Are you gambling with your marketing budget? The very first company I worked with in the homebuilding industry certainly was. We blindly spent advertising money and didn’t track any of our marketing channel leads. Don’t leave your marketing budget to chance. Track your investment from the very top of the funnel all the way to the sale. It is vital that you know how your marketing directly impacts sales so you can strategically invest to positively affect your company’s ability to increase sales.

My first marketing position in the homebuilding industry was with a company that didn’t do much marketing. Our total efforts were spending $500 with Google, paying someone to do our online re-marketing, and releasing a weekly print ad along with an ad in a home magazine. We didn’t use excel reports to track any leads that converted to sales from our marketing channels. We had no way to identify which advertising method successfully converted leads. Whether sales increased or decreased, there was no way to find the contributing factors. The company was just playing Russian Roulette. Don’t play roulette with your marketing budget.

Start Tracking & Marinate

The first thing I did was build a spreadsheet to track leads generated by channel and followed them through to the sales and closings. I let the data grow for six months without making any investment changes. Doing this accomplished two things: First, the spreadsheet showed us where we were spending. Second, we could see how those dollars directly impacted our ability to generate revenue. If you don’t track this data now, don’t worry. It’s never too late to start. Here is a Marketing-Source-Attribution tool to help.

Follow the Data

Next, we used this data to make strategic investments for the following quarter. I started small by asking for more funds for Google and showing the return (building that street cred). My favorite example is Zillow. This was a big initial investment I had been pushing with no real traction because of the investment size for almost a year. But eventually, I got the approval to do a trial.

With my tracking sheet, I was able to gather all the sales data before the trial, and then compare it to the 1st quarter results with Zillow. I did this by using the online tracking to identify all the leads we generated. Then, I verified that we were generating leads for the sales team through forms submitted directly to LassoCRM. Next, I hopped into Lasso to calculate the leads being nurtured with the intention of adding the converted leads (sales) to my spreadsheet.

The results were troubling. We had tons of untouched leads in the system. No sales agent was following up with those leads. Our boost in sales from Zillow was just the low hanging fruit.  I used the un-nurtured lead count in Lasso to prove we needed an Online New Home Specialist. By tracking this marketing channel throughout the sales process, I was able to help the company identify it as a quality lead source and put a plan in place to fix the choke point in the funnel.

Invest in Sales -Wisely

Every strategic marking investment change we made was based on our tracking sheet data. And with every change, the data helped tell a story that either proved or disproved a channel’s value. Doing this made it easier for us to dig deeper into the data and our processes. We were able to concentrate on the best marketing channels, and it showed us where we could save money by cutting out the non-preforming channels.

If you don’t track how each marketing channel passes through your sales funnel and impacts your revenue, you’re gambling with your marketing budget. By this I mean sometimes you get lucky, but sometimes you lose everything, you just never know why. Your position is too vital to the company’s revenue engine to gamble it away. Be informed and invest in your company’s future sales like a WallStreet tycoon.

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