Businesses are now collecting an increasing amount data on their current and potential clients, with the aim of transforming these sets of ‘big data’ into meaningful insights that can improve future advertising campaigns and increase ROI. To make use of the data collected however, you need to look at the individual analytics tools you use and then collate and analyse the data to create a bigger picture about the trends you want to look at, so ultimately you can transform big data into big increases in revenue.
With so many channels to advertise through you need to be able to analyse the results of each channel in order to get the big picture, so making sure you can pull all of the key data together is important. Some 13.5% of all purchases were carried out over the internet in 2010 according to BCG, and this is projected to rise to 23% by 2016, so online sales are an important metric to factor in to your marketing analytics. Your web analytics tool gives you an idea of the amount of traffic and number of online sales generated, but doesn’t necessarily give the whole picture. Call tracking technology can be integrated with web analytics to measure the number of sales generated from all forms of advertising which convert by phone; this is achieved through the use of unique dynamic numbers served up to each concurrent visitor on a website and individual unique numbers for offline advertising such as newspaper adverts or leaflets. With 65% of businesses considering inbound calls their best quality leads monitoring this form of conversion is essential.
You should also consider Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems which collect more comprehensive information than ever; incorporating digital information such as social media and even mobile interactions. A major benefit is that information from your web analytics and call tracking can be integrated with your CRM in order that all of your information is in one place.
The amount of data you end up with may seem overwhelming but setting up a way to monitor every aspect of your marketing and customer behaviour means that you can be fully informed of your current marketing ROI and the effectiveness of your marketing activity, in order that you can move forward in improving future marketing and increasing your bottom line.
Businesses are more customer focused than they ever have been before, now aiming to provide what consumers actively want as opposed to providing a product or service and looking for people to buy it. It is for this reason that more companies are keeping as much information as possible on current and potential customers. Knowledge is power, and companies are now looking to collate as much information as they can on each person or company from a range of sources combining previous buying behaviour with digital, social media and even mobile interactions. SMEs are now following the larger companies to ensure that their customer relationship management (CRM) system is more comprehensive and collects more data so they are able to get a well-rounded picture of their current and future clients.
There are a number of benefits of doing this. One of the best reasons for a multichannel approach to a CRM is that you can ensure that any marketing that you do to a consumer is relevant to them. Looking only at what they have purchased in the past won’t necessarily give you an idea of what they want in the future. Their circumstances and needs may have changed. For example, a consumer at a clothing website who has previously bought evening dresses and smart suits may have started a family and may now be looking for promotions on baby clothes; information you could have gathered from social media. Marketing using a range of data from a variety of sources will be much more personal to a customer as well as more current and relevant. It also prevents potential disasters such as contacting a couple about life insurance when one of them has just died or contacting a business that has just announced its closure about using your services to save money.
There are a number of tools to collect data from these sources; web analytics, custom variables and ALS, call tracking services and features within it, such as post call IVR and lead tracking as well as social media analytics. To make the most of all this data it needs to be sat in one place so it can be analysed as a whole so it’s important that all the tools you use are able to integrate with your CRM system. By making use of all sources of data you can enhance and improve customer service by giving customers information relevant to their life and/or business and giving them a more personal service. To make the most of all this data it needs to be sat in one place so it can be analysed as a whole so it’s important that all the tools you use are able to integrate with your CRM system.
Every business wants leads coming in, and in this difficult economic climate it can be easy for the average business owner to just be happy to have sales leads and not worry about where they’re coming from. This can be expensive, because you are spending money on marketing to generate leads but you don’t know where they are coming from therefore you don’t know which marketing spend is generating these leads and where you are potentially wasting money.
Monitoring where your leads are coming from is surprisingly easy, and no matter how big or small your business is you can find an affordable way to track your leads and sales. Many web analytics packages are free or very inexpensive; Google Analytics is a free website analytics package frequently used with over 15.5 million websites making use of the package in 2012, including 60% of the top 10,000 websites. Web analytics enables you to track an online customer’s progress and if they progress to a sale. If you also supply a telephone number where potential customers can contact you or buy via phone, there are a variety of call tracking software packages that will enable you to see where your phone leads and conversions are coming from. You can also use customer and staff feedback if you sell through other channels; getting an idea of where you were found and what drove them to contact you from face to face contact.
You may be surprised at the results. You could be spending 25% of your marketing budget on PPC advertising, and by tracking your leads and sales you might find that this spend is producing no results. This means you are literally throwing money away; it would be like spending a quarter of your grocery budget on empty carrier bags. Whilst you may be getting the right number of leads to meet your targets, if certain campaigns are not delivering results you are still wasting a large chunk of money on nothing. This money could be spent on more successful advertising or even in other areas of the business such as new equipment or extra staff.
Do not waste money: by introducing an integrated lead and sale monitoring system, you can ensure that you only spend money on the most effective marketing, and cut inefficient marketing spend.
A large number of companies have turned to content marketing to increase customer engagement as well as improve search engine rankings, but with 70% of companies increasing their content marketing budget this year and only 1% reducing it, the internet is in danger of being flooded with content. This means that businesses now don’t just have to worry about ensuring their content is interesting and relevant, but they have to make theirs stand out from the crowd and draw people in. Here are two ways in which businesses have been doing this:
- Video – Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you describe a product, nothing beats showing your customer the product. This would be particularly relevant for products where it is important that they look good such as furniture or clothing, or a product that needs explaining, such as call tracking, where a visual representation would help illustrate the main benefits. Video can also be used for testimonials and demonstrations, and the use of videos has been shown to attract 300% more traffic, which is of course one of the main points of content marketing.
Some businesses might argue that infographics and videos are more expensive to create than just plain text content, but if you are engaging people more and generating more leads and sales, it is money worth investing. By monitoring the effectiveness of your visual content marketing with website analytics and visitor level call tracking, you can see which have the highest return on investment and this can further guide you in how you can target the 65% of people that are visual learners, and those of us that are just drawn in by a visually stimulating and/or interactive experience.
With the rise of the Internet, more and more businesses are ensuring that they have a prominent online presence, including websites, social media and the ability to contact the business through an online form or email. Whilst a lot of people prefer contacting businesses in this way, there are still many people that like to talk person to person. Here are four reasons you should definitely put a telephone number on your website:
- Including a phone number gives you another potential source of income by enabling a customer to buy via the telephone. Whilst research from the Kelsey Group shows that 97% of people with internet access carry out at least some online research into products or services they need to buy, the Online Sales Forecast showed that 22% of people would still never buy online. By offering people the opportunity to buy via phone you can offer those that would never buy online a way to buy remotely.
- The presence of a phone number establishes credibility. It gives website visitors a physical point of contact as well as an online point of contact. Those with any misgivings about a company or website will be more likely to be reassured by a real person on the other end of the phone.
- A phone number as a point of contact can improve customer experience. A recent study showed that 83% of all consumers needed some assistance before completing an online purchase, and whether it’s help with the buying process or questions about the product or service they want answered in person, a phone number means they can ask a business representative straight away and progress to the next stage of buying.
- Phone interaction can help a business identify problems within a website. By using technology such as call tracking, a business can see which pages people are on when they call, identify patterns and trends, and use call recordings to see what the issues have been on those pages of the website. A business website can then be adapted to be more user friendly or include the information that people have been asking for.
The advantages of including a phone number on a website far outweigh the disadvantage of having someone to answer the phone. A business can further establish itself as a credible company with a human presence and gives them a multichannel approach to sales.