In this Q&A with 2019 Practice of the Year, John Brickley, PT, MA, Vice President, Ambulatory Operations & Network Development at MedStar Rehab Network, discusses how the company achieved major financial success in a non-profit environment.
You’ve done your research, the perfect Nurse Practitioner Program is waiting for you, the anticipation is building, and you can see your new career waiting…. (Read More)
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If you’re in marketing, it’s likely you’re tracking leads using forms on your website. But if your ads, emails, or landing pages include a phone number, you may be missing out on credit for leads that come in through a call (or text). Depending on your industry, callers can be the most motivated leads. Call tracking helps complete the full picture of the customer journey and shows you how each campaign is performing.
Call tracking 101
Call tracking at the most basic level is pretty simple – it’s using a unique phone number for each marketing campaign to tell calls from each campaign apart.
For example, Atlanta Auto currently spends money on online marketing like Google Ads and offline marketing in the form of direct mail to help generate leads to their business. Atlanta Auto’s marketers want to make sure their phone leads are being tracked, so they purchase two unique phone numbers from their call tracking provider: one for Google Ads and one for direct mail.
How phone call tracking works:
- Atlanta Auto launches both campaigns using tracking phone numbers instead of their main business line.
- When a potential customer sees one of those marketing campaigns and calls the number, that call will be forwarded to Atlanta Auto’s main business number (unbeknownst to the customer)
- Not only will Atlanta Auto’s marketing team be able to generate reports that show which campaign is generating inbound calls, but they will also be able to see logs of their calls with the following details:
- The caller’s name, telephone number, and location (from caller ID data)
- The source of the call (manually set by the marketer, ie ‘Google Ads’ or ‘Direct Mail Spring 2020’)
- The recording of the call
- + Transcription, with AI-powered highlights provided for quick scanning
- The caller’s timeline
- This includes previous calls and texts from this person
- Tags that categorize these interactions and notes on previous interactions with this customer
Ready for more?
It gets a lot more fun and fancy from here. Let’s talk about leads interacting with your website.
Dynamic number insertion, or DNI, is a method of advanced call tracking on your website. You install a snippet of code on your website (or CallRail’s convenient WordPress plugin) that’s connected to a pool of phone numbers. As visitors come to your site, each person sees a different phone number (dynamically swapping out your main phone number on each page). When they dial that phone number, call tracking providers tie each visitor’s session data to that unique phone number when they call.
With DNI, Atlanta Auto will get more details on their landing page leads without having to set up each campaign individually. Now leads that call from any ad will be associated in the call log with their sessions on the Atlanta Auto site – including landing page parameters, referring sites, etc. Instead of having one unique tracking number per campaign, now each visitor is (temporarily) given a unique tracking number for their use only, so the call tracking provider can identify them and provide even richer data. This gives Atlanta Auto marketers proof that a ppc ad generated leads, even if the lead didn’t call until sessions or days after originally clicking the ad!
With DNI, your call tracking software should be able to get you all the data above, plus:
- The source of the visitor (dynamically populated based on digital fingerprints, ie. session data: Google Organic, Direct, Google Paid, Facebook, etc)
- Paid Search Keywords & Campaigns (dynamically populated from valuetrack parameters and Google Ads integration)
- The visitor session data
- Landing page
- Pages visited
- Active page during the call
- The device and browser the caller used
- The caller’s advanced timeline including session data
Previous calls / texts / form submissions
Previous sessions (whether or not they resulted in a call / text / form submission)
With DNI, you can report on all the marketing touchpoints a specific lead interacted with before converting, so your efforts will still get credited even if the lead saw your ad weeks before contacting you.[insert photo]
With this granular data, Atlanta Auto has insight into specific details on the customer journey of a lead. They can see reporting on which ads, marketing channels, campaigns, emails, keywords, and pages are converting best, empowering them to make decisions on where to focus time and money to get the most leads. For example, maybe an ‘Atlanta Auto Cares’ campaign was very successful at the top of the funnel, getting people to click and visit the website for the first time. Many of these visitors returned later to look at the services list, some calling in and some booking an appointment online at some point in the next month. With call tracking, the ‘Atlanta Auto Cares’ campaign gets credit for all those leads!
