Cause and Effect of Marketing Activities
Posted on April 15, 2012 by Dale Wolf
By Dale Wolf
What brings a prospect into a buying cycle? The choices a prospect makes to satisfy aspirations or challenges. To understand the effect of a campaign, we need first to understand the cause. Usually, there is a combination of offline and online interactions across various touchpoints, many of which go unrecognized or recorded. Downloading an eBook is best understood by observing the prospect’s next action. The next action might be to contact the company or to answer the phone when the supplier calls. Or the next touch might be to continue a process of research about the supplier by visiting more deeply into the supplier’s website and that of similar suppliers. It is a series of actions and reactions.
In all cases, when a prospect takes an action, there are three and only three options the prospect now has before her:
- Yes, I will engage.
- No, I will not engage.
- Maybe, I will consider this supplier after I am clearer as to what I really want to do about resolving my aspirations or challenges. To the supplier, this might appear to be a “no” when actually the prospect goes dormant.
The illustration below attempts to show this interdependence of the next touch. The faces are prospects. The stars are marketing initiatives. The lines are actions taken or not taken.
A web visit from someone who accepted a campaign offer is a high value touch, as is the opening of an email and a click through to the next step. Or a direct mail campaign might cause the prospect to click to a Personalized URL (PURL). A tweet about an upcoming event might result in clicking a link to the web page describing the event in more detail and a click from this page to a registration page could be the cause of a closed sale. Campaigns work in concert with one another to move prospects along. But the decision and time frame are entirely in the control of the prospect.
Those prospects that receive a campaign and do not respond should be watched to see if they remain disengaged over consecutive campaigns during a one-year period. At some point, they should be treated as having “unsubscribed” themselves from your company. You might try a ‘win-back’ campaign as a final action before removing them from your active list.
What is your ratio of well-targeted contacts versus disengaged contacts? The cost of replacing these inactive people is an often ignored cost of your marketing campaigns.
By understanding the cause and effect of prospect actions, we can attribute transitional power to those that moved a prospect to a closed sale. We can also capture the first contact and the last contact. The first contact is like scoring a baseball player to first base and the last contact to a run batted in. All the transitions (men on base) contributed to the win.
When it comes to attributing contribution to a contact’s High Impact Score, the First Point of Contact and the Last Point of Contact each get equal weight and those intervening points would be averaged out equally. On the green line in the above illustration, the First and Most Recent each get, for example, 20 points and the three touches along the way get a total of 20 divided by three, or 6.6 points each.
All five marketing initiatives in this illustration had a cost to produce and deliver the program. The cost of so called free email compared to a direct marketing dimensional mailing, of course, is not really free. All marketing initiatives have internal and external costs to produce the closed sale.