Conversion optimization.. More Than Just Rolling The Dice

Customers often come to us here at Lead Anywhere ready to propel their business to the next level. One of the first questions we ask a prospective client is “Do you have any idea what kind of demand exists for products like yours, if so, where is that demand going to buy today and how are you getting your message in front of them?” Ahh yes, a very good question indeed and an important one too for anyone that is looking to use Lead Anywhere’s Digital Demand Capture service.

A couple of days ago my wife and I decided to resurrect an old board game from the bottom of our long forgotten game box in the basement. Monopoly was a passion of mine growing up, I loved to play it! I remember playing monopoly to pass the time on Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving Day, and other family gatherings. To me, monopoly was a game that required real strategy (sorry chess…), people skills, negotiating skills, little bit of luck, and above all, an executed game plan.

We blew the dust off the box and unveiled the small aluminum game pieces, game board, cards, and all the little plastic houses. I couldn’t wait to indulge myself in a heated game of monopoly with my somewhat unsuspecting wife. She didn’t know I was once the head master of the Monopoly Club in pre-school and elementary, but that’s okay, she didn’t need to know those details… just yet. After the musty odor of old cardboard settled, I generously allowed her to roll the dice and take the first turn.

To make a very short story even shorter, I had never in my life seen or heard of someone losing a game of Monopoly in such a short period of time. I mean, I was out of practice, I get that, but to lose a game of Monopoly to my wife that quickly was humiliating. After I had some time to reflect on the financial bloodshed that just took place, I came to a conclusion on what I had just done wrong:

  • I never had a game plan before we started and ended up making poor choices during the game as a result.
  • When trying to negotiate trades, I focused more on why I needed the trade to happen and not how it could benefit my wife.
  • I was focused more on short term cash than in long term investments

To get a better understanding if you are ready for the Digital Demand Capture service I’d like to reference the hard lessons I learned during the recent Monopoly massacre.

  • What’s your marketing plan?
    • Without a plan it’s hard to determine the objectives, and without objectives it impossible to define success. Since Lead Anywhere’s core focus is on success we like to work with clients that have an established marketing plan and know what they want to achieve.
  • Do you have an established product/service that offers value to your customers?
    • We live in a world where customers demand value. If value isn’t what customers get, they quickly rid themselves of the offering and likely influence others away from it as well. We like to work with clients who have current happy customers that experience all kinds of value.
  • Are you currently making the investments necessary to accomplish your objectives?
    • Plans are great, but not effective if not followed and executed on. There needs to be demand for your product/service in order for us to capture it. Our typical client is investing thousands of dollars on a monthly basis to drive demand for their solution.

If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then WE NEED TO TALK! Digital Demand Capture is an area where investment should be directed in order to capture more of the demand you’re currently generating. On average marketing spend represents 11% of your company’s revenue (CMO Council), yet we only see average conversion rates of 3-9% (MarketingSherpa). We need to plug the gaping hole in the marketing funnel to bring more ROI to your marketing investments.

Remember, if you’re going to play the game then you need to do more than just roll the dice….

Happy playing!

How much does capturing web leads cost?

Last year I was forced to attend a pretty lame event in Las Vegas, Nevada. Apparently I have a deeply rooted loyalty complex for close relatives that invite me to their long awaited wedding. After a seven hour drive in the blistering heat and another two hours standing in the reception line at high noon I was as thirsty as a camel in the middle of the Sahara desert and as hungry as my uncle right before thanksgiving dinner.

I had heard so many great things about the buffets Las Vegas has to offer, although I had never experienced such an endeavor. Well, I figured it was about time to indulge myself and experience what a real buffet had to offer. I bought the $45 ticket for the Bellagio Buffet and instantly knew I made the right choice when the scent of prime rib hit my nose. Needless to say, I probably left that evening with a higher level of cholesterol than my body had ever experienced.

Overall it was a much better experience than the upscale and boring restaurant I had visited the night previously. I remember ordering an overpriced strawberry soup appetizer and what was delivered was an embarrassingly small strawberry in the middle of what looked like an inverted satellite dish sprinkled with cream. As weird as it might sound, I came to the conclusion that although the buffet food was overall more appetizing, my preference was to accrue charges for each food item as I ordered it. It gave me more control over my costs and how they related to value I received.

