How to address your marketing ROI challenge
What do you do when you have a tough time quantifying marketing return on investment? Recently someone contacted me asking for advice.
“The challenge I face is that we sell 98% of our products through one and two-step distribution. As a result:
- Even if my sales guys follow up the lead, it’s being referred to one of our distributors.
- We don’t know if the prospect ever visits the distributor, much less buys from him.
- Our distributor doesn’t share sales or customer data, because they’re afraid that we will “poach” the customer.
- If you ask the sales team how much the advertising drove the sale, they (obviously) tell me that while it was helpful — they were the key variable in closing the sale.”
We track all of our marketing expenditures and leads, so we have a good sense of what each lead generation source costs us. But I can’t close the loop on an ROI. Any thoughts on how we might approach quantifying it?”
Here are four solutions I suggested
- Conduct “Did you buy?” surveys (by mail, e-mail or phone) to the leads to determine what sales resulted and why or why not.
- Compare warranty cards or registrations to leads. Incentivize the returning of warranty cards with hats, t-shirts, etc.
- Incentivize the distributor salespeople to report back on closed sales by offering spiffs, bonuses, etc.
- Give the lead a “coupon” they can redeem at purchase for a discount or upgrade or add-on. The distributor has to turn it in to get reimbursed, closing the loop.