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Modern Day Conversions

I love coffee.

I follow a lot of coffee brands online, scroll social sites, click on e-mails, and download coupons. I like my coffee brand so much, I’ll sit in their coffee shop for hours, check-in on social sites, take free coupons off the counter, snap pictures, upload favorites, share, like, and comment on blogs. The list goes on and on for how I engage. I’m a loyal customer, as they continue to get my money day after day after day.

As the coffee marketer, they must love me. I’m providing them all the data they need to quantify me as a loyal customer. Down to the point of purchase, where I’ve taken a coupon they’ve mailed me (yes, an actual hard copy coupon via snail mail), walked across the street to their coffee shop, made a purchase with my discount coupon – and then, the ultimate conversion (insert drum roll)…. I allow them to e-mail me the receipt! What greater data proof point do they need? They don’t, as marketers, they are capturing this a thousands times over on a daily basis to help quantify their investments. They prove it works by capturing my e-mail at the point of purchase.

To the sales person, they care about the final sale or swipe of the debit card. A marketer cares about all the touch points it took to get that customer to swipe, drink, and return.

The days are over where a conversion simply equates to how much revenue was generated due to a marketing activity and if a prospect was converted to a paying customer at a single point of purchase. Of course, this conversion remains the utopia for measurement, and the best example of conversion -- hands down, no argument. A CEO may assume all investments are to ultimately generate more revenue. To a certain extent, this is true. Every employee from any department should understand this, that without more revenue, they don’t stay in business. But the path to get to “more revenue” is changing. Sales leader’s primary care is a total revenue or gross profit number, obviously as this is how they’re measured. Accounting may be measured on operational savings, cost reduction, or time-to-invoice. Services and delivery may be measured by utilization or customer satisfaction. The way marketing is measured has shifted entirely from identifying a single point of capturing revenue, to now multiple points of influence. Historically, there has been minimal visibility or accountability for how marketing has influenced or impacted a final sale.

Today, to help close the marketing-to-sales gap, senior sales and marketing executives now have the marketing automation and insight to precisely see where within the process a buyer could have been influenced due to an interaction, e-mail, event, or online conversation. The touch points aren’t new, but the methods for capturing information and proof now allows marketers to quantify investments. A/B testing, trial and error, timing, re-marketing, drip campaigns, tweaking buying personas, nurture campaigns, and appointment setting campaigns, can all be tracked and evaluated with little to no cost above and beyond the software investments and overhead to manage.

The analytics are finally available and transparent, as long as the company is making the investments to synchronize their CRM and marketing tools. Super easy with marketing automation tools today, like HubSpot, Marketo and others. The integration of CRM and Marketing Automation is here, and every company large or small should be investing. No more excuses.

In closing, new marketing methods means new ways of defining metrics. There are now multiple ways to define “conversion.” Ultimately, we define conversion as “success.” Define the meaning of success for your campaign or marketing activity beforehand, along with stakeholder buy-in.

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