So, what does this have to do with Lead Anywhere and how we price our Digital Demand Capture service? It’s really quite simple, we have an option that accommodates all appetites/budgets. Before I explain the different pricing models for our Digital Demand Capture service, let me briefly touch on the subject of investment.

We’ve got some smart people here at Lead Anywhere, and I mean damn smart! We’ve got thought leaders here that have been doing online optimization and capturing online demand for 10+ years and have the awards/relationships to prove it. Trust me, you want these guys strategically working with you to maximize what can be captured from the demand you’ve generated as a marketer. To do that, it requires a team of intelligent people analyzing results, designing content, engaging with customers, and reviewing the outcome. The more you are able to invest, the more attention you’ll get to deliver more results. Just like my buffet experience, the food at the $45 buffet was superb, and I was happy to foot the bill for such a great return. However, I could have gone around the corner to that low cost leader buffet and left with what I essentially call, “Bubble Guts.” Your investment directly impacts the return we are able to generate for you.

Flat Fee (Buffet Style):

Just like the Bellagio Buffet, I had to select from a few different prices to get in the door.  They had a few different options like breakfast, lunch, dinner, chefs table, etc..  I selected the pricing that I thought was most in line with the outcome I expected and the one that fit within my budget. After I was in the door, I had free reign to the buffet lines/tables that I had paid for. Lead Anywhere has a customized flat fee pricing model where we work with you to understand your goals and objectives. We then internally decide what kind of investment it will take on our part to deliver you those goals and objectives. After that investment is determined we work with you to set some goals that fall in line with the return that you’d expect to receive from that investment.

Pay for Performance (Restaurant Style):

Pay per Opportunity

You get the menu, select the food that sounds most appetizing, and understand what you’re going to pay for each item. Our pay for performance offering really isn’t all that different.  You decide the type(s) of opportunities you want us to deliver, you tell us what you’re willing to invest in those opportunities, we go find them and deliver them back to your table.  You have the ability to review each opportunity before paying, if it meets the criteria then you can accept it, if not, decline it and we’ll go back to the kitchen until we get it right.

Pay per Dollar Generated

What would you be willing to invest in getting $1,000,000 in pipelined opportunities? You tell us, and that’s what we’ll charge you to go get it. This pricing option is easily scalable for organizations that need to source funding from different budgets or organizations.

Pay per Dollar Closed

Have you ever ordered something at a restaurant and weren’t happy with what you got? Maybe the food was too cold, tasted funny, and wasn’t cooked correctly. Restaurants that value their customers and want nothing but customer satisfaction will typically take it back at no charge and fix whatever problem existed until they get it right. We’re the same at Lead Anywhere in the sense that we are 100% focused on customer satisfaction, that’s why we only charge you’re when you’re satisfied. You decide what you’re willing to invest in every dollar you see close from the opportunities we generate. Perhaps you are targeting a 6X return on your investment. When we deliver an opportunity that closes for $600, we’ll then charge $100 for that closed opportunity. That $100 is then used as investment in Lead Anywhere resources to find more opportunities.

Whether you choose Flat Fee or Pay for Performance, it doesn’t matter. Lead Anywhere is 100% focused on customer satisfaction and long term relationships. We believe our service and customer satisfaction so much that we’ve even priced our solution in a way that focuses on the outcome, not the effort. So in the end, just make sure you pick the right restaurant.

Let the feast begin.

A Demo of Digital Demand Capture™

demo2Our value proposition is pretty straightforward. We deliver you buyers and provide you all the information you need to connect with them and close them. We call these Sales-Ready Opportunities. Other people call them Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) or Pipelined Opportunities. Call them whatever you want. If you are a marketer, the results are that your campaigns will generate twice the number of leads that become buyers. If you are on the sales side, you will be closing twice the number of deals from the leads you are provided. People like that idea. So much so, we have yet to be fired by a client. And we are working hard to continue in that direction.

One of the top questions that comes up with prospective clients is how we are able to produce such high quality leads and opportunities. The short answer is that while your marketing campaigns are doing a great job of generating demand, your websites are doing a terrible job of capturing it. We solve that.

Our Digital Demand Capture service integrates with online sites and media (including your own websites) and finds potential buyers as they are actively researching. It identifies these buyers from all the other traffic and dynamically adjusts content to introduce compelling calls-to-action that motivate and funnel them into a conversation with one of our human experts. These conversations can occur via chat, email, the telephone, and even text messaging. But the point is, these dialogues are the critical piece to understanding what (if any) opportunity really exists and the motivations and objections critical to helping a salesperson close the sale. These buyer narratives provide all the critical context that is missing from nearly every other lead generation source.

