Generating marketing responses: is it a numbers game?

The implementation of a marketing dashboard built using Cognos (a plug for what’s proving to be an indispensable tool) has meant that, for the first time EVER, we’ve had a single view (almost real-time) of all the responses generated from our marketing activity.  I’m building a scorecard for my team to ensure we generate sufficient web responses (i.e. someone has given us their contact details) to meet our targets…

And the data is giving me a headache.

I’d like to say that my headache is caused by analysis paralysis.  But no – the data is giving me a headache because the numbers DO NOT STACK UP.  In a B2B environment we don’t have the luxury of generating thousands of responses.  Current conversion rates for web responses are low, in part because of the complex solutions we sell and the lengthy sales cycles involved.  It’s almost impossible to attribute a white paper download to a deal worth thousands (hundreds of thousands/millions) of GBP£.  (How we’re able to attribute the same opportunity to a customer attending an event has me shaking my head in exasperation…)

In fact, current measurement systems make it very difficult to justify the investment in digital tactics FULL STOP.  And the measurement issue drives self-perpetuating behaviour.  Tactics are chosen because they are easier to measure, not necessarily because they are the right thing to do.

So I look at my lead targets, the number of responses required to meet these, and the lovely Cognos cut of what the web is generating, and a couple of things become clear: Continue reading “Generating marketing responses: is it a numbers game?”