The more you know about your buyer personas, leads, and customers, the easier it is to effectively target them. This entails identifying the channels and platforms in which they spend their time and understanding their needs and challenges.
It also means knowing how your leads find your business — how and by which method they come across your company. This is known as a lead source.
In this blog post, we’ll review the definition of a lead source, why lead sources are so important, common types, and best practices for managing and tracking them.
By understanding and identifying lead sources, you’re able to gain context around why and how your audience members find you. As a result, you can improve the customer experience and buyer’s journey with targeted content, communications, interactions, and more.
This allows you to determine which lead sources are most valuable to your business so you can hone in on them as well as measure your success over time in attracting and converting leads.
Additionally, knowing which lead sources bring in the most qualified leads helps you focus your resources where they matter most and where you’ll get the greatest ROI.
Identifying and understanding your lead sources is also a major part of lead management, the process in which you manage — or nurture — your leads until they decide to convert.
These are all details you need to improve the buyer’s journey, effectively target your unique audience, and shorten the sales cycle.
There are several types of lead sources. Here are some common examples.
Next, let’s talk about a handful of best practices when it comes to your lead sources. You should keep these in mind while identifying, analyzing, and improving your lead sources.
Here are some examples of powerful tools that can help you with lead source tracking.
HubSpot is an all-in-one CRM platform for scaling businesses with powerful marketing, sales, service, and ops software and tools. There’s more than one way to use HubSpot to collect, track, manage, and measure leads and lead sources.
For instance, with HubSpot CRM Lead Management and Tracking Software, all contact records for your leads are logged automatically. That includes all of your interactions and communications with those leads as well as all related sales activity — this provides insight into how, where, and when interactions with leads happened.
With HubSpot’s Marketing Hub, your Lead Collection and Tracking Software focuses more on leads and lead management within the marketing org so leads and lead data are readily available for the sales team.
This tool makes it easy to keep an eye on your lead’s email opens, content downloads, page visits, social media interactions, and more so you can track lead source data with ease. It also helps you organize all of your lead and contact information and interactions in a single database. You can segment your leads and score them based on qualification.
Pair this tool with your HubSpot CRM (using the integration) to compare your lead sources as well as your sales reps so your data and team members are aligned and on a central source of truth. View, send, and share out-of-the-box reports, as well as customize pipeline dashboards with ease.
CallRail is a call tracking and marketing analytics platform that offers reporting for lead attribution by source. This feature uses multi-touch attribution to provide you with reports for every lead source and interaction type that your team cares about in CallRail, throughout every stage of the buyer’s journey.
View all of the lead sources you’re tracking in the tool — your top five lead sources are displayed in a graph with more details about your other sources below. You can view raw leads versus qualified leads as well as filter by company, time frame, and report model.
After identifying your lead sources, determine which of those sources bring in the most qualified leads for your business.
Again, a tool like HubSpot can help with this — it assists with tracking your leads and the sources by which they come from and then segmenting those leads based on an assigned lead score (which tells you how qualified they are).
In fact, HubSpot automatically scores your leads for you based on the criteria that you choose (based on behavior or characteristic). This is not only helpful for your marketing team but it also helps sales reps prioritize their lead follow-up.
Once you’ve determined which sources bring in the most qualified leads, identify the source that converts the greatest number of leads into customers.
In other words, which lead source do you see the most customers coming from? Maybe it’s the source that you see the most qualified leads coming from, but maybe not. So, take some time to determine which lead sources you see the greatest number of new customers coming from.
Just because you know which channels and sources are currently bringing in the greatest number of qualified leads, and where the most conversions are currently coming from, doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax. As your business grows, your audience grows, too — and that evolving audience may not spend time exactly where your initial audience did.
Experiment with different channels to see how many qualified leads and conversions you can bring in. This experimentation may be how you surface your most valuable lead source.
Measure the success of your lead sources over time. This is something you’re already going to be doing throughout the previous steps (e.g. scoring leads, identifying the most effective lead sources, etc.) but it’s also important to spend time here. In doing so, you’ll be able to ensure you’re focusing your resources in the right places.
The data obtained from your lead source analysis will also help you more effectively target, reach, resonate with, and convert your audience on the channels they like to use and via the touchpoints they like to interact with most. Remember, this part of the lead source management process should be ongoing.
Begin identifying your lead sources to improve upon the buyer’s journey with highly-tailored content, interactions, and communications, all via the channels and sources your audience prefers. Remember, the more you know about your audience, leads, and customers, the more effectively you can target and reach them.