How savvy marketers use their call tracking data
Marketers prove additional value by connecting previously untracked phone call leads to marketing campaigns. Call tracking software like CallRail integrate with a number of different softwares, so marketers see improved data accuracy across platforms (Google Ads, Facebook, HubSpot, Salesforce, and many more). Attribution, CPL (cost per lead), and ROI (return on interest) reporting becomes more accurate, allowing you to make key decisions on your ad spend to optimize future returns.
Even for the most channel-centric companies, partner conflict is inevitable. Conflict can occur for various reasons such as pricing, poor communication, or even deals poached by the direct sales team. By being proactive, you can take steps to prevent these issues.
To increase channel sales, it’s vital to keep your product top of mind with your partners. Depending on the industry, your partner may be selling hundreds, if not thousands, of other products. So what can you do to increase “mindshare” with your partners so that they prioritize you?
In competitive industries like IT and software, partners rely on trust and loyalty. The partner they trust the most is usually the partner they do the most business with. Channel managers are often the “face” of their organization within channel relationships. The channel manager’s decisions during partner conflicts can have dire consequences.
There are two sides to preventing channel conflict. One is the logistical side: access to information and ease of selling your product. The other is the relational piece: conflict resolution and building strong partnerships. The following tips will show you how to handle both.
1. Show investment in your partners
Let’s face it. As a channel manager, you’ll eventually let your partners down. As with all healthy relationships, conflicts are natural and should serve to make the relationship stronger. To mitigate hurt feelings, prove to your partners that you’re investing in them.
If your partner feels that you’re on their team and want them to succeed, they’ll be more understanding. Are you paying adequate attention to your partner? How often do you check in with them, update them, come to them with new leads? This brings us to tip #2, which is to invest in the right partner portal.
2. Think through a solid communication strategy
Efficient communication is the bedrock of your relationships with partners. By being transparent about goals and expectations, you’ll avoid confusion around performance expectations. By training and equipping them with the proper tools, you increase their confidence.
Channel partners should have access to updated, co-branded marketing materials at all times. With several other products in their arsenal, your channel may not be able to pitch your product adequately. This is where having the right sales collateral comes in to bridge the gap. With easy access to marketing materials, there’s a higher chance of hooking the customer during meetings.
Your channel partners don’t have the benefit of in-house employees. Being outside of your company prevents them from receiving consistent training and motivation. By investing in partner training, they’ll be more prepared. Through the training process, the relationships strengthen.
After you’ve invested in your partners, it’s important to track your results. By gathering data, you’ll be able to determine if your partners are meeting your KPI’s. By analyzing these stats, you can determine who needs more coaching or market development funds.
3. Create a solid, yet dynamic deal registration process.
Your deal registration process is where your partner relationships solidify. Its rules can either help or hinder your reputation with the channel. A deal registration process outlines how your partners should do business with you.
Deal registration rules of engagement depend on the customer’s buying process. When the end customer entertains more than one partner at a time, you’ll most likely have a “first come first serve ” rule. While there can be exceptions to these rules, best practices do exist for creating your deal registration process:
Incentives for registration
Most deal registration programs provide competitive pricing and added support. This is the main motivator for partners to register deals in the first place. Joint sales efforts such as communication and collaboration will live in your PRM. An example of this is Allbound’s unified pipeline feature. You and your partner need to keep each other up to date on every stage of the deal.
Deal registration is rarely cut and dry, but partners need to view your rules as fair. When two partners are competing for the same customer, deal registration can be awarded to whoever is furthest along. This could mean providing proof of an on-site customer visit or demo of the product.
Implementing a partner relationship management system (PRM) makes deal registration easier. Partners will be able to log deals in the system with date stamps and records of changes. Having these records in one place creates accountability. It also allows channel managers to see the facts with their own eyes so that they can decide between the two partners.
Deal visibility is important, especially for forecasting. Update opportunities in real-time so reps can take necessary action to close deals. Being able to see deal progression is especially important for newer companies. Sales leadership uses this data to understand the channel sales cycle as a whole.
4. Keep the focus on the customer
In uncomfortable clashes between two partners, it’s easy to lose sight of the customer. Unfortunately, channel conflict can have potential negative consequences on your end-customers. This can include customers not getting the best price or delayed orders.