We successfully use Digital Demand Capture in our own marketing efforts and so I’ve prepared a couple of demos that you can view that actually dissect what is going on and shows you step by step the content that is being changed based on what is being learned about the prospective buyer.

oracle Eloqua/Oracle Marketing Cloud Demo

As an Oracle Marketing Cloud Partner, we have various marketing campaigns targeted to Eloqua users. This demo will show you how Digital Demand Capture works with that audience in mind.

 

 

amy Double your Pleasure Demo

We run a lot of different digital campaigns like this that highlight a particular client and how we’ve doubled the number of leads that become buyers. This demo will show you how Digital Demand Capture works with that audience in mind.

Oracle Recognizes Marketing All-Stars at the 2014 Markie Awards

markie2On October 16th in London, England one of our favorite clients was crowned winner of Oracle’s worldwide Markie award for Metrics that Matter. AGCO Corporation is a Fortune 500 company that manufactures and sells agriculture equipment (I’m talking really, really big tractors) around the world. We’d like to relish in their glory for a few minutes because, dammit, they couldn’t have done it without us. Our client contact, James (who, incidentally, now insists that we call him Sir James) even said so.

“We won! We couldn’t have done it without you guys!”

That isn’t all he said, but I want to hold onto that feeling of vicariously walking down the red carpet and having our name called out, the room erupting in applause, and us winning a coveted gold statue just a little longer. Okay, I’m done.

The truth is, AGCO deserved to win. Specifically, Sir James, Kendra, Peter, and their respective marketing team deserved to win. You see, AGCO is a very large company and has struggled with a common ailment of many large companies. Marketing would generate “leads” (you already know those quotes mean they weren’t necessarily leads, right?) and handed them off to the sales team and their dealers. The sales team and dealers largely ignored them because of the poor quality they experienced with so many of them. James, Kendra, and Peter spent well over a year working to completely revamp the entire lead management process to ensure high-quality leads were being produced and submitted and the right automation was in place to streamline it all–all while continuing to run the existing operation.

While originally looking for a vendor that could provide an online chat solution, AGCO ultimately selected us to provide our full Digital Demand Capture™ service because they saw how central it was to their strategy.

Here’s why:

  • The Digital Demand Capture service produces sales-ready leads and opportunities on a pay-for-performance basis.
  • From all marketing campaigns driving people to a web site, it intelligently identifies the potential buyers among all the other site traffic using behavioral analysis.
  • It dynamically adjusts site content to align with a potential buyer’s motivations and better persuade him or her to take a desired action.
  • It utilizes web forms, live chat, phone conversations, and even text messaging to ensure a dialogue occurs with each potential buyer.
  • Where opportunities exist, a complete buyer narrative is created that details the value of the opportunity and what needs to be done to close it.
  • It integrates with the top marketing automation and CRM platforms (Eloqua, Marketo, Pardot, SalesForce, MS Dynamics, Sales Cloud, etc.) to keep data synchronized and relevant for the sales and marketing teams.
  • It provides the marketing metrics that matter, including things like: what buyer personas and buying stages is each marketing campaign producing, what is the value in opportunities produced by each marketing campaign, how many closed sales resulted from each marketing campaign.
opp

Click to see an actual example of a Digital Demand Capture opportunity.

Click to see an example of aggregate reporting.

Click to see an example of aggregate reporting.

While the aggregate metrics were very valuable to AGCO, the individual buyer narratives included with each generated opportunity were even more so. Internal opinions (though interesting they may be) became largely irrelevant to the actual situations, motivations, and concerns of prospective buyers. One-size-fits-all approaches that historically didn’t fit anyone evolved into processes that were able to truly address individual needs.

Groups outside of just sales and marketing adopted the data to better tailor dealer trainings and financing options. Product teams had access to the real-time voice of existing customers as well as competitive customers to learn from.

In short, AGCO was able to get their arms around the individual buyer metrics and as a result now has more control and impact over the aggregate metrics that upper management and shareholders value. Did I mention they also got a really cool Oscar like trophy as well?