Reblogged 1 hour ago from blog.hubspot.com
In midsize to large companies, it’s standard to have business intelligence (BI) analysts generate reports on behalf of employees.
Having a designated team is great, as it signifies you have the resources to process large volumes of data. However, it can be a roadblock to decision-making.
Generating a report can take several days and if your team is already receiving many requests, it can take their focus away from higher priority tasks.
This is where ad hoc analysis comes in handy – you can run your own queries as you need them.
Discover the benefits of generating your own reports and the tools that will help you do it.
Non-technical users – who may be unfamiliar with structured query language (SQL) – can use it to answer questions that require immediate answers.
With the ad hoc model, everyone is empowered to dig into the data and find exactly what they’re looking for, without having to go through someone else. Why is this helpful? It:
One potential downside of using ad hoc analysis is the risk of information silos, where team members are not sharing insights and making unilateral decisions.
When using the ad hoc model, it’s important to only focus on answering a specific question. You also want to use it for micro-level decisions, not large scale. Furthermore, share your insights with your team to get everyone on the same page.
You typically run ad hoc analysis as a response to an event.
For instance, let’s say your marketing team is wondering which channels to invest in for 2021. You could run a report to identify the channels that generate the most and least sales-qualified leads. You could also run a secondary report to identify where potential leads may be dropping off.
Ad hoc analysis is great when you want to:
Ad hoc reporting is a one-time report that doesn’t require waiting for the standard analysis cycle. Typically, a report requires large volumes of data and follows specific templates to share with a large audience. With ad hoc reporting, you only pull a small segment of data for you or a small pool of users.
Wondering what’s the difference between ad hoc reporting and analysis? The former pulls the right data for the question you want to answer while the latter focuses on analyzing it for patterns, trends, and insights.
Standard reports have limited customization options available, as they are usually created for large audiences and sent out on a regular schedule. They are created, managed, and distributed by technical IT users, with the end-user only being able to manipulate select data points.
Ad hoc reports, on the other hand, are much more flexible. Non-technical users can dig through data, pull out what they want and how they want to display it whenever they need it.
In addition, ad hoc reports can be more visual than standard reports, which tend to follow set templates for easy distribution.
When searching for a business intelligence (BI) reporting tool, here are some key features you’ll want to look for:
Here are some top ad hoc analysis and reporting tools available online today.
Grow is a business intelligence tool that centralizes your data and offers no-code solutions. No need to host your marketing data on one platform and your financial data on another. Grow’s powerful integration software removes the need for third-party data warehouses.
You can easily integrate your data from multiple sources, including:
The user-friendly dashboard and visualization capabilities, you can quickly get answers to your most pressing questions. For pricing information, contact the company.
Easy Insight is another code-free business intelligence tool that enables non-technical users to run ad hoc reports in a few simple steps.
Whenever you need it, you can create custom reports using a range of filters and visualize them through tables, charts, and a host of other visualization tools.
The platform is highly customizable, allowing you to create your own data sources, import data from other databases, and combine your data for unified reporting. It also integrates with HubSpot to help you leverage your insights to make decisions.
Easy Insight offers six plans for small to large companies. Pricing ranges from $29/month to $1499/month.
If your team is currently relying on several platforms to gather and analyze data, then consider Wicked Reports. This tool caters specifically to marketers looking to step up their data analytics game.
Wicked Reports helps teams track return on investment (ROI) on various campaigns and improve their customer lifetime value. With the easy-to-use dashboard, any user can run ad hoc reports to assess performance against goals and make quick decisions.
The best part? You don’t need IT to set it up or use it. The platform is accessible to non-technical users who want clean and accurate data.
Starting at $597/month, Wicked Reports is ideal for scaling businesses looking for a reliable analytics tool.
With ad hoc analysis, you can empower your team to easily access the data they need most, freeing up your IT staff in the process.
Reblogged 1 hour ago from blog.hubspot.com
Have you noticed that we’re all playing one large marketing industry game of Concentration these days, in which we’re matching everything we do to intent? Google is playing it, SEOs are playing it, local SEOs are playing it…
Because Google wants its SERPs (and we want our SERPs) to stand out as the places where people find exactly what they need. Google is coming at this goal from several different angles, but there’s one particular hand I want to be sure to deal you in on today if you’re marketing local businesses: local justifications.
It’s okay if this is totally new to you — I’ve noticed that local justifications have gone largely unremarked. Today, we’ll quantify the prominence of these fascinating snippets, and show you how to play a winning hand that can enable you to stand out from your local SERP competitors in exciting ways!
