A market leader in the financial services industry, Optionis Group provides accountancy, tax and umbrella employment solutions to contractors and small businesses across multiple brands such as SJD Accountancy, Nixon Williams, Clearsky Accounting, Brian Alfred and Parasol.
Working across all brands within the group, Chris Shepherd, Ecommerce Manager, utilises a wide range of digital channels, both above and below the line, to deliver campaigns, including paid, social, search and radio.
This activity drives visitors to their websites who typically convert as a lead via phone call, resource download or callback form request.
Given the nature of the group’s services, it is typical for customers to want to discuss their requirements over the phone, where the salesperson would then convert the lead to a sale.
Chris said, “A high proportion of our leads like to engage through telephone numbers and speak to a human rather than communicate and transact digitally.”
This posed a challenge as the team couldn’t prove which campaigns were driving offline leads to the business, and of those leads which converted to a sale.
Being familiar with call tracking from his previous roles, Chris was keen to utilise an attribution solution to evidence the effectiveness his campaigns had on creating offline conversions.
When it came to choosing Ruler Analytics, Chris compared a number of options in the market, with flexibility, agility and personality high on his wish-list.
Chris said, “The simplicity of Ruler’s closed-loop attribution was a big plus. I felt Ian, Dan and Alex got to know me and the business. They listen to challenges faced and can, and have, re-evaluated the platform to provide a solution, their ability to be flexible is really valuable.”
With Ruler’s marketing attribution solution in place, Chris was able to evidence how the team had exceeded targets including the number of leads generated, call volume, paid and direct traffic volume and brand awareness mentions via referral sites and social channels.
From Ruler learnings in the previous year, Optionis shifted efforts across distribution channels to show a 30% increase YoY in overall call volumes with a 10% increase in CRM leads and a 3% reduction in CPA.
Ruler’s marketing attribution solution allows Chris to monitor metrics such as lead to sale conversion rate at campaign level, providing a lead target and definitive proof of a campaign’s success, allowing optimisation decisions to be based on the well-reasoned analysis.
Chris mentioned, “The ability to compare first and last-click attribution is particularly insightful, for example, we knew that our email marketing was working, but in fact, it was often our Google paid campaigns which brought the initial awareness.”
Without being able to compare channels against the customer’s decision-making cycle, Optionis may not have given the Google paid campaigns the recognition they deserved, despite it receiving high attention as a relatively expensive cost centre.
Through tracking of digital performance, Optionis has been able to utilise insights gathered from Ruler to inform digital strategy moving forward.
Chris continued, “Ruler’s tracking allows us to monitor if campaigns are driving sufficient call volumes and help better understand which sources have the strongest conversion metrics for both conversion to lead and conversion to sale.”
“We’ve also identified areas where we can focus our efforts. For example, Ruler’s data highlighted inefficient spend in a campaign, resulting in our cost per lead coming in over budget. With access to this data we were quickly able to realign messaging and improve conversion rates across all channels.”
Like most marketing departments, Google Analytics is the first port of call for Chris when monitoring the company’s performance.
Initially, the team were monitoring a plethora of meaningless goals. And given the number of leads generated, digitally or by phone, the team had a dark spot in their reporting, with no way to evidence which sources were driving the enquiry.
“In the early stages, Ruler was the only tool I had to report on performance, helping track calls and split out which calls were new prospects compared to existing customers making queries.”
By utilising Ruler’s direct Google Analytics integration, Optionis now have a clear goal structure to effectively capture data on all leads intent types generated and the campaigns which influenced their behaviour.
One particular goal focuses on Sales Accepted Leads, which includes inbound calls and form completions requesting a callback.
This in itself posed another challenge, as the team wanted to discern between a sales call and an existing customer’s enquiry.
Typically the team knew that a call which lasted longer than 6 minutes could be classed as a sales call.
Given the bespoke nature of Ruler’s integration, the team were able to ensure only relevant call events are fired through to Analytics as a goal, providing Chris and the team with accurate reporting and faith in the results they were analysing.
“This ability has allowed us to rebuild our analytics platforms around goals. Beyond the lead generation element, one goal looks at how existing clients utilise our resources, which helps see how people move through the funnel and identify what content is useful for them to help us optimise for other customers,” says Chris.
Ruler’s solution has also allowed marketing data to penetrate other departments, connecting seamlessly with applications used business-wide.
Optionis Group utilises Salesforce CRM to manage their sales process. Once a lead becomes an opportunity, Ruler’s integration enriches the contact with attributed marketing data at a visitor level to help inform the sales team of their research decision making.
Call information matched to the prospect by Ruler will be fed into Salesforce, giving the sales team at a glance access to call recordings and the campaign which drove the enquiry.
When an opportunity has been successfully converted as Closed Won within Salesforce, the revenue data is then synced against the visitor within Ruler Analytics which fires an event to Google Analytics for clear reporting on revenue performance.
By connecting sales and marketing data in such a way, Chris is well equipped to make decisions on budget, campaign optimisation and channel usage based on evidence of the value they are bringing.
The seamless integrations allow for marketing’s influence to be discussed at strategic level, with the data feeding into Power BI reports accessible across departments. With all areas of the business to see the impact the team’s strategies have operationally and financially, Chris is able to democratise marketing data in a way previously unattainable due to the complexities in their sales processes.
Optionis Group continues to have a strong relationship with the Ruler team. Thanks to Chris’ understanding of marketing attribution and the challenges faced by professional marketers, Optionis often assist with product development for mutual gain. “The team at Ruler is ready to help every time we approach with a problem or recommendation. We like to be ‘guinea pigs’ of new innovations and the business relationship has blossomed because the personal relationship is there.”