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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Is our marketing generating revenue for sales?
This question, one of the responses to our survey asking you for your most important marketing question, I think touches on the very real challenges of measuring success with marketing initiatives. I interpret the question as: "Does our marketing actually lead to sales revenue?" and of course to answer that question, you need to have really solid lead tracking systems. In other words, you need to know where the initial lead originates, and how successful/valuable it ultimately is.

Sophisticated businesses set up processes for this type of thing -- the image is from a blog with an answer that is unlikely to be of much help for the typical reader of this blog; I don't think we are in the realm of large corporations with sophisticated (and distinctive) marketing and sales departments. Nevertheless, lead tracking is certainly valid in a formal sense in businesses with retail clients garnered through advertising, shows and the like -- you will want to know if your expense for this marketing produces results. And informally, you will want to know if your leads and selling system are profitable and effective.

But I don't think these approaches work so well in the professional and higher end business-to-business side of things, especially for smaller or medium sized professional service firms or contractors. The problem is less the valid need for these tracking approaches as it is in the process of finding and implementing a reliable and easy-to-administer system.

As well, none of this deals with the soft value of marketing; branding, image development, and so on -- stuff that is hard to measure tangibly but is undoubtedly important in the long run.

More later on this complex but very important topic.

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