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January 5, 2015
By Carly Ries
In a perfect world, your sales and marketing teams are in constant communication where your sales team notifies your marketing team about what happens to the leads they receive in order to understand which leads sources are performing well and which aren’t. This, in a nutshell, is closed-loop marketing.
Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect marketing world. Sales and marketing teams are not always on the same page although there really isn’t an excuse for that. These days marketers have all of the technology they need to implement closed-loop marketing.
Closed-loop marketing tracks marketing channels from the time a visitor lands on your site to the time your sales team closes a new customer. By integrating your marketing software with your CRM system (more on the technology you’ll need for closed-loop marketing later), you can see which marketing channels are working and which aren’t, and can strategize for better results and hotter leads for your sales team in the future.
The attract stage is the first step in the closed-loop marketing process. This is the point where a visitor arrives to your site and begins getting tracked from a cookie that is implemented on the referral source, whether it be social media, organic, email, etc. By tracking these visitors, you can monitor trends and see where most of your visitors are coming from and which areas can use improvement. In order to best track your campaigns, you should create unique tracking URLs for each campaign to more accurately see where your leads are coming from.
In addition to tracking where your visitors are coming from, you should also be able to track their behavior across your site to see which pages are most engaging to your visitors and which pages are most likely to convert your visitor into a lead. Note, this can be a tricky part of the process. You need to make sure the actions you track can be tied to a leads information once they convert on a landing page form. If you don’t do this, it will be difficult to tie everything together. Using marketing software will allow you to track all of this appropriately.
Site visits alone will not lead to a sale. You need to get people to convert into leads. In order to properly convert leads, you need to not only know their online behavior, but who they are as well. To do this, you must direct visitors to landing pages where you can capture their contact information in exchange for a valuable offer.
Once the marketing team has secured the leads for the sales team, they need to know what happens to those leads. You need to know which marketing efforts are bringing in the most customers and revenue. If everything is set up appropriately in the previous steps, the failures and successes should be easy to see from your CRM system.
As mentioned earlier, you will need certain technologies for closed-loop marketing:
Marketing Software. This type of software, such as Hubspot, tracks your marketing efforts and data and allows you to take action from analyzing the results.
CRM System. A CRM is designed to tie together your sales and marketing efforts. Well-known and reputable CRM systems are SugarCRM and Salesforce.
Having each of these platforms separately won’t do you much good. You need to integrate the two through an application programming interface (API). Doing this will close the loop and tie all sales and marketing efforts together into one well-oiled machine.
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Don’t let these famous words, spoken by John Wanamaker, apply to you. If your company isn’t currently implementing closed-loop marketing, it’s time you start. If your company is using closed-loop marketing, what are some big wins you’ve experienced because of it thus far? Please leave your comments below.
About the author
Carly Ries was formerly a Senior Inbound Marketing Consultant for SmartBug Media. With over 7 years of marketing and account management experience, Carly helps clients develop and implement inbound marketing strategies to grow leads, conversion, and revenue. Read more articles by Carly Ries.