Despite both sides of the partnership wanting to close the deal, the customer comes first. Sometimes you’ll need to remind your partners of this. Communicating this can prevent hurt feelings.
5. Limit the number of channel partners
This strategy is last because it may not apply to all industries. For software and technology companies, reducing the number of channel partners creates exclusivity. It also motivates your partners to invest their time and energy into you. Having less known competitors reduces the frequency of channel conflicts.
To reduce channel conflict, prevention is key. Cohesive communication and tangible investments in your partnerships make them stronger. Creating fair rules and processes prevents partner competition from turning ugly. Forethought goes a long way when it comes to creating long-lasting, profitable partnerships.
As we approach the end of the calendar year, we find ourselves inundated with tasks and responsibilities in and outside of work that keep our minds and inboxes busy. Approximately 83 percent of workers are stressed by at least one thing at work and 30 percent of U.S. employees have high levels of stress. Predictably, these numbers are even higher for entrepreneurs. In the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, 34 percent of entrepreneurs–four percentage points more than other workers–reported they were worried. And 45 percent of entrepreneurs said they were stressed, three percentage points more than other workers.
Jessica Carpenter, founder of Wellness Staffers and SEED SPOT alumna, explains the relationship between mindfulness and resilience in the workplace. “I think that mindfulness in any environment is important, but especially in the workplace because it builds and replenished resiliency. Resiliency is the thing that helps us get the job done, recover and move on to the next step. Being mindful gives us the ability to slow down so that we are more present and aware of our in-the-moment needs. This type of mental focus helps guide our actions with calm clarity.”
Many of our team members and entrepreneurs consider mindfulness a strategy that can be used to channel stressful situations into an opportunity for further motivation, energy, and creativity. Sometimes, incorporating mindfulness into a work routine can seem like a task within itself. At SEED SPOT, we find that fitting in mindfulness is something we all strive to do on a day-to-day basis… and breaking it down into mini moments makes it even simpler to achieve.
Pause Your Notifications
Gmail offers many tools and plugins to manage notifications – many on our team use Boomerang to bring emails in and return them at key times of focus. Many also “pause” their inboxes during times of peak workflow or during meetings to avoid getting message overload.
Chief of Staff, Corinn Perry, limits her calendar notification reminders for virtual meetings to be one minute before the meeting starts. “I’ve found that it’s the optimal amount of time to close out what I’m working on, get my headphones set and click on the link for the next meeting, rather than having to keep it in the back of my mind for 5-10 minutes.”
Many team members also use statuses on Slack to indicate they’re not receiving messages. Do-not-disturb is a great way to manage focus and prevent overloads of information. It’s also important to let your teammates know how they can get in touch with you if it’s urgent. Letting them know that a phone call is appropriate for urgent or important communications will allow you to prevent notification and message fatigue.
Mini-Time Management Tricks
On weeks when time is extra scarce, our team consciously blocks off time for not only meetings and calls but also for breaks, work time, and even food! Director of Training and Support, Tristan Gandolfi also sets seated time limits to make sure that back-to-back calls don’t keep her sedentary for too long.
Setting timers or utilizing alarms to break up longer stretches of work time or deep “flow” in work actually support productivity in the long run. “I try to go hard 25-30 minutes at a time then take a two-minute break to breathe, take a moment, and prioritize,” says Vid Micevic, SEED SPOT’s Senior Entrepreneur Support & Impact Analyst, who utilizes the Pomodoro technique of working for about 25 minutes with short breaks in between. The technique supports task ownership and encourages focus by setting mindful boundaries between pieces of work that would otherwise be blockers.
There’s an app for that. Headspace and Calm are incredible apps that make short meditation accessible for even the most entry-level meditators. Being able to work up to longer meditations is all a part of the process – practicing influences your resiliency in the face of setbacks and your ability to focus for longer and more productive periods of time.
Mindful Breaks and Breathing Between Meetings
We all have those days where one Zoom call cascades into another until hours of time have passed and we haven’t had a chance to take our eyes off the screen. Senior Marketing Manager, Bianca Buliga, makes it a point to take an intentional break after long stretches of meetings to ensure that she is refreshed and refocused. “Stretches and intentional breathing after back-to-back meetings” are what help her brain bounce back to its optimal performance.