A local justification is an extra snippet of text Google can display on business listings in the local packs, local finders, and Google Maps to signal to searchers that a feature of the business specifically matches their perceived intent.
In the above example, Google is matching my search for “accent chairs corte madera” with a highlighted notification that these furnishings are available at nearby stores. These notifications really stand out in the listings and have the potential to improve click-through rates on your listings.
Justifications have been around since at least 2019, and it was former Google staffer Joel Headley whom I first heard share Google’s terminology for this listing feature.
My wise friend and colleague, Dr. Peter J. Meyers, has done an outstanding job tracking the presence of all kinds of featured snippets in the SERPs over the years. I was thrilled when he offered to track local justifications for me so that we could try to put a number on just how common this form of textual snippet has become in the local packs.
Pete fired up MozCast, which tracks 10K keywords daily — half of which are generic to the US and half of which are localized to specific cities across the country. Here is what he found for us regarding desktop results:
2,063 of 5,000 localized keywords returned a local pack (that’s 41%)
2,018 of the 2,063 local packs contained the typical three listings (that’s 98%)
1,175 of the 2,063 local packs featured justifications (that’s 57% — wow!)
And of these 1,175 local packs containing justifications, 32% had them on one listing, 355 had them on two of the listings, and 445 had them on all three of the listings.
Pete wanted to be sure we mentioned that MozCast is skewed towards head terms rather than longer-tail terms, and he was most commonly noticing justification types for broad product/service keywords and categories. What we both thought was amazing is that more than half the local SERPs contained justifications, most commonly on all three listings in the local packs.
If Google is dealing out justifications at this lavish rate, local business owners and their marketers should definitely ante up, and start acting to influence these snippets as much as possible.
Cards on the table time.
There’s a virtual Animal Rummy deck of local justifications in play now, taking intent-matching to new heights. It’s quite possible that I haven’t spotted all of them, and if you know of others, please mention them in the comments. These are the seven types I’ve most commonly seen, with notes on how to influence them when it’s possible to do so.
Review justifications are sourced from Google My Business reviews. Finesse your review acquisition requests to prompt customers to discuss specific, longer-tail aspects of what the business provides, and you could see their language excerpted like this to specifically match the refined intent of a searcher. I’ll mention here that my search was for “organic produce X city”, but I also saw Google making semantic connections between “organic produce” and “organic vegetables” that they highlighted from other reviews.
Website justifications are pulled from the website linked in your GMB listing. Note that the linked URL does not have to be the page that mentions the topic featured in the justification. In my example, the listing pointed to the website homepage, which did not specifically mention “jewelry repairs” in the main body of the page. Rather, that terminology was in a dropdown link in the navigation menu, which then points to a page for that service.
That being said, you might experiment with optimizing the GMB landing page with a term you’d especially like to see highlighted as a justification, and see if Google picks up on it. It’s wonderful to think that, as you have full control over your website’s content, your on-page strategies will underpin your justification efforts.
Likewise, you have full control over your Google posts content, and highlighting longer-tail intent in what you write about, like “custom-created engagement rings”, could win you an eye-catching justification like this. The good news is that these justifications don’t have to be pulled from your most recent post. I saw examples of excerpted content from posts that were over a month old.
These appear to be pulled straight from the Services section of your Google My Business dashboard. I believe the Services section debuted in 2018, and if it’s available in the left hand navigation menu of your dashboard, definitely add as many relevant services as you can think of to influence this type of justification.
Around 2017, Google really began ramping up its menu features in relevant GMB dashboards. I haven’t been able to confirm whether menu justifications stem solely from GMB listing menus, so be sure your menu is also accurate on your website — and on any third-party delivery services you may be using — to prevent inaccurate information in this type of justification.
In stock justifications appear to originate from Google’s “See What’s In Store” (SWIS) program, which leads to results like this for the Crate and Barrel location in my example. Google’s SWIS function debuted in 2018, linked to their partnership with point-of-sales solutions provider Pointy — a company they then acquired in early 2020. In 2021, the best starting point for determining eligibility and uploading inventory is this Google Merchant Center doc: List your local products for free on Google. Google Platinum Product Expert Yan Gilbert confirmed for me that you’ll likely need to use a solution like Pointy or DBAPlatform to get this up and running, and verification can take several months, but the visibility of your inventory could be well worth it.
