SVP, Marketing

Moving from Cost Per Lead to ROI

Advertisers who practice closed-loop reporting are gaining a substantial competitive edge by cutting wasteful spend and re-investing their dollars into the marketing programs that are driving profitable revenue. Meanwhile, many brands are only measuring campaign performance and optimizing based on top-of-funnel leads, leaving themselves blind to the keywords and tactics that are driving qualified leads, conversions, and revenue.

Let’s use a hospital paid search program as an example. There may be certain inexpensive keywords that are driving a high volume of online appointment requests. Evaluating those keywords purely on a Cost Per Lead basis would signal to allocate more spend to these seemingly high-performing keywords. In reality, the quality of leads from those inexpensive keywords may be quite poor, not driving any actual appointments or revenue for the hospital.

In the same example, perhaps there is a keyword that, when evaluated on a Cost Per Lead basis, appears too expensive. As it turns out, that keyword not only drives the most actual appointments, but drives substantial revenue for the hospital based on the nature of the service. Perhaps it’s a highly specialized medical discipline that drives significant revenue even from a single visit. Or, perhaps the keyword drives longer term recurring revenue for the hospital beyond the first appointment.

The great news is that technology has evolved to enable marketers to view digital marketing tactic performance with a closed-loop view – from keyword to lead to qualified lead and beyond. For a familiar example, within AdWords you can now directly connect and integrate Salesforce data. As a lead comes through AdWords, it then is funneled through to Salesforce. Once that lead is qualified or disqualified, that data gets sent back into AdWords as an additional KPI. This gives actionable insight directly within the platform to which keywords are driving qualified leads.

Of course, not all brands use Salesforce, and some have less sophisticated, home-grown systems. Within Rise’s Connex® Analytics platform, which provides real-time integrated insights to campaign performance across all search engines and programmatic activations, we have created a number of custom integrations to take in closed-loop offline data from various back-end systems (see image below). After we integrated closed-loop lead quality data for a financial services client, we found that half of the advertiser’s spend was being spent on keywords that were driving leads without a meaningful revenue impact for the business.

Initial data from client: keywords with cost-per-engaged-lead over $300

How to Get Started

Moving from Cost Per Lead to ROI doesn’t happen overnight, but brands can take initial steps to better tie the quality of lead data back to their media efforts. With time comes sophistication, and the ability to connect actual conversions and associated revenue. This eventually transitions into multi-touch attribution, which you can learn more about in this blog post.

Contact Rise today to begin closing the loop and gaining true insight into the impacts of your marketing efforts on your bottom line.

02/26/2018 at 08:37