In a world where many jobs can be done from behind a laptop, commuting to and from an office can often be seen as a chore rather than an opportunity. “Honestly, I find a lot of mindfulness on my way to work,” said Vid. “Biking to work clears the mind and makes me come to work on such a good energy level. If I work from home, I try to stretch every couple of hours. If it’s a nice day, a nice stroll to enjoy working at a nearby coffee shop and soak in the day outside.”
Many team members take the opportunity to take calls while out on walks, or simply just sitting outside.
Take a PTO Day Just Because
This one is a little longer than a moment, but think of it as a mini-staycation. Paid-Time-Off tends to be associated with a big event, travel, or over multiple days in order to be “valid.” Don’t just use your PTO for events where your energy may be depleted – spend some time renewing yourself and taking a break. Between work days, remember to combat cycles of hard work with true breaks to eliminate symptoms of burnout and to recharge your energy.
Mindfulness at work is not a one-time goal. It requires plenty of practice to positively affect your productivity and work-life balance. By incorporating these mini moments of mindfulness into our everyday routines, we aspire to keep energy high and create a productive, collaborative and creative environment to support entrepreneurs.
Are you looking to start or grow a business that prioritizes mindfulness in the workplace? Search for an upcoming SEED SPOT program near you HERE.
This is a guest post by our friends at Logical Position, an Oregon-based digital marketing agency.
There’s a famous saying in the advertising world from marketing pioneer John Wanamaker: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” It has always been important to prove to your clients that they’re getting the most for their money, but how do you go about doing that?
The online world and digital marketing have provided incredible opportunities for advertisers, who now can easily gain insights into their marketing efforts and learn where their money goes. However, navigating this mass of data presents its own challenges.
What is ROI, and how do I measure it?
The truth is, the way you measure and prove ROI (Return On Investment) can vary greatly depending on your business and its unique goals.
For instance, consider the different strategies and tactics that ecommerce businesses use compared to lead generation and service-based businesses — ecommerce businesses probably don’t see as much value in phone calls as they do in online purchases. On the other hand, service-based companies typically put more stock in contact form submissions and inbound phone calls.
To understand ROI for a given business, you first need to understand how the business operates, and what their goals are. That’s why it is crucial to have an in-depth conversation with the client to determine how they want digital marketing to fit into their business as a whole.
Why ROI is important
How do you know that your marketing dollars are being put to good use? Whether you’re investing in a paid search campaign, new car, or college education, getting the most bang for your buck is important in all aspects of life. It’s all about the value of your investment compared to the value of your return — nobody wants to spend more than they have to.
If your clients are losing money, aren’t aware, or lacking sales volume from online marketing, it may be time to adjust their marketing strategies and/or adjust their business goals.
How to prove ROI: Setting clear expectations
For brevity’s sake, in this post we’ll only discuss how to demonstrate and calculate ROI for paid search. All online marketing channels — search engine optimization, paid social media, influencer marketing, affiliates, email, etc. — will have different purposes, goals, tracking, and methods of proving ROI to the client. Use this method as a guide to starting conversation with your clients about proving ROI. Also, be sure to look beyond each channel’s silo, since marketing can influence customers (even if it can’t be measured by a last-click attribution in Google Analytics).
The perception of return on investment is a direct result of expectations set at the beginning of the campaign. Just because a client had success in paid search advertising several years ago doesn’t mean they should expect the same return out of their current paid search campaigns. Maybe their tracking was not set up correctly in the past, giving them an inflated perception of their ROI from pay-per-click ads.
Another factor is that the paid search advertising landscape has changed greatly in the last few years. There is less space for paid advertising on Google, and more people are competing for that space, creating a more competitive landscape in which it is difficult to stand out.
It’s crucial that you have a conversation with your clients about what realistic expectations are for their paid search advertising and how much ROI is possible, and what forms that ROI will come in.
In prior eras of advertising, it was much more difficult to measure the effectiveness of your ad budget and how much ROI you would get from it. If you set up a billboard on a busy highway or ran a TV spot during a program with high viewership, how do you know how many purchases those tactics led to?
