Which is more important in marketing: intuition or information?
It’s true that marketing has a lot of art involved — sometimes you can just “feel” when a certain brand approach is right or wrong. But decades of research have also shown that many parts of marketing can be accurately predicted based on prior experience and backed up with data. You need to take a scientific approach to your marketing.
To truly benefit, however, you need more than just general industry data. You need your own data: hard numbers from your own marketing efforts that prove what does and doesn’t work. To get that data, use closed-loop marketing.
Four Steps Of Closed-Loop Marketing
1. Visitor Arrives on Your Site
The simplest way of employing closed loop marketing is to use your website as the central hub for all marketing efforts. When all of your external marketing tactics—search engines, social media, email marketing, paid search, and offline campaigns—point back to your website, it is easier to track how they found you.
Once visitors arrive on your site, cookies are used to note their source via tracking URLs assigned to each marketing campaign and begin tracking their activity. By breaking down the data collected on what channels are bringing visitors to your site, you can identify which are the most valuable sources of traffic and work on optimizing the rest.
2. Visitor Browses Your Website
Knowing where your visitors are coming from is just the beginning. You also need to know what they do once they reach your site. Which pages are they viewing? What paths do they take to navigate your site?
The answers to those questions can help you optimize your site for faster visitor-to-lead or visitor-to-customer conversions. It is the trickiest of the steps to implement, linking a visitor’s session to their lead information after conversion, unless you are using specific software (such as HubSpot) to track this activity as it is happening.
3. Visitor Converts to a Lead
In order to turn traffic into sales, you will need to convert website visitors into leads. This happens when you send incoming traffic to landing pages, where they exchange their contact information for an offer you are making: content, coupons, subscriptions, etc. Contact information could include name, email address, phone number, company name or job title (especially if your company is a B2B vendor).
Now you know not only where your visitors came from, but more about who they are, and you can add them to a leads database for nurturing toward a sale.
4. Lead Becomes a Customer
When a lead becomes a customer, the loop is closed: You should have a full picture of each step along the way from which marketing channel first brought the customer to your website as a visitor, through the offer or offers they accessed, to their actual purchase.
Multiply that individual journey and transaction by total visits and eventual sales, and you have a compelling picture of your buyer’s journey. With data, not just hunches, to back it up.
The information you gain through closed-loop marketing will help your company more accurately determine the next set of goals for lead generation and sales closures, based off solid data. You will know which marketing efforts have provided the best ROI in the past and what areas need improvement.
So has your intuition vs. information answer changed?
Get started with your own closed-loop marketing efforts today; the basics are in our introductory ebook.