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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
 

Making Customer Touches Measurable

 
Last week, Marka and the FEI tribe discussed a potential pitfall faced by many market researchers and how to avoid it. This week is the first in a series of conversations on how tracking a marketing program’s success can allow FEI (and printing companies) to modify their activities to achieve better results. Remember, fire = print.

Lunchtime in the FEI conference room was a noisy, often disgusting affair, with Zoot, Org and others scarfing down lamb pizza at an alarming rate. Marka knew it would take a bold statement to get the tribe’s attention.

She cleared her throat. “I’m concerned that FEI doesn’t have a tracking system in place to monitor which sales and marketing activities are most effective in terms of ROI.”

Org perked up at the mention of ROI. “What would you do differently if you had this information?” he asked.

“If we’re getting lots of leads from the O-web, for instance, we could put in an additional CSR to field queries in that area,” Marka replied. “If our ‘Olympians Day’ mailer garners fantastic response and conversion rates, then we could pick up our direct mailing efforts.”

Org tugged his ear the way he always did when a subject held his interest. “So you’re suggesting we align our promotional activities with results and match cost outflows to revenue inflows.”

“Yes,” Marka continued. “But, first we need to put a system in place that tracks [listing the customer touches off on her fingers for emphasis]:
  • Sales calls
  • Telesales efforts
  • Coordinated O-mails
  • CNP mailings
  • Social O-media campaigns
  • Collateral effectiveness
  • Networking leads
  • O-web leads
  • Airwave and print advertising
  • Search engine advertising

“In addition, contacting prospects and customers via different channels—O-mail, direct mail, etc.—should mean tracking these sources of referral as well,” Marka explained.

“After we’ve tracked this information, Numo can crunch the numbers and determine the total cost and ROI of each activity,” she continued. “Over time, these measurements can help us establish guidelines of what works and make more strategic business decisions based on this knowledge.”

“The idea is to alter future actions based on present data,” Zoot said with understanding. “But, we can’t stop there. We also need to track the cost of each sales conversion.”

Numo perked up at the mention of the cost. “Tracking the cost of each sales conversion will allow us to create useful marketing metrics that can help us make more financially intelligent marketing decisions,” he pointed out.

“How can we do that?” Marka asked with curiosity.

“I’m glad you asked,” said Numo, smiling.

Today’s FIRE! Point
Tracking the effectiveness of your promotional activities can help you match these activities with results and match cost outflows to revenue inflows. Over time, these measurements will allow you to establish guidelines of what works and make more strategic business decisions based on this knowledge.

FIRE! in Action
Alibris Makes its Google Adwords Campaign Measurable

The online bookseller knows its Google AdWords campaign is producing ROI, because every website visit and order made through AdWords is tracked and measured against the cost of the program. With help from AdWords, the business has seen its sales grow 80 percent over a four-year time period.

Next week: The FEI tribe discusses making their sales activities measurable.

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