When Seth Godin wrote the book All Marketers Are Liars I think he got it almost right. We’re not all liars. In fact I’ve largely made a living since the year 2000 by simply exposing my clients to the, sometimes ugly, truth about their marketing efforts. My first agency, Stealth Marketing, provided a custom analytics service to the retail automotive industry. Over a 4 year period I helped my clients reduce ad expenses by $6,800,000 using a custom tool I’d created called AdTrac®.
Over and over I see agencies producing vague reports about branding and awareness which in this day and age are no longer enough to justify an investment in many marketing initiatives.
Let me be extremely clear here; it’s not that I don’t believe that these aren’t worthwhile goals (selling your stuff becomes exponentially more difficult with zero traffic to your website). But Internet technology has ushered in a new era of marketing accountability, where marketers need to be held accountable to show hard data regarding what’s working and what’s not, and to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt their contribution to your overall ROMI (return on marketing investment).
So here’s the thing….just how do you the client get proof that the dollars you’re spending are getting the results you want. Oh let me say that I’m assuming the results your after are actual sales.
It’s called Closed-Loop Reporting
Marketing automation software products allow you to tie prospects back to the EXACT (capitalized for emphasis) campaigns that originally created them, providing proof of individual campaign performance (and eliminating the ability for agencies to provide you vague reporting data).
One of the things I love about automation software is that even if the prospect did not convert on that first point of contact, tracking can retroactively identify that initial touchpoint and attribute the lead back to its source.
Are you running around your office waving your hands wildly in the air yet, jumping for bloody joy? If not then you’re not getting it. The implications ginormous: marketers can’t be liars anymore. You can force agencies to prove their value, and justify to you why you should be investing in a particular campaign or channel.
You can use marketing automation software to see where the best leads are coming from, prioritize outlets and channels accordingly, and have your agency send you send you regular reports, directly from the software, to keep yourself updated.
It Ain’t Cheap…But Cheap Ain’t Good
To get into the automation game you’ll need to pony up between $8,000 to $12,000 annually for the software. This is not a DIY type of thing either. You’ll either need a dedicated staff member, team, or agency to manage this for you. There’s a tremendous learning curve to doing inbound marketing correctly. Regardless of the management option you choose there’s a cost associated with it. At JugHead Media our fees for managing the software and providing the inbound marketing services start around $3,000 monthly. So all in all you’re looking at around $44,000 to $51,000 to get in the game the right way.
So divide your average sale by the high end cost and that’ll give you a rough estimation of how many clients you need to acquire to pay for the system.