Study: Marketers Are Measuring Their Lead Gen All Wrong

By Amanda Walgrove March 29th, 2016

In 2016, marketers and singles are suffering from a similar problem. While quality is more important than quantity—regardless of whether you’re publishing content or swiping right on Tinder—it’s easy to get stuck in a numbers game.

For marketers, this issue is most prevalent when we talk about lead generation.

Let’s say you check the results of an e-book campaign on Facebook and notice it’s driving hundreds of leads at a low cost per click. Your ad is great, right? Possibly. But chances are your chief revenue officer will want more information. The success of the ad will depend on the quality of those leads and whether or not you were able to account for ROI.

According to “The State of Lead Capture in 2016,” a new report from online form builder Formstack, 46 percent of marketers cannot confidently tie marketing ROI to specific lead-generation campaigns. This is a huge problem. When marketers can’t tie lead quality to individual campaigns, sales teams waste valuable time researching and tracking leads that should never have been pursued. Editorial and marketing teams, meanwhile, can’t tell if their content and ads are relevant to their target audience.

In this report, Formstack investigates why marketers are struggling to measure the ROI of their lead-generation campaigns and what can they do to remedy the problem. Here are the key takeaways.

Align metrics with goals

When marketers have KPIs and metrics that don’t match up, it can often lead to poor lead quality. According to the report, this misalignment is more common than you’d think. Fifty-four percent of marketers ranked driving higher quality leads as their main goal, but when asked what to identify their key metrics, 48 percent pointed to conversion rates and 47 percent to volume of leads.

Via Formstack

Based on this data, marketers are relying on quantity metrics even though they set out to gauge quality. If you bake a cake for a party and want to figure out if your recipe was good, it’s only vaguely helpful to know that guests took 20 out of 24 slices. You still don’t know how many people ate the cake or how much they enjoyed it.

As the report states, “More than half of marketers surveyed rely on high-level metrics (like web traffic) to prove ROI, as opposed to more results-oriented ones like new sales.” As with cake, high-level metrics don’t satisfy questions about quality; they can’t tell you with precision if a particular investment was worthwhile. It should come as no surprise that 64 percent of marketers admitted they’re having trouble proving ROI because they either don’t know where to start or which channels are misaligned.

Via Formstack

Organize data

“Marketers are overwhelmed by data,” said Lindsay Johnson, Formstack’s demand-generation team lead. “They don’t know how to get the data all in the same place or [somewhere] they can actually use it to optimize their campaigns.”

For example, while top-funnel traffic numbers might be important to judge the effectiveness of campaign ad artwork or call-to-action text, engagement metrics tell marketers what happens after the click—like how much time a user spends with a piece of content. Lead scoring (what happens after the download) tracks how well that lead was nurtured and follows the buyer from the first touchpoint through the sale.

Marketers need to build a technology stack that will allow them to track and nurture their relationships during the entire customer journey.

Track customer relationships

Formstack found that one hundred percent of marketers who tracked customer relationship metrics reported feeling confident in their ROI.

This is where content comes into play. The more high-quality content you provide, the more opportunities customers have to engage with your brand. And the more they interact with your brand, the more data you can collect about their interests and behaviors.

Marketers can then use these metrics to figure out which content or offers will best nurture leads. For example, they can set up an email newsletter to follow up with people who want know more about a particular topic or industry, or they can retarget these customers with relevant social media campaigns. This way, if the customer wants a purchase, the sales team can use all of these touchpoints to personalize the final stages of the customer journey.

Because when you take data back to your CRO, you want to be proud of the quality of leads on your arm.

Image by Shutterstock
Tags: , , ,