Analytics is running aground as the the buying methodologies of consumers get more and more complex. I recently spoke at event where I described how most people think about marketing and sales… and our reporting systems really haven't wandered too far from these scenarios:
Most of these systems utilize methodologies of first and last touch:
- First Touch – what was the first occurence when the prospect was introduced to our brand, product or service that led them down the conversion funnel to become a customer?
- Last Touch – what was the last occurence when the prospect was introduced to our brand, product or service that led them down the conversion funnel to become a customer?
This simply doesn't work anymore. The complexities of multi-devices, on and offline connections, and consumers and businesses researching via the web are changing the way that we convert customers.
Here's a scenario. Your company sponsors a marketing event that your prospect attended and they connected with your sales team. A few months later, thanks to a great mobile-optimized email, they downloaded a whitepaper and a case study that described their industry and what they were trying to achieve. They asked around their social network about your product and service – then signed up for a demonstration. After the demonstration, they signed.
In that typical situation, where do you attribute your return on investment? Was it the event (first touch)? The sales person? The whitepaper? The case study? The social influence? Or was it the web demo (last touch)?
The answer was that it required all of these channels and events to drive that prospect to a conversion. Our basic analytics platforms aren't sophisticated enough to provide the statistical analysis of the efforts we've implemented to come up with a predictive model that we can act from.
The answer, unfortunately, is that we can't ignore any channel and we must acknowledge that each has a demonstrative impact on our overall marketing efforts. How much so? That's something that the marketing decision maker is tasked with and must resolve.
And there may not be a set percentage that's right for your company. Much of your success may depend on the resources at hand. Brand marketers may find that implementing many more strategic branding initiatives works well. Sales organizations may find that dialing more phone numbers produces better results.
I'm looking forward to the days that Analytics doesn't just record the results of our labor, but actually takes into consideration the labor itself. If we could enter the campaigns and their costs, we may be able to see how the fruits of our labor are paying off. And we'd be able to determine what the impact would be when we increase or decrease one aspect of our multi-channel strategy.