Why you really do want us talking to your prospective customers

My brother is a Doctor. When we get together, he loves to share stories about what he encounters on a daily basis. He loves it because with the right story he can literally get me down the path to fainting. Yes, I’m that squeamish. At the same time, there are other stories that have me amazed or at least amused. These usually involve an object being removed from an orifice it was never intended for. I always feel better about myself after hearing these stories.

The interesting thing is that many of the stories have him nowhere to be found while a nurse or medical assistant is the one  getting their hands dirty (and I do mean that literally). Make no mistake, these men and women are acting under his direction and ultimately he is responsible for the outcome but he has complete trust in their ability to facilitate and take care of much of the patient’s needs and get him involved at the appropriate time.

Our clients have recognized that the same is true with Digital Demand Capture. We aren’t the experts that create the proposals and ultimately sell your products and services. You are. We are the experts that can take a prospective buyer that is otherwise ready to leave your website and motivate them to stay and have a conversation with us. We do this by aligning with their unique motivations and offering them something they value. It may be a very specific case-study, a white-paper around the specific problem they are looking to solve, facilitating getting a demo setup, or sharing details on the latest financing options. We facilitate sharing this value and building persuasive momentum while simultaneously capturing the demand and details of the opportunity that exists. And of course with that done, the final part is continuing the buying progression by putting the opportunity into the hands of your sales team who can get the deal closed.

 

 

The case for ‘demand capture’ in a ‘demand generation’ world

gold2A couple of years ago I got hooked on the “Gold Rush” television series. If you aren’t familiar with it, imagine several amateur gold hunters venturing into the Klondike to strike it rich (you can learn more here).  As with any good story, and after four full seasons of gold mining, there are some clear winners and losers (at least as far as finding gold is concerned).

The difference between the winners and losers? The losers, though entertaining to watch, are constantly abandoning one mine to find and hit the mother lode in another. They haven’t hit it yet, but it is sure fun to watch them try! The winners, on the other hand, have systematically created their process for finding gold in the ground and extracting as much as they possibly can. And we are not talking about extracting million dollar nuggets. We are talking primarily about small gold flakes and gold dust. Stuff you wouldn’t even see in a shovel full of the dirt that is carrying it.

So what does that have to do with you trying to generate more leads and customers for your business? If you want to be a winner, you have to do the same damn thing. You need to be good at generating demand and even better at capturing it. The thing about generating demand is that if you don’t capture and capitalize on it, someone else will.

The de facto way to capture demand today is on your website–the very place where you will find the demand that has been generated. At least that part is convenient. What isn’t convenient is that, like the gold in the dirt, this demand is hidden amongst all the other people visiting your site and must be separated. Having good web content that caters to different types of visitors is the most common and effective way to do this. Job hunters go left, prospective customers go right. But then what? How do you capture that demand?

For e commerce sites, the check-out and purchase is a clear measure that demand has indeed been captured and converted. But what about all those people that are putting things in shopping carts, very nearly checking out and then abandoning?

For Lead Generation based initiatives, the act of submitting the form is considered to be when the demand was captured. Here you have two problems. The first is that the vast majority of prospective buyers won’t fill out your form. The second is that those that do are usually lost in a longer list of unqualified people and usually ignored by the sales team. Just ask any sales person who gets to call on those “leads” and they will likely tell you that you can’t call your dirt gold just because it found its way into the sluice box.

You can reduce those problems in a couple of ways and see a dramatic increase  in your results. First, utilize dynamic content where your website adjusts based on who the visitor is and what their unique needs are. Second, don’t rely solely on content that is having a monologue with your visitors and web forms that force all leads to look the same. Insert human expertise that can have an actual dialogue with each prospective buyer and truly understand and facilitate their needs while fully capturing the opportunity. They don’t need to be product experts or seasoned sales professionals. They need to be able to align with the demand that was generated and provide real value. This could be scheduling a demo. It could be facilitating a custom plan for them. It could be as simple as emailing a case study over to them. Anything that gives the prospective buyer value and gives you the ability to capture more of the demand.

With actual context and confidence in the opportunity, your sales teams will be begging for more instead of ignoring them. Our clients have consistently seen results on their campaigns quadruple by employing these tools and techniques. Playing marketing-musical-chairs and feeling that the mother lode will be hit with your next campaign will always be more exciting than the above. But aside from the excitement, there are still winners and losers.