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Tracking the “enquiry journey”

One of the hardest tasks in marketing has always been tracking incoming sales enquiries back to their source. There are always some easy ones (e.g. “they wandered on to our exhibition stand, said they’d never heard from us before, we gave them our literature and they called the next week to ask for a rep to call”). However, human nature probably gives these too much importance, just because they’re so readily identifiable. If you have 100 enquiries, with 10 from an exhibition and 90 of uncertain source, it’s only natural to focus on the 10, even if you have a nagging feeling that most of the other 90 might have come from the same place, if only you knew where it was.

However, the chances are – especially nowadays – that enquiries come through an information chain, or funnel. And this will surely have the website as the final step. Your prospects might be reading about you in a magazine, or clutching a business card you gave them at a conference, but it’s rare that they’ll ring you or email you direct from that. Their next step will be to take a look at your website, and that can be done in two ways: typing in your website address, or (more commonly, it would seem), typing your company name into the search box in their web browser.

Google, of course, is loving all the credit it gets for apparently driving so many people to your website. For many companies, the majority of their website visitors are in the “google” row of their visitor source report. But we need to see through that. How many of those prospects started their journey towards contacting you somewhere else completely …the Google results point in the information chain just being an identifiable – but potentially misleading – one?

I’ll discuss how we might visualise this “enquiry journey” tomorrow.

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