Mad Men’s Don Draper is pouring scotch from his crystal decanter and sucking on his umpteeth cigarette of the morning. There’s a wicked smile on his face to celebrate the capture of another high-profile client, and a look on his roguish face that says he can’t stop catching the moon.
And then the phone rings. It’s Don’s biggest client and he wants some answers.
“Now you listen here Mr. Draper, we spent a ton of money with you guys last year. How do I have any idea whether that money has impacted my sales? Can you give me one piece of tangible evidence that these dollars I’m handing over are making the slightest bit of difference here?”
“It’s a great campaign,” says Don. “Everybody loves it, including your lovely wife if I remember correctly. I’d call it a stroke of genius.”
“My wife isn’t paying for it Don. I am and I can’t help but think the whole thing is a wild fishing expedition to pay for your lavish lifestyle. Who’s to say our sales wouldn’t have gone up if we hadn’t hired you in the first place?”
“I can’t tell you that,” said Don. “All I can tell you is you’ve hired the best agency in the business and you can’t afford to be without us right now.”
We’ve had some fun with it, but the problem outlined above remains a common one in the marketing and advertising industry, and no fun at all to businesses who are spending thousands of dollars without a clear sense of what’s working or not.
Some feel they have no other choice but to follow the herd, but they do. It’s called closed loop marketing.
Closed loop marketing, as defined by our friends at Hubspot, allows you to “tie every single lead, customer and dollar back to the marketing initiative that created them.”
Utilizing the digital tools available in today’s world, closed loop marketing is so called because it closes the loop between marketing and sales. Everything is tracked in detail so that sales teams can report back to marketers on the effectiveness of a given tactic to drive sales and revenue.
What you get is the most informed marketing possible. Successes can be replicated, while every failure is a learning opportunity to build on and better next time.
At this point, we should define that the focus of closed loop marketing should always be your company website. That’s where we want our potential customers to land and that’s the platform you’ll use to convert those potential customers into qualified leads. Once you get the qualified leads, the sales will follow.
With this in mind, the first step of closed loop marketing is to drive potential customers to your website.
The potential customers who land at your website must then be tracked in detail and that’s where closed loop marketing really comes into play. Using tracking codes you’ll be able to identify the campaign that drove users to your website and gauge the success of certain tactics in doing so.
The next phase of closed loop marketing is analyzing what visitors do when they land on your site. That will inform what their interests are and how the model they fit as a potential customer.
From there it’s all about prompting users to complete a “call to action”, where a form is submitted on a landing page and your potential customer becomes a valid lead. Closed loop marketing techniques allow you to track which landing pages are working best and how to optimize strategy going forward.
Once the lead is past from marketing to sales, there’s a level of detailed information that passes with it. The loop is closed when the sale process ends and sales can report back to marketing on the result - be it good or bad.
It’s transparent at every step of the way and that’s why an increasing number of businesses are turning to closed loop marketing.
Fortunately for Don Draper, closed loop marketing wasn’t around in his day.