When we’re helping a company with their marketing efforts, we have a variety of tools that we employ to help track data and understand how things are performing. Starting with tools like Google Analytics, we set up data scorecards, heatmaps, trackable phone numbers, and a variety of excellent tools to help with our efforts.
At the end of the day, though, it’s essentially impossible to track every sale back to the source and we need to learn to be ok with that.
Earlier this year on the SparkToro blog, Rand Fishkin showed a great example. A new customer walked through how they ended up using SparkToro, and Rand show the tracking (or lack thereof) at each step along the way.
Don’t skip the data
To be clear, I’m not suggesting that you stop trying. The tools that I listed above are still incredibly valuable and can help provide a wide view of how things are performing.
I see a similar path in how we decided to hire Blumer CPAs to handle our finances a few years ago.
- In 2015, we saw Jason Blumer speak at WordCamp Atlanta. I had heard of him, but didn’t know much about him. He did a great job with his talk.
- As a result, I started listening to his podcast and subscribed to his blog.
- He produced solid content on both of those, and at one point had a special offer for a one-hour coaching session, which Ali and I signed up for.
- Not long after that, we decided we needed more help with our finances and he was easily the first person we turned to.
- We’ve been a happy client of his for a few years now!
If Jason was to look at his marketing and where to spend his time, what was the piece that earned our business? We likely wouldn’t have gone down that road if he hadn’t spoken at WordCamp, so that’s important. Of course, without his podcast he would have slowly faded from view so that helped a lot as well. I’m sure at some point I Googled for “Blumer CPAs” to pull up his site, so his Analytics would show that SEO was what brought us in.
There is no right answer
Jason did a good job of producing excellent content across a variety of mediums, and that helped him gain our business. It’s essentially impossible to track “the thing” that sealed the deal, but he just needs to be ok with that.
Rand’s post goes into much more detail, and I encourage you to read it, but the overall sentiment is to trust your gut. If you’re putting out great content and things are going well, they’re likely closely related even if you can’t tell exactly which post on which platform lead to that great new client.