The nice thing about SWIS is that, for now at least, the product interface guides users to your website, rather than having transactions take place through Google for a fee. If you’re eligible, definitely consider joining this program to boost your chances of earning “In stock” justifications.
This is the most mysterious of the seven justification types I’ve seen. It stems from data Google has about your business, but the sources are unconfirmed, and could include your website, your reviews, and the user feedback Google aggregates from the “Know this place?” fact-checking pop-ups associated with Google Maps. Because we can’t verify a single source for this data, this would be one of those cases where you simply want to employ the general best practice of publishing as much information as you can, in as many places as you can, about the products being sold by any local business you’re marketing.
It’s inspiring to think our local search marketing efforts can influence Google’s ability to more closely match local search intent, but there are questions surrounding them that deserve further study, including:
Why aren’t the other 43% of the businesses we looked at winning justifications? If they have websites, reviews, posts, inventory, and other qualifying assets, why doesn’t Google give them justifications treatment? Obviously, you can never force Google to display something like a justification, but if you have the assets required to merit this treatment, why would Google withhold it?
Why does Google choose one justification type over another? For example, if a business has both a review and a Google post that mention “organic salad”, how does Google decide to display the review justification over the posts justification, or vice versa? Is there some sort of if-then hierarchy happening here in which one type of justification is considered more powerful than another?
To what exact degree does the presence of justifications impact CTR? A study on this, alone, would be great.
Would one type of justification have a more significant impact on CTR than another? For example, is an in-stock justification a much better call-to-action than a review justification, generating more user actions? If you do a study on this, please let me know, as I’d love to read it.
I hope the Moz community will be inspired to investigate these concepts further, but for now, the main takeaway is that if we can nudge Google to better match the intent of searchers via the diverse types of content emanating from our efforts, it’s a high card for the local brands we market.
Why is that?
Because even when we achieve good visibility in local packs, local finders, and Maps, we’re still aiming to be the one business that really stands out in a dense field of options. If any aspect of our listing signals to a customer that our business is the one that can best fulfill their intent, it’s such a win. Justifications would certainly qualify as a big signal, and happily, one that’s at least partially actionable for the local brands you market.
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Pega is supporting the work of citizen developers, while aiming to solve for the complexity that creates
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Plus, submit your session pitch for our fall MarTech event
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We’ve compiled dozens of apps, software, and subscriptions on sale, each designed to make your life easier, from social media automation apps to startup tools for business planning. Just make sure you enter the code DOWNLOADIT at checkout to score an extra 30% off.
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Ever left something perfectly fine and came back to a total disaster? Any pet owner will probably say, “yes.”
At work, the same can happen when collaborating on a shared document. It’s usually an accidental keyboard stroke that does it. Unless it’s done by your cat, in which case, it’s not accidental – it’s definitely sabotage.
While a mistake like this is understandable, it can be frustrating and time-consuming to fix. When working on shared Excel sheets, you can prevent these mishaps altogether by locking cells and protecting your worksheets.
Whether you’re working on an upcoming report or planning out next quarter’s budget, learn how to prevent anyone from changing or deleting important information on an Excel document.
Yes, you can lock cells on Excel by following a few simple steps. When you lock a cell in Excel, you restrict users from making changes to your sheets. It’s particularly helpful when working on a project that involves multiple team members.
For instance, let’s say you’re the marketing director and you’ve asked each channel lead (email, website, social) to report their quarterly numbers for an upcoming meeting.
You wouldn’t want someone accidentally deleting important information, or changing formulas or conditional formatting before consulting with key stakeholders. This process ensures that only pre-approved users can edit the cell, which will save you a headache in the future.
Another method is locking your formula cells so that the numbers populate correctly. Jump to that section here.
Once you complete these steps, your cells will be locked but can still be edited. To ensure the cells aren’t editable, you’ll also have to protect your worksheet. Find those steps in the next section.
Note: If you don’t add a password, any user can click “Unprotect Sheet” to make changes to the sheet. When you add a password, only those with the code can do so.
You can also double-check that your worksheet is protected by attempting to write something in the locked cells. You should get this alert.
These simple steps offer both a shortcut to locking cells in bulk and a way to protect specific cells in Excel.
A green triangle indicates an error in your cell’s formula. The error sign will show up if your formula is unprotected.
Any unauthorized or accidental changes to a formula can alter the integrity of the data reported in the sheet. As such, it’s important to always lock your formulas to prevent mistakes.
Here’s how you protect your formulas in Excel:
Another way to protect your formulas is by locking each formula cell individually as you build your worksheet (as outlined here) and protecting your sheet once all formulas have been locked.
