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Where Are Your Leads Coming From?

Steve Indersmith

I’d be a rich person if I received a dollar for every time a business owner incorrectly stated they know where their leads are coming from. The most common responses I receive include, “They found me on Google”, “They came off my website”, “They were driving by”. I’m not saying that these statements aren’t true, but is it the information you are looking for?

Found you from your website

Unless they are a past client, something has bought them to your website. They may have done a random search and you got lucky, but most likely some other pieces of marketing got their attention and set them on a path to your doorway.

Found you on Google

Google is a directory, so you would expect to be found in Google if you have invested in your website and search engine optimisation. However, the real question is, why did they choose you from the list of a dozen other businesses? Perhaps it was random, but again it’s more likely they knew your brand or were searching for you. Investing in your brand leads to greater trust and a higher click-through rate.

I was driving by

You drive by hundreds of businesses on the way to work, the shops or the local school. Most of these businesses remain invisible until something puts them on your radar, so the chances they suddenly saw your business and just stopped is unlikely. More likely they noticed your advertising and, at a time more convenient, chose to stop and come into your business.

Measuring where your leads came from is such a valuable task but one that is usually poorly done. After nearly 20 years of discussing robust solutions to measuring advertising results, I thought I’d share some of the traps we business people fall into. Hopefully this will help you identify the marketing levers to your business.

Common traps when measuring lead generation

Here are just a few traps that we all fall into. How many apply to your business?

  1. The advert is running but you haven’t told the staff.
  2. The source of your leads are not written down and regularly reviewed.
  3. The form you ask new clients to fill out says simply, “How did you hear about us?”
  4. The form provides several options, however your current advertising mediums aren’t on the form.
  5. You never vary the order of the options on the form, and therefore it’s little wonder the top options always do well.
  6. You push clients in to options by asking, “Did you see our advert in…?”
  7. You fail to drill down beyond such vague answers as, “I saw you on your website/in the paper/driving by…”
  8. You rely on asking rather than prompting clients with visual aids. “Have you seen this advert?” “Do you know this magazine?”
  9. You believe consumers will mention the advert unprompted even though there is no reason to and despite the fact the last time you walked into a business and mentioned an advert was in 1987.
  10. Your robust measurement systems rely on human memory.
  11. You assume a customer has come into contact with ONLY one piece of your marketing.
  12. You only ask when you do a quote or when they come in to your show room, you don’t ask ALL enquiries.
  13. You assume the customer will remember what advertising they have seen and care enough to tell you accurately.
  14. You believe your staff are diligent in asking and monitoring.
  15. You have never tested your systems by doing a mystery call or shopper.

One advert, immediate response. REALLY?

In a previous newsletter, we talked about the Journey To Your Door. The journey as a prospect moves from Awareness, to Interest, to Consideration and finally Action (the purchase). It can be minutes to literally years. When we consider this, do we really expect a prospect to react to the first piece of advertising they see? Yet we ask the simple question, “How did you hear about us?”

This approach seems even more unconscionable when we accept that a prospect may need to see your business a dozen times before they become a client.

Your advert drives their response

Consider the purpose of your advert. In today’s world, much of it is designed to drive the prospect to your website. You have used your digital, social or traditional media advert to send the prospect to your website or landing page. The prospect engages with your company through your website. They do their due diligence, understand your products and services, and eventually reach out to you. All this happened because your other forms of advertising made them aware of what was previously invisible to them. Yet you ask them one simple question - “How did you hear about us?” Little wonder they respond, “Oh, from your website.”

Multiple touch points?

If we accept that a buyer moves through a cycle of Awareness, Interest, Consideration and Action (the purchase), and that within this timeframe, there will be multiple touch points – so why do we ask them to identify just one? In most cases, a consumer will recall the channel that influenced them the most or the channel they spend the most time on - for example your website or a referral from their neighbour. There’s no credit given to those other touch points.

Today, most businesses have at least half a dozen forms of advertising all occurring at the same time. The hope is that a prospect sees one of these and their interest is heightened as they start to be exposed to other forms of your advertising. By the time the prospect arrives at your doorstep, they have seen multiple advertising messages over a prolonged time. Yet we expect them to remember unaided how they know your business. I struggle to remember the weekend let alone an advert I saw eight weeks ago. It is my experience that when you ask the question, “So, how did you hear of us?” your prospect will usually mention the source they spent most time with or, not wanting to offend you, they will tell you any old media so the conversation can move on.  

What you miss out on - what is critically important - is how the prospect became aware of your business. What had them become interested enough to visit your website or to ask around? Answers to these questions are fundamental to understanding the value of all your advertising.

So, do you still think you know where your leads come from? Do you still believe you know what sources of advertising are working for you?

If you’d like to discuss your measurement system or would like me to email you through a measurement cheat sheet, then give us a call – I’m more than happy to help.

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