Examining the history of client origin offers a more accurate methodology for tracking the results of service business marketing. At first blush, employment of this methodology might appear to be just another way of calculating, analyzing, predicting return on investment, and ultimately for making decisions pertaining to the marketing activities of the organization.
But this would not be true.
The data gained through the utilization of an approach that tracks client origin is both vast and rich in detail. Among the information to be gleaned are answers to questions such as:
Which marketing tools offer the greatest potential for short-term ROI? For long-term ROI? Because the History of Client Origin Methodology can be traced over any period of time, marketing decision makers can easily ascertain which activities are most likely to pay out over the short or the long haul.
What is the relative cost vs. benefit in having specific individuals spend time on client work vs. on business development efforts? Let’s face it. Some people are better at drumming up new business and others are better at servicing current clients or customers. This can be analyzed by taking the history of client origin model and applying it at the individual level. This involves tracking the touchpoints to which the staff member allocated his or her time. The hours spent is then multiplied by their rate of compensation to arrive at ROI and Aggregate ROI figures for his or her efforts. These numbers can then be compared to the revenue that might have been earned had the individual spent this time on billable work. By doing so, it is easy to ascertain whether a staff member’s time is better spent on originating work versus on generating more billable hours.
Which departments, services or practice areas offer the best potential for short or long-term revenue growth? As with individual staff members, this requires applying the history of client origin methodology to the group level. From this analysis, marketing decision makers can determine to which groups or departments the business’ resources are best allocated.
Should business development resources be spent on hard marketing costs (e.g., advertising) or on personalized prospecting/networking? The history of client origin model provides a straight-forward methodology for comparing the ROI of the interpersonal efforts of individuals (e.g. networking, prospecting, entertaining) to other touchpoints such as the organization’s website, advertising, collateral materials, PR, on-line media, etc.
Should marketing resources be spent on very direct marketing activities (e.g., direct mail, seminars, pay-per-click, etc.,) versus on “softer” image-oriented ones such as the organization’s web site, image advertising, brochures, etc? Unlike other ROI methodologies, the history of client origin paradigm levels the playing field in terms of allowing marketing decision-makers to ascertain the relative contribution of these two different “types” of touchpoints. And it can do so, without the need for implementing testing scenarios.
What is the short and/or long term value of a specific client or customer? What kind of exponential potential do they offer? ROI and Aggregate ROI analyses can be run against different client segments as based upon revenue, industry, etc.
To what degree is word-of-mouth marketing working for the company or organization? By considering “referrals” to be touchpoints, we can ascertain the percentage of revenue attributed to word-of-mouth versus revenue generated through other means. Because referrals are an indication of client satisfaction, it can be inferred that the greater the percentage of revenue attributed to referrals, the greater is the perceived quality of services that the firm is providing. This can have further implications as the greater the level of referral revenue, the less there is a need to invest dollars into traditional marketing channels. Of course, the converse of this is true as well.