Whether you’re the person fixing the mistake or the one who made it, following these steps will ensure it never happens again. And your cat will have to find something else to sabotage.
Reblogged 1 day ago from blog.hubspot.com
Local Service Ads Google bug, speeding up images and the value of our old internet companies.
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Many businesses are rebranding completely to skirt Google’s guidelines. But when everyone does it, it becomes a branding nightmare.
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As a marketer, you know how many avenues there are for your prospects and customers to interact with you throughout the buyer’s journey. These avenues refer to channels (e.g. PPC, your website, email campaigns, social media) and touchpoints (e.g. specific ads, blog posts, social media posts, emails). Marketing attribution modeling can help you determine the impact of all of those marketing efforts.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about what attribution modeling is, why it’s important, the different types of attribution modeling, and some tools to help with the process. Let’s get started.
By assigning credit to your marketing channels and touchpoints, you can increase your chances of converting more prospects by 1) identifying areas of the buyer’s journey that you can improve, 2) determining the ROI for each channel or touchpoint, 3) surfacing the most effective ways to spend your marketing budget, and 4) tailoring your marketing campaigns and content to your unique personas.
There are a handful of common types of attribution modeling. Although all attribution models look at the channels and touchpoints involved in a customer’s decision to convert, each of them weighs those channels and touchpoints differently.
Multi-touch attribution modeling is powerful because it takes into account every channel and touchpoint that a customer interacted with throughout the buyer’s journey, up until they decided to convert. It tells you which of those channels and touchpoints were most influential as well as provides insight into how they worked together to influence a customer.
Cross-channel attribution modeling is often used interchangeably with multi-touch attribution. However, their definitions differ slightly. Cross-channel attribution designates value to each marketing channel (such as paid, organic, or social media) but doesn’t look at the specific touchpoints within those channels the way that multi-touch attribution does.
Linear attribution modeling is a type of multi-touch attribution that gives equal credit to all channels and touchpoints that a customer interacted with throughout the buyer’s journey.
First touch attribution modeling gives all the credit for the conversion to the first channel or touchpoint that was interacted with by the customer.
Last-touch attribution modeling is the opposite of first-touch attribution modeling — it gives all the credit to the last touchpoint a lead interacted with before converting.
Time-decay attribution modeling gives credit to all of the touchpoints that contributed to a conversion and also considers the time that each touchpoint occurred — the touchpoints that happened closest to the time of conversion are weighted most heavily.
U-shaped modeling, also known as position-based attribution modeling, splits the credit for a conversion between the first and last touchpoints.
W-shaped attribution modeling gives the most credit to the first touchpoint, last touchpoint, and mid-funnel touchpoint before a conversion — it then gives equal credit to the rest of the touchpoints.
There are a number of tools that have the ability to help with marketing attribution modeling — here are three options to help you get started.
CallRail is a call tracking and marketing analytics platform. The tool has a number of reports so you can analyze your call data in different ways — one of these is attribution modeling, a report that lives within their cost-per-lead reporting category.
Why do you need attribution modeling for your calls? It offers an understanding of every marketing touchpoint that led to a phone conversation with a prospect. It tells you which sources are leading to the greatest number of phone calls, and therefore leads who are most likely to convert into paying customers.
Wicked Reports is multi-channel attribution software for ecommerce marketers. The tool calculates ROI and LTV for every channel, campaign, and ad so you can understand the impact of each marketing touchpoint. Wicked Reports maps your attribution models to your unique campaign goals — this way, you can determine the impact of your campaigns throughout the buyer’s journey.
The tool provides in-depth and accurate data across all of your business platforms — including Google, CRMs like HubSpot, marketing software, ecommerce platforms, and Facebook — so you can combine and access your attribution data with ease.
Attribution is an enterprise multi-touch attribution tool that gives you a clear understanding of the impact of each of your marketing touchpoints. It automates data collection using its many integrations with ad software, CRM platforms, marketing tools, and more. It also accounts for your offline marketing touchpoints as well as your budget.
The process of attribution modeling is also automated for you and you can segment your attribution results and reports by channel, marketing campaign, touchpoint, and more.
Attribution modeling allows you to hone in on the buyer’s journey and understand which parts of it are working best for your customers and what needs improvement. It also offers insight into how your marketing channels and touchpoints are working together to convert your target audience.
Determine which models will provide the information you care most about, identify the right tool for you, and get started with attribution modeling.
Reblogged 2 days ago from blog.hubspot.com