Visualize the Internet Marketing Ecosystem to Improve Lead Generation

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Brad ShorrBy Brad Shorr, Director of Content Strategy, Straight North

Internet marketing aimed at lead generation is a complicated affair — far more complicated than most companies and even marketing departments realize. The Straight North Lead Generation Ecosystem infographic is designed to help marketers visualize all the components of a solid lead generation campaign, and perhaps more important, see how the various pieces fit together. Often, it is the lack of linkage, rather than the lack of activities, that spell disaster for a campaign. Here are a few examples.

Failing to Link Analytics to Testing

If the creative team is off in one corner running tests on landing pages and ads, and the technical team is off in another corner poring over reports, campaign failure is a matter of when, not if.

Companies fail to link up their analytics to testing for a variety of reasons: they aren’t collecting much data to begin with; their testing is driven by the whims of upper management; they lack the skills to properly organize and interpret the data they have. Whatever the reason, conducting tests without buttoned-down data is like pouring unidentified fluids into your car’s gas tank and waiting to see what happens when you start driving.

In contrast, when data is properly collected, organized and interpreted, testing becomes laser-focused and the results a precise enough to lead to rapid campaign improvement — and more sales leads.

Failing to Link Phone Calls to Inquiry Data

When prospects phone in, chances are they are in need of your product urgently or have a complex problem they can’t solve via email. So while phone leads are often the best leads, a surprising number of companies fail to track phone leads originating from their Internet marketing campaigns. The result: campaign data that is not only incomplete, but misses what could be the major driver of campaign ROI.

Why do companies fail to track phone leads? Again, there are all sorts of reasons, but perhaps the most common one is the degree of difficulty. Tracking form submissions is fairly easy, since Google Analytics and other website analytics packages handle them easily. Phone leads, however, are not handled at all. To track them, a company must set up the proper phone and tracking system that requires in-house development skill and/or a third-party tracking partner.

Phone tracking is well worth the effort and expense; without it, you will never be able to ascertain the true ROI of your lead generation campaigns, and not be able to improve results with much efficiency.

Failing to Link Non-leads with the CRM

“Out of sight, out of mind” is not really a good mantra for a lead generation marketer. A certain number of form submissions and phone calls — possibly a majority of them — turn out to be something other than leads. If a company is understaffed, and especially if on top of that it is overwhelmed with a deluge of inquiries, the temptation is to trash those non-leads to clear the decks.

This is a mistake. Today’s non-lead can be tomorrow’s great lead. Examples: a customer calling in for service may be a new, important contact within an existing account; a CEO submitting a form for a service you don’t provide could be an excellent candidate down the road for a service you do provide. Building a database of leads in the CRM for future marketing activities makes it easier to keep the lead pipeline full with every passing year.

Take a look at the infographic to see where you may have missing links. Identifying and fixing them will help you obtain faster, better campaign results.

About the Author: Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy for Straight North, an Internet marketing agency that specializes in SEO, PPC and website design services. With over 25 years of experience in sales & marketing, Brad has been featured on major online publications including Entrepreneur, Forbes and Moz.

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