If there is one powerful outcome from the advancement of technology it would be marketing. Gone are the days of running an ad in the local paper and wondering if anyone saw it. Asking people how they heard about your business seems so yesterday.
Thinking back to 1998 when I was placing full page ads in the Winston Salem Journal for $18,000 a pop. Clueless to the effectiveness other than Saturday at the dealership being a busy day or not. Three years later the world changed and I have not looked back since.
My marketing budget shifted from those expensive print ads to 100% digital. Instead of wondering how effective the ads where, I tracked every lead and response in our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. The sales staff received every inquiry in the CRM and we could report on the performance of our digital marketing channels. We tracked KPI’s like:
- Number of leads by ad source
- Number of appointments set by lead source
- Number of cars sold by source
- Gross profit and finance income per lead closed
- Total lead conversion ratios
- ROI on marketing dollars spent
This technology was in place and working well in 2001. Fast forward to 2014 and you would be amazed at the possibilities available to large and small businesses today. Social media marketing, pay per click campaigns, organic website traffic, and content marketing technology lends no excuse for any business of any size to not maximize their advertising budgets.
Digital marketing today has been advanced through technology in amazing ways. Two of the most obvious are social media and inbound content marketing. Think for a minute about how a business can target a marketing campaign:
- Gender – Is your product’s primary audience men or women?
- Age – Is there a target age group in your audience demographic?
- Location – Local companies can specifically target an audience within a certain radius of their location.
- Interest – Social media enables you to target your ads based on the likes and interest of potential customers.
Taking that thought a step further, marketing automation software now enables you create marketing channels to provide relevant content based on the behavior of your prospects. For example, you have an email marketing list of people who opt in for product information. Today you can create automated email campaigns to send targeted content to a prospect based on their engagement with your company. What webpages they visit on your website, do they open the emails you send, how often do they visit your website, and are they engaging with product information as in downloading product brochures? All of these activity types can trigger a campaign for lead generation to prospects you know are showing ‘in-market’ activity.
These examples only scratch the surface. Have you experienced viewing a product on eBay or Amazon and then have that same product appear in your social news feeds as promoted posts? Technology enables this experience and provides an enhanced user experience as they are presented with relevant content and also provides a business with a cost effect and targeted marketing opportunities.