It finally happened to jewelers.
A little hit. A taste of the drug people in other industries have been taking for years.
The thing online jewelers can’t get enough of.
The thing jewelers have been asking for. A simple report that shows how many leads your digital marketing produced in a given timeframe.
COVID forced many jewelers to restrict their showroom hours or even switch to appointment only. And all of a sudden, the number of trackable leads, or “conversions” as they’re called in digital marketing, have skyrocketed.
The Shift in Lead Tracking
In years past, doing a great job in marketing for your local jewelry store meant people showing up in the showroom. It rarely resulted in people filling out a form or requesting a private appointment in order to come by.
Post-COVID, with the option to simply “stop by the showroom” taken off the table, people have to make contact ahead of time. Then voila – a trackable lead appears.
Tools like Google Analytics will show you not only the number of leads or conversions you’ve had over a given time period, but also which tactics or channels they came from.
In other words, you can separate the lead sources by Google Ads, social media, organic search traffic, email and many others.
Tracking those contact points to tell you which strategies are “working” is what digital marketers love. It’s the drug business owners can’t get enough of.
The Problem with Lead Tracking
It’s such an alluring idea…to track your leads back to the marketing tactic that produced the lead.
Then, you double down on the strategy that works & eliminate the ones that don’t.
You can finally solve the age-old problem: “I know half my marketing budget is wasted, I just don’t know which half.”
But here’s the thing. Lead tracking reports don’t tell you everything.
They’re fools gold.
I’m going to give you 2 reasons why:
Reason #1: Consumers Don’t Follow Straight Lines
For the most part, people don’t wake up one day and decide to buy jewelry.
The idea is planted. People think about it. It’s an emotional decision.
They might eventually come see you first if you’re their family jeweler. Or, they might shop around.
And when they shop around, if they’ve seen your ads online or heard them on the radio, they’re much more likely to choose you over someone they haven’t heard of before.
How do you measure that in a report?
Here’s an example to illustrate the flaws:
Your client, let’s call him Michael, has been seeing your ads on Facebook for 6 months and is finally ready to buy an anniversary gift. He remembers seeing your ads, Google’s your company name, finds your website and books an appointment.
Bingoz- a new lead, attributed to…Organic Search.
I would argue that lead should be attributed to social media. But that’s not what the report says.
Reason #2: Holes in Reporting
The fact that this happens regularly in reporting is the 2nd reason not to trust digital marketing reports. The data is flawed.
We’ve studied conversion data from local jewelers over and over, and almost every time, the pattern I described above is what plays out.
The customer decides to buy something, Google searches the business and comes in to make a purchase.
The majority of leads are attributed to Google Organic traffic. And the majority of conversions happen within 2 days of visiting your site.
That’s totally contrary from a tracking standpoint to what you know as a jeweler about how people buy jewelry.
The root of the problem is that every digital marketing source has a limited attribution window. That means if someone saw an ad on Facebook and later found you on Google, that lead gets attributed to Google, not Facebook.
We see the same thing with radio or TV advertising.
The bottom line is – you can’t trust the reports.
So, What Should You Track?
With these serious tracking issues impacting the reliability of the data, should you still be tracking conversions?
But how do you evaluate whether or not your Google Ads, social media or even broadcast advertising is working?
Look at one thing: bottom line revenue.
Like all drugs, getting hung up on conversion tracking is dangerous.
Don’t get fooled by a slick report from Google Analytics that tells you certain marketing tactics are driving all your conversions.
My clients who advertise on social media or the radio would drop those ads if they measured the impact strictly on lead reports. And it would be a HUGE mistake given their annual revenue.
Always give your marketing campaigns time to succeed. Evaluate the channels based on what you can track, but trust your gut based on what you see happening in the store and in your bottom line.
You’ll be happy you did!