One of the best features of Google Ads is the ability to track conversions, which allows advertisers to see their ads’ effect on their business in real-time. Tracking conversions offer a clear insight into the ROI of your Paid Search advertising. If someone clicks on your ad and then makes a purchase, you can see how much you paid for that advertisement and how much revenue you brought in from the purchase.
Some businesses cannot sell their products or services online. As such, online purchases aren’t the only conversions that one can track via Google Ads. Lead generation businesses can measure phone calls, contact form submissions, app downloads, and other types of conversions as well.
Micro-conversions are also an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to measuring the ROI of your Google Ads account. There are many different points along the path to purchase besides the final acquisition, and micro conversions (small trackable victories that help push a customer down the path toward purchase) are a way to measure these steps and assign a value to them.
Talk with the client about their goals and which conversions are most important to them. From here, you can design your paid search strategy around the results that matter most to the client’s bottom line.
Calculating campaign ROI: Online vs. offline conversions
A particular campaign’s ROI depends on how you measure its success. You also need to measure the value of micro conversions and offline conversions throughout the sales funnel. This will give you the most accurate depiction of ROI, as well as the value of your online conversions.
While online conversions (e-commerce sales, phone calls, etc.) may be the clearest indication that your Google Ads have given you a return, they don’t show the full picture. Offline conversions are another huge part of how leads interact with brands and make purchasing decisions. These take place sometime after a consumer clicks or otherwise interacts with your ad.
When calculating ROI for e-commerce sites, we typically take the revenue from paid ads and divide it by the total amount spent on paid ads during a given time frame. For instance, if you spent $5,000 in Google Ads and made $25,000 in revenue, then your return on ad spend (ROAS) is 500 percent. Lead generation ROI is usually calculated by dividing your ad spend by the total number of leads (phone calls, contact forms, etc.) that you acquired, which tells you your average cost per lead (CPL). So, if you spent $5,000 for a total of 100 leads, your average CPL is $50.
Metrics used to prove ROI
The common metrics that marketers use to measure online marketing effectiveness are typically relevant for every website. However, the metrics that are most important to your business can vary based on your business goals.
Sales are an obvious metric to track success, but what about other conversions? Overall site traffic is another big one — without a foundation of traffic to your site, how will you generate sales? Online marketing provides an immense amount of data for you to analyze, but ultimately it comes down to which metrics are most important to your client.
For example, consider Hanna Andersson children’s clothing. This company had already established a successful online store, but they came to Logical Position to help build on their previous success and increase customer acquisition without sacrificing overall account efficiency.
In this case, where the client already has a profitable ecommerce site and a good return on ad spend (ROAS), the metrics used to show a positive ROI differ from the metrics that would be highlighted if the client was just starting their Google Ads efforts. The result of Logical Position’s work was a 403 percent increase in revenue and a 14 percent increase in ROAS, while simultaneously reducing cost-per-click (CPC) by 27 percent.
Each of these metrics shows the increases in revenue from the Google Shopping campaign as well its improved efficiency. By highlighting these metrics, marketers can prove to clients that their work has been profitable and benefitted the business and its goals.
How do you analyze ROI metrics?
If you utilize a marketing automation platform such as HubSpot, you have access to data related to your entire cross-channel marketing strategy. When reviewing these metrics with clients, you have to convey the data through the lens of the business owner. This will help owners understand how each metric affects them and how their online marketing efforts are helping their business.
For a smaller business that is starting to look deeper into online marketing, it may be useful to compare their current data to the same time period in previous years to demonstrate growth. More established businesses with seasonal or product-specific goals might be interested in driving traffic to a certain page or product rather than increasing traffic to the site overall. Whatever the case may be, to analyze the data from your online marketing, you need to look at it through the lens of your client’s business goals.
Analysis for ecommerce companies varies; it can be very simple, and it can also be complicated. If your product margin is 40 percent, and you’re getting over a 250 percent ROAS (revenue from ads is at least 2.5 times your ad-spend), you drove a profit. Many companies in the ecommerce space need to separate out brand and non-brand search for ROAS goals, and for deciding overall profitability. For many ecommerce companies it does not make sense for non-brand search to drive profit, but just break even. Profit will come from brand searches and email campaigns. Other ecommerce companies need to show profit on non-brand search, as they don’t get repeat purchases.
