Last fall, one of the world’s leading digital ad platforms announced a partnership with one of the world’s leading CRM platforms. Yesterday they announced the first element of that partnership. Data from Salesforce Sales Cloud can now feed into Google Analytics 360 so that businesses can not only see the sources that lead to a lead conversion but can also assess if that lead turned into a sale.
In theory this gives marketers and advertisers one more metric and a bigger-picture view into whether their ads and websites ‘worked’.
Or does it? Would you optimize an ad or piece of content based on a closed sale?
Source: Google Analytics Blog
It depends. While it’s important to see the forest from the trees, it’s also important not to forget how each plant and tree contributes to the health of the forest in the first place.
Let’s look at a path to purchase from the marketer’s lens.
Source > Site > Lead > Sale
Source > Site: Impressions and clicks
If the aim of your piece of content is awareness then your metric of success is impressions but to move the customer to the next step you need clicks.
Site > Lead
The click means the customer is intrigued then the site has to do the work of getting the customer interested enough to start the sales process.
If the customer didn’t convert into a lead that means one or some of the following:
- The customer wasn’t ready yet (but when the customer is you’ll see an assisted conversion)
- The experience of the site didn’t pay off the expectations from the ad or content that got the customer to the site (bounces, non-converting visits)
- Poor targeting (bounces or low time on site)
- Issues with the site experience itself (non-converting visits)
Lead > Sale
A function of the sales process and salespeople. The site might be revisited during that process
So as you see the customer is going through long sometimes complex process that may include multiple site visits before becoming a lead and even a sale. Simply looking at which sources of traffic produce the most sales is less helpful than understanding the common paths that led to a sale and more importantly the common paths that lost sales.
Here’s hoping the partnership evolves to give us that level of intelligence.