Direct Causes For Conversion Are Harder To Find

When it comes to lead generation, we marketers are always looking for direct causes. Today, this is a seriously misleading thought, and no longer serves the same purpose it once did.  Not every conversion can be traced back to a specific cause. As people increase their social levels along with their use of social platforms and devices, causes for conversions are going to become more difficult to find.

When I first joined Twitter on April 12, 2007, it was a lot less crowded. Those are the days when blogging was still young, and Facebook required a .edu email address to join. Today, the social landscape is a lot more crowded with citizens and marketers.

Back in those days, Blackberry ruled the mobile world, and tablet computing was a hope in the hearts of every geek. Google Ads were cheap.

Today, to be successful, we implement Trifecta Marketing™ campaigns for our clients, that include passive, active and pro-active marketing strategies. Why? Because a more complex marketing landscape requires a more complex solution.

Here is how most people see causation in marketing:

How Many See Causation

This is a very limited view, and rests on the assumption that your funnel is actually a straight line of causes. A occurs, which causes B to occur, which in turn causes C.

This is an outdated view.

Here is how things occur in reality:

How Things Actually Occur

Above the A->B->C line of cause and effect that we see in front of us, that our analytics show, is an ABC that has made A->B->C possible.

As an example, let's say you've launched a sales campaign. You created a landing page, and are sending people to it from pay-per-click (PPC) Google ads and a banner ad on your blog. For each sales conversion, your goal, your analytics will tell you:

  1. Where the person came from: the PPC ad or the banner on your blog.
  2. How many people viewed your landing page
  3. How many people made the purchase

That's A->B->C stuff. However, it's not the full story.

The Story of Sally and Victoria

One woman who just purchased your product, Sally, has a friend named Victoria. Victoria has been reading your blog posts for the past few months but hasn't made a purchase, left a comment, or taken any other action other than read. To you, she's anonymous.

Today Victoria saw your product ad on your blog, knew it was a fit for her friend Sally, and told her all about it. Sally, a brand new client who didn't know about you before today, made the purchase based on Victoria's recommendation.

What your analytics won't tell you is that Victoria referred Sally to you. The only way you'd know about that is to have an exit survey on your shopping cart, and ask Sally to tell you how she heard of you.

It's Not A Choice

The other day on a project update call, a client of ours, Lisa, said something very profound. She said that she was happy to see that what they are doing is working. And then she said the most important thing: it isn't one thing that was working, it was everything they are doing that is working.

When clients ask us if there is one thing they should be doing, the answer is a resounding yes – all of the above!

Which option should you choose: content marketing, social media, paid advertising, direct mail, expanding (or building) a sales force, PR? Yes!

The marketing landscape is becoming even more fragmented and complex. I remember when there were less than 100 channels on television. Now there's a channel for just about every type of person and topic. However, some things will never change.

You must clearly define your ideal client and connect with them.

Everything that you do in your business must be focused on serving that singular group of people. And once you determine who they are, use everything at your disposal – Trifecta Marketing – to connect with them.

There is underlying causation bringing those people to you, causes that aren't easily measured. It could be one thing you're doing, or it could be the result of all of it.

Give your ideal clients as many reasons to purchase from you as possible. Do that, and I guarantee you'll be successful.


  1. When it comes to lead conversion and sales you as an entrepreneur must know your targeted audience. You just cannot sell to anyone. Your efforts will be futile and you land up frustrated. Research on the targeted audience helps a lot for getting more leads and sales!

  2. Marketing sometimes works like Nature. It’s a system that reacts and adapts by itself, despite outside influences. Looking at it that way, Nature always finds a way to keep going through catastrophic events.

  3. Amazing article. I think most of us were in this situation, where we were too conceited, that all we know now is enough to be successful. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough anymore. And a little study here and there will always teach you something. Thanks again, Carl for the amazing post.

  4. I love what you point out here Robert . . .

    “What your analytics won’t tell you is that Victoria referred Sally to you. The only way you’d know about that is to have an exit survey on your shopping cart, and ask Sally to tell you how she heard of you.”

    It seems to me like you could get so much more better information as to how they found you by talking to them on the phone.

    People are lazy. And, most of them don’t see themselves as writers so when asked to type they’re just going to give you no answer or something like, “friend told me”. But there’s a deeper story that people will tell if you just let them tell you the way they’d tell anyone who asked them on the street.

    You could email this person and position the reason that you want to call them is to give them a free 15 minute personalized consultation on how they can get the best results from their purchase. And then in the midst of doing precisely this, you casually ask how they came to find themselves at your site.

    And if it so happens that another resource you offer would assist them in maximizing the specific results they’re seeking, this would be the perfect opportunity to extend the offer to them to buy it i.e. up sell them.

    It’s my personal belief that the richest insights you will ever get about your prospects and their problems is via face to face or the phone and a day shouldn’t go by without at least spending 15 minutes with one of your perfect prospects.

    Thank you Robert for reminding me of how important this is to my business!

  5. Hi Robert, this is why I don’t really follow where sales or leads come from. I market in forums, I market on blogs, Facebook and Twitter like everyone else. I look at it as follows. I have to be on these networks because people are on these networks. If someone see’s me on Facebook and mentioned me to someone else I will never know it was from my Facebook marketing. So my rule of thumb is to take the time and to use all the networks where users are spending time. If we spend all day tracking where leads and traffic come we will never have time to market any more.

Speak Your Mind