Going in Circles

May 25, 2016

Closed-loop marketing puts your brand in all the right places.

By Kathryn Will

“Closing the loop” simply means that sales teams report to the marketing department about what happened to the leads that they received, which, in turn, helps the marketing department understand the best and worst lead sources.

Effective marketing is becoming increasingly challenging.

Why? Marketers must choose from a growing abundance of platforms on which to market, customers are increasingly demanding website-posted or downloadable content to aid them in making a buying decision, and super-savvy prospects know how to opt out of the marketing messages you send. This makes the task of delivering an effective message and getting the customer to take action more complicated.

The best defense against becoming overwhelmed by having too many to dos is a closed-loop approach that ties sales and marketing efforts together through data and metrics reporting for better pre-campaign decision-making that yields greater campaign ROI.

From a high level, this approach looks individually at each channel you may choose to use—email, direct mail, social media, custom content and publishing, your company website, etc.—and collectively at how they may tie back to one another. Examples include when a print piece uses a QR code to direct a prospect to the company’s website, or where visitors to a social media channel are asked to fill out a form that will enroll them to receive an emailed newsletter.

Closing the loop in this way allows the sales team to see the marketing methods and promotions that are driving the most leads. Sales can then report back to the marketing team as to what works and what needs tweaking.

Closed-loop marketing is marketing that relies on data and insights from closed-loop reporting, according to HubSpot, an inbound marketing software and consulting company. “Closing the loop” simply means that sales teams report to the marketing department about what happened to the leads that they received, which, in turn, helps the marketing department understand the best and worst lead sources.

Effective closed-loop marketing requires that you track specific lead sources and the response rates garnered from each channel and by which promotions. Knowing these details lets marketers identify what delivers the highest lead-to-customer conversion rates. But to get these answers, you’ll need to trace URLs, employ social media metrics, and use an email vendor that allows for easy tracking of open and click-through rates.

And if content delivery offers are part of your marketing mix, landing pages fortified with forms that capture a visitor’s contact information are also necessary. Being able to see which offers get the most traction can help to close the loop even further by pushing visitors to a second relevant offer or promotion.

What’s the ultimate objective with closed-loop marketing? Keeping your brand front and center as prospects cycle through your marketing and sales channels and back again.