By now, you’re aware that inbound marketing is the best bet for expanding your company’s reach. Social media, email, websites — they all provide marketers and business owners with efficient, effective tools for promoting their brands. But is it enough to simply have an online presence without a proven and intentional strategy for success?
Without a well-researched, well thought out and detailed strategy, you’re left with eggs in a lot of different baskets, without any omelettes to speak of.
In other words, no real results.
Fortunately, today’s technology has made it easier than ever to streamline your digital marketing efforts in a way that yields the best ROI possible. How? With closed loop marketing, of course.
Defining Closed Loop Marketing
Exactly as it sounds, closed loop marketing is all about closing the gap between marketing and sales. This method connects your marketing analysis software with your customer relationship management system (CRM) to display the entire, overall picture of your customers, leads, and missed leads.
Even better: It’s the most accurate way to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t.
As John Wanamaker, an American innovator and marketing pioneer, complained nearly 50 years ago (and was more recently quoted over at Hubspot), “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”
By tracking a customer’s journey through your site — from a first time visitor to a lead to, eventually, a customer — closed loop marketing helps you understand which ‘half,’ so to speak, is being wasted, allowing to you focus in on the ‘half’ that’s hitting home with your prospects.
“Closing the loop” provides you with that crucial insight by giving you three key pieces of information about your website visitors: who they are, what they did on your site, and where they came from.
Who They Are
By incorporating the closed loop reporting system, marketers get a complete view of their website users. From the first time they click on your site to their first purchase on the final payment screen, closed loop marketing captures a comprehensive amount of information about your would-be customers.
By analyzing the path a person takes to reach the critical buying point, you can gather insights about your target audience and what makes them click. That data can help you nurture your buyer personas by allowing you to better understand your customers’ pain points and challenges. And, of course, having better, more accurate and well rounded target personas affects everything from your marketing strategy to your social media voice to your brand.
What They Did
Once you have a better idea of who your target audience is, based on closed loop marketing reports, it’s easier to distinguish patterns amongst groups of visitors to your site. To categorize those potential customers, evaluate the precise steps each took between that first website click and that final conversion.
You may be asking yourself, ‘Why does it matter which group did what if they all ended up at the same place?’
Knowing and truly understanding the steps taken by each of your target personas will give you insight into which landing pages and CTAs worked for which groups of people, and which landing pages and CTAs fell flat for others.
Think back to Wanamaker’s quote above. This step in the closed loop is the step where you finally understand which half of your efforts were wasted.
For example, maybe you discover that one of your target personas is a small business owner around the age of 40, and that he declined to download a free how-to guide right before declining to purchase. Given this information, you know not to push the same eBook to similar personas.
The same is true of the flip side. Knowing that a certain segment of customers did download a free how-to guide tells you who exactly to push that eBook to.
Where They Came From
Finally, because closed loop marketing tracks each visitor to your website and records their actions, the original referral source gets properly credited when a lead converts to a customer.
Knowing how leads found your website in the first place is just as crucial to your success as knowing what they did once they got there. Why? Consider this…
Those customers we mentioned above? Maybe you notice a pattern of their original sources, and they all trace back to social media — Facebook, to be exact. Now you know not only what to push to a target audience, but where to push it as well.
Suddenly, your marketing strategy is much more targeted and much more personalized and your business is left to reap the results.
Creating a Well-Oiled Machine
Closed loop marketing is the best and most efficient way to ensure success for your digital campaigns. There’s a lot of information on the web, and things can get pretty chaotic.
But when you implement a closed loop system and close the communication gap between sales and marketing, your business will grow. And it will become a fine-tuned, well-oiled marketing machine.