Spending more money on lead generation & marketing is not always the right answer – spending your money smarter is
by Karl Hindle – Founder of Wellspring Search
My marketing strength is SEO, Content Marketing, and PPC (especially Google AdWords), so I have a digital bias, but with that admission out of the way, let me get to the meat here.
How can you increase your lead flow right now without increasing your marketing spend?
This is going to apply to 99.99% of businesses right now – you have multiple marketing efforts in flight, both online and in the real world, and your metrics may look good or bad compared to prior year or prior period results.
If down – do you need to spend more money?
Possibly – impossible to say right now.
If up – can you readily explain why you are up – especially so you can do more of the good stuff?
Maybe, but probably not.
Irrespective, you haven’t worked out makes for a good marketing balance across all the channels you are active in right now, and this is something I see almost every time I sit down with a prospective client – even at enterprise-level.
What do I mean by a good marketing balance?
By this I mean, have you coordinated your paid search with seasonal promotions being advertised in the local press, radio, or TV?
Are your SEO strategies working in conjunction with your PPC/Paid Search campaigns?
Do you have a logical schedule of promotional events and strategies, with collateral prepared in advance, and direct marketing supported by your digital presence and vice versa?
If I visit your website, navigate through to your Facebook page, catch your TV ad on cable, will I see a continuity and uniformity of the message you are pushing to me?
In other words, have you looked at how different marketing and promotional channels work in unison, not as standalone campaigns?
For the vast majority of readers, you are going to say “No!”
But how different marketing channels work together can make the difference between making and breaking your business.
Drawing from personal experience, I find Social Media campaigns to be great ways to improve awareness and branding, for acting as a sound board with potential prospects and the market generally, and for getting in front of a potential train wreck when it comes to dealing with customer complaints.
But, I do not find Social Media to be a goldmine for lead generation for most businesses (unless you are selling something that lends itself to social sharing).
I see a lot of ROI from lead generation campaigns using Social Media – most of it is negative!
So, on the face of it, we should can Social Media for not delivering ROI – right?
What I also find with Social Media is that it is used a great deal by prospects who do become leads, but come in from another marketing channel, e.g. SEO or PPC, touch Social Media profiles as part of the “can I trust this business” process they make, and then come back to the website for more research before hitting the CTA.
Prospects are checking you out on Social Media as a ‘trust’ validation exercise, so while I do not credit Social Media with the actual lead generation, it deserves credit for helping to move prospects through the funnel, to the point where they follow your Call to Action and turn from prospect into a lead.
This issue applies to every marketing channel you are using – how do specific activities contribute to your lead generation, as opposed to which activities are getting the credit.
Working with Google Analytics and Google AdWords, we can see the interaction across digital channels much more clearly than when TV, radio, and direct marketing is in the mix. It is possible to gauge the value of marketing activities that look like lead generation dogs in terms of creating leads, but are in fact lead gen stars as they assist prospects to make the leap in contacting you.
Your challenge is to unlock the data you already have (and you have a lot you may not realize) and see how channels are interacting and helping each other (or not).
Spending more money is not always the right answer, and optimizing your marketing balance will not only cost you less, but give you visibility into what is actually working well for you and why.
Karl Hindle is the founder of Wellspring Search, and a Google Analytics & Google AdWords certified individual.
t: (717) 658-8683