Lead generation companies will analyze ROI through lead close rates and lead costs. Whenever possible, try to match up leads from marketing with closed deals. For some companies, this means passing through UTM parameters in the lead form to the CRM. Some companies will also need to match up calls from call tracking systems (such as CallRail) to closed deals. Does the cost per lead make sense based on the close rate of those leads?
Tools and resources for producing ROI reports
Online advertising can lead to a massive amount of data. As such, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the resources at your disposal for reporting this data. Tools such as Google Data Studio and Google Analytics can provide insights into your ads, as well as customized reports that organize the data into a smaller, more digestible form. Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Facebook, and other platforms include reporting tools built-in to the service.
It’s rare to find a one-size-fits-all model that works for reporting, so it’s crucial to assess the tools at your disposal and select the ones that can accurately and effectively report data from your marketing efforts. In many cases, the data tracking tools available through Microsoft Excel are the best tools for the job.
Proving cross-channel ROI
In a marketing utopia, we would be able to reach our potential customers through a single convenient channel and continue to reach out through the same channel. Returning customers would use this channel to continue their relationship with our brand. We would then be able to access the data from our marketing efforts via one convenient dashboard. Unfortunately, marketing rarely follows our idealistic view of how things should be. The reality of the situation is that there are countless channels for marketers to utilize. The most effective marketing involves meeting your leads where they are, which is seldom a single channel.
The first step for proving the ROI of your cross-channel marketing efforts is to define your objectives and what success looks like. Is the client’s business more focused on sales, or is increasing brand awareness a higher priority? Depending on your client, the goals of your cross-channel marketing can vary greatly. Once you establish these goals, you need to choose the best route for reporting these goals using the data at your disposal. You’ll also need to determine how much value you attribute to each marketing channel. This will allow you to build a detailed sales funnel for your clients’ online businesses based on the attribution model you create.
For instance, when Logical Position began working with Cocofloss in 2017, the brand had already established an effective ecommerce site that drove sales and was a profitable area for their business. Because of this, Cocofloss wasn’t interested in simply driving more visitors to their site. They wanted to increase their brand awareness and drive additional sales through Amazon by using their health-conscious mission to target frequent flossers at each stage of the sales cycle.
Logical Position utilized a multi-channel SEM strategy across Paid Social, Amazon ads, and highly-segmented paid search campaigns. The result? Cocofloss saw a 400 percent increase in multi-product purchases from their site, 5,000 new clients acquired via paid social, and a 78 percent increase in Q1 Amazon store sales year-over-year. Each of these metrics directly correlates with Cocofloss’ business goals.
By using metrics that relate to your clients’ goals, you can more easily show the value of your work to clients, regardless of their industry or type of business.
There are many different attribution models for you to choose from, and each of them has its own benefits. For example, the Last Click model focuses on the most recently used channel before purchase and applies the transaction’s full revenue to that channel. Linear attribution models, however, assign an equal value to each channel.
The right attribution model can help you determine which of your channels is most effective at turning leads into customers. As such, you must decide which model to use so that you can make the most informed decisions regarding your marketing efforts.
How do you calculate social media marketing campaign ROI?
Social media can be more complicated than paid search in terms of proving a return on investment to clients. Nonetheless, it’s still a crucial tool to use in your marketing efforts. For one thing, the nature of how people use social media is vastly different than how they use search engines.
Let’s take a pair of running shoes, for example. On search engines, ads for running shoes will populate when someone takes the effort to type in a search query related to the product. That tells us that the user is actively looking for that product; there is a desire to find running shoes. Ads function very differently on social media. A user might simply scroll past an ad for running shoes and click on it out of curiosity.
In other words, social media requires more digging through Google analytics and your site’s data to determine how much ROI your clients are getting from it.
How can you help clients understand ROI data?
You cannot send a data report and expect your clients to understand how your services are helping them grow their business and meet their goals. It’s important to remember that although you are focusing on the client’s paid search efforts, these campaigns are only a small part of their business as a whole.
What if paid search is getting a 500 percent return on investment, but the rest of their business is struggling? This is a case where your agency needs to show the client the metrics that connect to their business goals, and how paid search can help the company accomplish them.
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