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From Data Touchpoints to Digital Transformation
How BigPxl Reclaimed Digital Marketing's Potential for Its Clients
For decades, marketers were limited to what we now call traditional channels: print media and radio/television. Ad performance was typically assessed in terms of actual revenue. Marketers had little ability to determine how many conversions resulted directly from a given campaign. Therefore, outbound marketing was the norm. Marketers had to make educated guesses on the ROI and had no means to drill down into impressions or other touchpoints. All that has changed now in the era of digital marketing, when detailed analytics are not only available but crucial for measuring performance. For better or worse, brands are now inundated with data about their campaigns. But how can we truly determine what's driving our results, especially when there are now so many touchpoints? Does the data actually allow us to measure performance? Marketers in all industries are facing new challenges with attribution, conversion points, and print vs. digital synchronicity. In the age of "more, more, more," companies are struggling to keep their budgets lean. Especially when it's difficult to know which channels are driving the most engagement. As a full-service marketing agency, BigPxl was eager to deliver better results to their clients. Many of them had digital channels but worried about throwing money down the drain. BigPxl was increasingly stretched thin as their clients' Cost Per Lead and Customer Acquisition Costs were rising. They realized they were pinning too much on metrics and performance-based marketing. To evolve in today's complex digital marketing landscape, BigPxl embraced a dual inbound-outbound approach with the help of a holistic marketing automation solution.
As consumers become more skeptical of overt sales tactics, they're seeking value-driven relationships with brands. They want to overcome their challenges or gain strategic insights rather than being sold a product that doesn't fit their needs. Thanks to the affordability and versatility of digital channels, marketers are shifting to an inbound approach: creating content that attracts qualified leads by sharing their wisdom or offering real solutions. These days, it's even more challenging to determine the ROI of these tactics — especially since these top-of-funnel touch points were often far removed from the conversion point. And now that consumers take up to 12 or 13 touchpoints to convert in some industries, there are even more interactions to measure. Businesses often struggle to justify the expense of content marketing when it's much easier to understand the metrics of an ad campaign. Unless they have plenty of cash in the budget (and who does?), many brands focus on performance marketing — campaigns that can be heavily tested, tweaked, and measured. However, a hyper-focused "performance marketing mindset" can do more harm than good:
It often limits the pool of qualified leads, as prospects aren't sufficiently captured or engaged at the top of the funnel.
There's little synchronicity among marketing, social media, and sales teams.
Clients come to expect a particular ROI within a strict time period, along with the data to back it up. There's less wiggle room to adapt and optimize the strategy.
Often, the cost-per-acquisition will continue to rise with inflation, while preexisting customers or inbound leads get ignored — even though they'd be less expensive to engage.
Another problem with typical digital marketing is that it ignores the buyer's journey. For example, a user may engage with a social post, accept the CTA to join the mailing list, then immediately get a sales pitch. Or worse, they get a rehashed version of what they just saw on social media. This incongruence comes off as scattered and spammy, ultimately driving away leads. When leads do convert, many marketers are quick to attribute those conversions to the channel on which they did so. But again, this is ignoring all the other touchpoints where the lead may have encountered a brand message that ultimately drove them to take that action. That's why focusing on simple clickthrough metrics misses the big picture. As BigPxl Marketing noticed, hinging everything on the metrics was actually hurting their results. They weren't seeing the upper-funnel activity that was driving conversions, nor were they effectively engaging warm leads who didn't click through from ads.
"Marketing is not a gumball machine, where you put a quarter in and get a gumball out. There's some legwork setting up campaigns, casting a wide net, creating [brand] awareness, and finding the correct audiences could take a little bit of time. […] But we're gonna nurture [our clients] along. You're going to crawl, then you're going to walk, and finally, you're going to run with us." – Drew Owen, BigPxl Marketing
In terms of measurement, the challenge of digital marketing is two-fold: (a) bringing all your tactics into a cohesive marketing stack, so you can assess your results, and (b) shifting focus to inbound leads and retargeting to reduce the overall cost-per-acquisition. The only way to overcome both these challenges is to synchronize and align your various channels. Rather than running in parallel, your campaigns should be touching different target personas but ultimately supporting each other. A comprehensive marketing automation platform like SharpSpring brings together all your disparate tools: your email provider, CRM, landing pages, social media profiles, Google ads, and so on. Rather than a patchwork approach where you're comparing apples to oranges, you can see the relevant data from each channel and how it feeds into the next. So, the team at BigPxl Marketing teamed up with SharpSpring and adopted a dual inbound-outbound approach that helped distinct campaigns work together rather than cannibalize each other.
Campaign Tactic: Inbound and Outbound Hand-in-Hand
Great Content + Simple Lead Capture = Lower CAC BigPxl's client wanted to generate leads from Orlando, Florida. They had a call center ready to receive inquiries, but they weren't getting enough calls, nor could they reach through cold calling. Upon reviewing their pipeline, BigPxl found a maze of conversion pathways, none of which encouraged people to call. So, they decided to entice the target audience with a lead magnet, "Things to Do in Orlando." By promoting the landing page to Orlando locals, snowbirds, Disney annual passholders, and other ideal prospects, they began averaging 40-50 leads per day. And even though the phone number was optional on the lead capture, 85% of people provided it anyway! With the power of high-value content along with simple marketing automation, BigPxl could affordably generate leads for their client's pipeline. And because those leads were already excited about the brand, they were more likely to convert.
The SharpSpring platform allowed BigPxl Marketing to assess engagement and conversions across disparate marketing channels. Even better, they could pinpoint which tactics were (a) cost-effective and (b) tuned into each lead's buying journey. It became much easier to see the points of connection among various campaigns. So rather than pulling tons of data — comparing apples to oranges — while missing out on valuable top-of-funnel insights, the BigPxl team could build synchronicity among inbound and outbound tactics. As Drew Owen of BigPxl says, "That's what makes what we do so powerful: to be able to have those conversations [with clients] and to strategize how to create a campaign that can connect those dots." Instead of hyper-focusing on performance marketing or struggling to measure the ROI of inbound tactics, BigPxl could finally see the bigger picture.