Social Media with Lee Kenny: Where do your customers really come from online?

Lee Kenny
Lee Kenny

For the past 10 years online marketing agencies have complained about something called “Last click wins” and it maybe something you as a business could be guilty of too.

If you own a website, it is very likely you will have some type of analytics or tracking software that shows you the basics:

l How many people visited your site

l What pages they looked at

l How long they stayed

l Whether they bought anything

However the golden metric is “Where they came from”. After all, this is where you want to focus all your efforts so you can encourage more people to come via that channel, right? Well not necessarily.

To quote an offline scenario. A lot of people have heard that, on average, a person won’t respond to a TV advertisement until they’ve seen it six or seven times. Now think of the average local business. They may have a few of the following “marketing tools”:

l Business cards

l Flyers

l Posters

l Newspaper advertisements

l Radio adverts

l Signage on their van

l Billboards or bus shelter advertising

l Word of mouth

l Yellow Pages

l Local magazine adverts

l Google AdWords

l Social media activity (of course)

The list could go on and on.

In the “last click wins” model, if a new lead or customer says they heard it from a friend you might be tempted to invest all your time and energy in to refer-a-friend activity or emails to your existing customers. However what if the recommendation was only acted upon because they had already seen your tweets, plus an advert in the Halifax Courier and had seen your company vehicle, complete with signage in the days and weeks before?

How would you match the revenue to the activity? A quarter each or should you give more weight to the one that pushed them over the finishing line? In reality most large, let alone small, businesses just don’t have the time to attribute the sales properly and continue doing what they’ve always done.

When times are tough it’s easy for a business to say “I haven’t got any sales from XYZ, therefore I’m stopping all that activity and focusing on social media where there is visible engagement”. That may or may not be a great idea as social media in isolation can’t always get the job done. It’s fantastic for reaching people and engaging but often needs to be married to good processes, a nice and credible looking website and other factors too.

The other challenge business owners have is that they don’t have the resource to manage every marketing channel without spreading themselves too thinly. I’d recommend rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater you change one or two things at a time and monitor the results. Often the little things that appear not to generate any results is actually the glue that holds all the other activity together.