How to Hit a Hole in One with Your Marketing

Golf ball on edge of holeComing fresh off the green from the British Open and the PGA Tour, we've noticed some similarities
between golf and marketing — including the tough stuff. They each require patience, focus and a keen eye. While we can't help you improve your score card, we can help you overcome the following difficulties in your marketing.

Straighten Your Path 

In golf, the fairway to the green is rarely straight. In marketing, the path to a consumer is never straight. There are multiple ways marketers can reach out to their target market, and the problem with this curvy path is that sometimes you can't see which of your marketing shots are most successful.

When reaching out to consumers through multiple channels, it's vital to know which channels are successful and which ones aren't. For example, if your goal is to have people pick up the phone and inquire about your product or service, you can add unique toll-free numbers (TFNs) to each of your campaigns. Then you'll be able to directly correlate each call you receive to the ad that generated it. By tracking the responses you get from your ads, you can determine which ads are ineffective and focus on campaigns that bring in revenue.

Clear Your Obstacles 

Sometimes sand and water traps can be directly in the path of the clearest shot to the hole, forcing you to adjust your swing to prevent getting stuck in a rut. In marketing, these obstacles are similar to the demographics that are not responsive to your campaigns; you must dodge them in order to efficiently spend your budget.

Use a geo-targeting tool to help you determine where these obstacles are so you know which areas to avoid before you implement a marketing plan. By identifying exactly which regions your calls are coming from, you'll know where your marketing efforts have been most successful and therefore which regions to target more heavily. If you target an area that provides little or no return, you can pull out of the region immediately to save money that would otherwise be wasted.

Get Within Sight of Your Target 

To walk away with a successful score, you have to keep track of each stroke, hole by hole, throughout the whole game. In marketing, you have to keep track of each campaign, day by day, across every channel. This is when real-time analytics comes into play.

Let's be honest: Sometimes marketers want results immediately. Consider using a marketing analytics tool that gives you access to real-time data. With campaign information at your fingertips, you'll be able to quickly see if you're reaching your target.

Do you have more tips for hole-in-one marketing? Share them in the comments below!

How Call Mapping Improves Geographic Segmentation

Dialect map of U.S.
Image courtesy of Business Insider.
According to a recent article by Business Insider, "Tiny lobsters are tearing this country apart."

Need a little background information? We did too.

North Carolina State University released a series of dialect maps from its linguistic study, showing the variety of ways Americans pronounce words such as "caramel," "been," "crayon," "mayonnaise" and, of course, "crawfish." Sorry, we mean crayfish, or is it crawdad?

Either way, discovering these dialect differences was not only entertaining, it touched on how many subcultures there are across America. It also reminded us of the importance of geographic segmentation. If you're not familiar with the term, here's a quick rundown of what geographic segmentation is and what call mapping can do to help.

What's Geographic Segmentation?

Marketers use geographic segmentation to tailor marketing strategies to specific geographical markets by taking a region's culture, climate, etc. into account. That's a pretty vague definition, so let's look at some examples.

I'm Proud to Be a Burger
Though Dairy Queen has locations throughout the U.S., it runs television ads specifically in Texas featuring the slogan "DQ. That's what I like about Texas," encouraging viewers to check out the DQ Texas website. By focusing on the theme of state pride, Dairy Queen is able to successfully target this geographic area.

Scanning for BBQ
Another prime example of the use of geographic segmentation comes from Reckitt Benckiser. Its easy-off BBQ cleaner is only available in a handful of Walmart stores across the nation. Reckitt doesn't want to market its product to people who don't shop at their local Walmart, so it uses geographic segmentation and real-time data to target its ads to residents within a five-mile radius of Walmart stores carrying its product.

Taking it a step further, Reckitt only runs its product ads on days near weekends when a targeted area was expecting sunny weather, because it finds these conditions increase the likelihood that people will barbecue. This gives a whole new meaning to the marketing adage "Convey the right message to the right people in the right place at the right time."

Call Mapping map of Houston area How Do Marketers Know Which Regions to Target?

Geographic segmentation is no easy feat. Marketers must have an analytics tool to help them assess where they should focus their efforts, or else the results will be all over the map (pun intended).

A good first step is to determine which channels generate the most high-quality leads for your business and then drill down  to see which regions are generating the most leads.

For example, if your best leads come in via the phone, our Call Mapping feature displays a map that indicates exactly where the people calling in response to your ads are located. You can then target your ads to a specific geographic market.

As with any marketing campaign, you'll have to do some experimentation to gauge how particular regions respond to each campaigns.

The Rising Importance of Ad Revenue Tracking and Real-Time Analytics

Cars. Bathroom stalls. The forehead of a willing participant. If it exists, we promise a marketer will try to put an advertisement on it, assuming they haven't already. (Quick! Check your forehead!)

Unfortunately, marketers spend copious amounts of time and money creating these campaigns and still feel like their lead generation methods are not effective.

Why is this? Some people would chalk it up to low self-esteem; however, we would argue that it's due to a lack of resources (of an analytical nature). Marketers try to reach consumers through at least 13 different channels, making it a challenge to find the link between ad sources and the leads they generate. The result is that 40 percent of marketing budgets are wasted on campaigns that don't work.

Graph showing agencies and companies worldwide that use marketing attribution, Oct. 2012To solve the mystery of where leads are coming from, 28 percent of companies and agencies are using last-click analysis, but this method has a major flaw: It only accounts for the click that led directly to the website, ignoring all other marketing touchpoints.

Marketers are wising up to this fact, and in an effort to gain deeper analysis into consumer behavior, 26 percent of advertisers have started using more advanced forms of marketing attribution. They now realize where the key to discovering the relevance of their marketing efforts lies — in the full transaction history.

Thirty-nine percent of companies are using real-time analytics to keep up with the rapid inflow of data and to tie conversions back to the exact keyword or ad source that generated leads. This allows them to identify how well their search terms are performing and to react to those results quickly before wasting money on keywords that aren't producing leads.

According to researcher Rex Briggs, 28 percent of marketers worldwide indicate that measuring attribution and interactions across channels is an important objective for their marketing analytics. As markets expand and technology continues to evolve, one fact is clear: It's critical that you track the advertising revenue each of your campaigns generates in real time.