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Search Engine Marketing in Complex Sales Cycles

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Description of a model for success for using search as a marketing channel when the product sales cycle is long and complex. Presented by Tracy Earles, VP marketing at Parallel Path Corp., at SMX West 2011.

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Search Engine Marketing in Complex Sales Cycles

  1. 1. Search and the Complex Sale<br />A Model for Success<br />© Parallel Path Corp. 2011<br />
  2. 2. The Challenge of the Online Agency<br />Agencies rely on their client’s performance to ensure success<br />With long, complex sales cycles, agencies need help from client’s sales operations<br />Many such markets are still relatively new to search as a lead gen tool<br />© Parallel Path Corp. 2011<br />
  3. 3. Keys to Success<br />Short term feedback:<br />Identify early indicators of likely high-quality leads<br />Use this to optimize campaigns<br />Long term feedback:<br />Study past leads to see which turned in to sales<br />Use this to re-optimize and adjust channel mix<br />© Parallel Path Corp. 2011<br />
  4. 4. The Complex Sale Optimization Loop<br />Marketing Campaigns<br />Short-Term Qualification<br />Long-Term Validation<br />Optimization<br />Optimization<br />This model is appropriate for ALL marketing channels, not just search.<br />© Parallel Path Corp. 2011<br />
  5. 5. Possible Short-Term Qualification Criteria<br />Unsophisticated<br />Not competitor<br />Not personal email domain (comcast.net, hotmail.com)<br />Valid phone number or email?<br />How much contact information provided?<br />Sophisticated<br />What actions did prospect take on website?<br />Multiple interactions?<br />© Parallel Path Corp. 2011<br />
  6. 6. Long-Term Validation Challenges<br />Time-to-sale means traceability is impaired<br />Tools change, staff evolves<br />Leads for complex sales often go through a variety of sales channels<br />Resellers, manufacturer’s reps, distributors, consultants …<br />Channels have little motivation to help the agency<br />Leads from different marketing channels have different nurturing needs<br />© Parallel Path Corp. 2011<br />
  7. 7. The Sales Organization Must Participate<br />They must qualify leads<br />They must define a search-specific qualification process<br />Trade shows, inbound calls, email, direct mail leads all have their own characteristics and must be handled differently<br />Some leads are perishable and need immediate follow-up, others long-term nurturing<br />© Parallel Path Corp. 2011<br />
  8. 8. Case Study 1: Database Software<br />Marketing Campaigns<br />Short-Term Qualification<br />Long-Term Validation<br />Performance improvement software for large database users<br />Small company in big search environment<br />PASS<br />All leads immediately qualified with email or phone contact<br />Optimization<br /><br />Optimization<br />© Parallel Path Corp. 2011<br />
  9. 9. Case Study 1: Database Software<br />Marketing Campaigns<br />Short-Term Qualification<br />Long-Term Validation<br />Performance improvement software for large database users<br />Small company in big search environment<br />PASS<br />Detailed review of past leads led to conclusion: invest in search exclusively<br />Optimization<br /><br />Optimization<br />© Parallel Path Corp. 2011<br />
  10. 10. Case Study 2: Logistics Software<br />Marketing Campaigns<br />Short-Term Qualification<br />Long-Term Validation<br />Logistics software for large shippers<br />1000 target firms worldwide<br />Disqualified prospects using personal email addresses<br />FAIL<br />Optimization<br /><br />Optimization<br />© Parallel Path Corp. 2011<br />
  11. 11. Case Study 3: CAD Software<br />Design software tools, up to $2M purchase price<br />Very complicated purchase process<br />Marketing Campaigns<br />Short-Term Qualification<br />Long-Term Validation<br />PASS<br />Search leads optimized for “visit-interactions”; interactions given score based on presumed correlation to sale<br />Optimization<br /><br />Optimization<br />© Parallel Path Corp. 2011<br />
  12. 12. Case Study 3: CAD Software<br />Design software tools, up to $2M purchase price<br />Very complicated purchase process<br />Marketing Campaigns<br />Short-Term Qualification<br />Long-Term Validation<br />PASS<br />Leads are tracked throughout their lifecycle, and acceptable CPA is established by source channel<br />Optimization<br /><br />Optimization<br />© Parallel Path Corp. 2011<br />
  13. 13. Success Requires Commitment<br />Validation can take up to a year<br />Requires long-term commitment to channel validation<br />Successful search campaigns in these markets require a commitment to this model before campaigns begin.<br />© Parallel Path Corp. 2011<br />
  14. 14. Thank You<br />

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