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Any lingering doubts that marketers are working in a truly multi-channel environment must now be dispelled following our recent Online Lead Generation Report.
Three quarters of marketers working for 'across-the-line' organisations said that their companies generate leads online with the intention of converting them offline, according to our B2C study carried out in association with Clash-Media.
Encouragingly, a big chunk of these organisations say that this multi-channel approach is "very much part of their strategy" rather than something they just do occasionally.
Furthermore, the majority of respondents (60%) say that they are either "excellent", "good" or "quite good" at measuring the effectiveness of online lead generation.
However, there are still significant numbers of organisations who face serous difficulties when trying to measure the effectiveness of their lead gen activity.
Respondents typically reported difficulties which fell into the following three (sometimes overlapping) categories. Some quotations from respondents are included to illustrate the issues.
1) Difficulty of tracking leads through to conversion in a multi-channel environment.
For example, it can be difficult to define different elements of the conversion process. There are also problems around implementing effective systems and also getting staff to follow processes.
“The most difficult part is ensuring full view through to sale once lead has been generated via online environment.”
“Getting sales persons to follow the correct procedure for converting leads to opportunities and on to Win / Loss, for accurate reporting.”
2) Lack of technology or poor technology for online tracking.
“Successful measurement and follow-up of lead generation effectiveness requires state-of-the-art web analytics tools.”
“De-duping the traffic [is a challenge].”
“Reliable tracking software and cost of obtaining good tracking software [is a challenge].”
3) Lack of resources.
“Not enough bandwidth to track.”
“[Not enough] staff to support reporting.”
The full report contains more examples of what respondents said about the challenges organisations - and their agencies - are facing.
With good reason, the subject of measuring return on investment is something which crops up regularly, whether we are writing about online lead generation, search engine marketing or email marketing.
Research across a range of disciplines shows that this is a thorny issue for many companies but the good news is that the obstacles can generally be surmounted.
The challenge for multi-channel companies is that such an array of processes and technologies have to come together seamlessly for a full and accurate understanding of ROI.
See also a recent post by Henry Hyder-Smith of Adestra about the importance of integrated systems for integrated email marketing .