Four solutions for a marketing ROI challenge

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

  1.  Conduct “Did you buy?” surveys (by mail, e-mail or phone) to the leads to determine what sales resulted and why or why not.
  2. Compare warranty cards or registrations to leads. Incentivize the returning of warranty cards with hats, t-shirts, etc.
  3. Incentivize the distributor salespeople to report back on closed sales by offering spiffs, bonuses, etc.
  4. 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.