Humans are often the weak link in the chain

“It’s not the tools you have faith in – tools are just tools – they work, or they don’t work.  It’s the people you have faith in or not.”

Steve Jobs, Apple

It isn’t rocket science.  Every business needs good people inside it.

Digital Jargon

But when it comes to digital marketing, we’re surrounded by so much technology, so many systems (and so much jargon), it’s easy to forget the simple mantra.

Businesses might employ an SEO strategy, a Google Ads campaign, or a Social Media advertising program, and the focus is invariably on the technical elements:

  • Traffic
  • Visitors
  • Bounce rate
  • Clicks
  • Social comments
  • Reach
  • Engagement

And for a digital marketing company, these things are (quite rightly) the core of its work.  They are the tangible metrics.  Things that can be quantified.  Published in a table or on a graph.

And absolutely – they are important numbers to measure, to benchmark and to demonstrate progress.

They are the things that can be used to show where the money is being spent, and how you’re stacking up against the competition.

Do clicks represent value?

Short answer, probably not.

Because visits to a website, or engagement on a Facebook page are not, in themselves, “new business”.   They do not bring revenue into the business.  So while we can assign notional values to these events, they are not conversions or sales.

For most businesses, the main function of a website is to bring people in and generate enquiries.

And for any well-organised marketing campaign, the analytics will be configured to measure these enquiries (and other conversion events), and report on them accordingly.

Enquiries might typically be:

  • Enquiry forms
  • Phone calls
  • Livechats
  • Text messages
  • Social media contact

In all of these situations, this is where the human takes over.

It’s where the ‘clicks’ stop, where the ‘Google Analytics’ trail goes cold (usually), and where the employees step in.

And for any business investing in any type of marketing activity, these inbound enquiries are gold-dust. Lifeblood.

So here’s a question

How good are your people at jumping on these enquiries as soon as they arrive?

What systems do you have in place for logging them, replying to them, and following up on them?

Do they get entered in to your CRM system, or an Excel spreadsheet, or just a post-it note on your desk? (Or worse – you just try to ‘remember’ them, for later.)

Often it’s a question of scale – larger companies (with marketing teams or inbound sales departments) might use software and/or a degree of automation, and will be able to follow every new enquiry through its internal sale processes.

Do they get entered in to your CRM system, or an Excel spreadsheet, or just a post-it note on your desk? (Or worse – you just try to ‘remember’ them, for later.)

Smaller companies are less likely to.

Let’s say your website generates 1,000 unique visitors per month. From this, you receive 10 enquiries. So that’s a 1% conversion rate.

Armed with this information, a digital marketing company can focus on 2 key things :

  • Bring more traffic (e.g. increase the 1,000 visitors to 2,000)
  • Increase the conversion rate (e.g. from 1% to 2%).

Either one of these (and ideally, both) will result in more enquiries. Great news.

But what about those 10 enquiries: they land in your inbox, and how many do you convert into actual new business?

  • Any at all?
  • Just 1?
  • All 10?

And how long does it take?

So from the 1% ‘website conversion rate’, (which is all traffic you’ve paid for, via your digital marketing campaigns), what’s your ultimate conversion rate now?

Meaningful Discussions

Once a digital marketing campaign is underway, some of the most productive conversations take place in this area. This is often where the biggest improvements can be made.

Sometimes it’s a trigger for better staff training, or new internal systems, or just a reminder of how important that person answering your phones is.

But any inbound marketing strategy is only as good as the people on either end.

Don’t forget!

Humans are often the weak link in the chain

“It’s not the tools you have faith in – tools are just tools – they work, or they don’t work.  It’s the people you have faith in or not.”

Steve Jobs, Apple

It isn’t rocket science.  Every business needs good people inside it.

Digital Jargon

But when it comes to digital marketing, we’re surrounded by so much technology, so many systems (and so much jargon), it’s easy to forget the simple mantra.

Businesses might employ an SEO strategy, a Google Ads campaign, or a Social Media advertising program, and the focus is invariably on the technical elements:

  • Traffic
  • Visitors
  • Bounce rate
  • Clicks
  • Social comments
  • Reach
  • Engagement

And for a digital marketing company, these things are (quite rightly) the core of its work.  They are the tangible metrics.  Things that can be quantified.  Published in a table or on a graph.

And absolutely – they are important numbers to measure, to benchmark and to demonstrate progress.

They are the things that can be used to show where the money is being spent, and how you’re stacking up against the competition.

Do clicks represent value?

Short answer, probably not.

Because visits to a website, or engagement on a Facebook page are not, in themselves, “new business”.   They do not bring revenue into the business.  So while we can assign notional values to these events, they are not conversions or sales.

For most businesses, the main function of a website is to bring people in and generate enquiries.

And for any well-organised marketing campaign, the analytics will be configured to measure these enquiries (and other conversion events), and report on them accordingly.

Enquiries might typically be:

  • Enquiry forms
  • Phone calls
  • Livechats
  • Text messages
  • Social media contact

In all of these situations, this is where the human takes over.

It’s where the ‘clicks’ stop, where the ‘Google Analytics’ trail goes cold (usually), and where the employees step in.

And for any business investing in any type of marketing activity, these inbound enquiries are gold-dust. Lifeblood.

So here’s a question

How good are your people at jumping on these enquiries as soon as they arrive?

What systems do you have in place for logging them, replying to them, and following up on them?

Do they get entered in to your CRM system, or an Excel spreadsheet, or just a post-it note on your desk? (Or worse – you just try to ‘remember’ them, for later.)

Often it’s a question of scale – larger companies (with marketing teams or inbound sales departments) might use software and/or a degree of automation, and will be able to follow every new enquiry through its internal sale processes.

Do they get entered in to your CRM system, or an Excel spreadsheet, or just a post-it note on your desk? (Or worse – you just try to ‘remember’ them, for later.)

Smaller companies are less likely to.

Let’s say your website generates 1,000 unique visitors per month. From this, you receive 10 enquiries. So that’s a 1% conversion rate.

Armed with this information, a digital marketing company can focus on 2 key things :

  • Bring more traffic (e.g. increase the 1,000 visitors to 2,000)
  • Increase the conversion rate (e.g. from 1% to 2%).

Either one of these (and ideally, both) will result in more enquiries. Great news.

But what about those 10 enquiries: they land in your inbox, and how many do you convert into actual new business?

  • Any at all?
  • Just 1?
  • All 10?

And how long does it take?

So from the 1% ‘website conversion rate’, (which is all traffic you’ve paid for, via your digital marketing campaigns), what’s your ultimate conversion rate now?

Meaningful Discussions

Once a digital marketing campaign is underway, some of the most productive conversations take place in this area. This is often where the biggest improvements can be made.

Sometimes it’s a trigger for better staff training, or new internal systems, or just a reminder of how important that person answering your phones is.

But any inbound marketing strategy is only as good as the people on either end.

Don’t forget!