce, and (obviously) Google AdWords, which is not surprising to hear
When is the right time to evaluate purchasing a new technology? To purchase the best platform for your business it’s important to compare your options, and a demo will help you to truly understand a company’s capabilities or limitations. Google is a good start. Another great way to evaluate a technology is to visit their booth at a trade show. This gives you the opportunity to meet the team face-to-face and ask questions to see if they have what you need and can solve your pain points.
Another concern that came up was cost. What will the cost of the technology be compared to the cost per acquisition of a customer? Knowing what the technology can do, and how it will increase your revenue should be the most valuable factor when purchasing a new technology.
What Are the Needs of Marketing Leadership?
Lastly, I want to touch on the needs of today’s top marketers. Here are some of the biggest challenges we discovered while discussing this topic:
- Awareness and branding – marketers are trying to find a way to communicate to the customer base as a whole without isolating individual consumers.
- Lead attribution – user behavior is changing as the marketplace changes. It’s not easy to solve the attribution problem that is created when consumers jump to different channels – especially online to offline.
- Prioritization – there is always more to be done than there is time. What area needs the biggest focus? Where should we spend more budget? It’s requires constant analysis.
For a marketing leader, measuring the success of different initiatives is vital. Many digital marketers measure success based on their return on ad spend. Other marketers rely on their client to determine their success. And other marketers live and die by the sale.
When it comes to your most important leads, phone calls, they should not be undervalued. It’s important to us to educate people on the value that calls bring to the marketing mix. Tracking calls back to the original marketing campaign is vital in today’s mobile-first world. They give you another way to optimize ad campaigns, add value for your customers, and drive revenue to your business.
We had such an amazing night hosting digital marketers from all different industries at our first ever round table dinner. For more information on DialogTech, click here to request a demo or give us a call today!
Stay tuned for more information on our next round table!