Marketing and Advertising Works, Right?

Case Study Background

Of course, marketing and advertising works. I also know that I'm biased but let’s not stop there. Let’s see if numbers — real data — actually PROVE that marketing is effective.

In this blog post, we are going to review a case example using data from one of our clients. I’m not able to divulge the name of the company but I can tell you that the numbers are real.

The company is located in Calgary, Alberta. They have been in the renovations industry for nearly 30 years. Our company, Anduro Marketing, has done a variety of marketing activities for them including Digital Marketing, Traditional Marketing (via a media buyer partner), Website Design Consultation, and in recent years Marketing Strategy Consulting.

Our recommendations for changes in strategy and tactics are a result of using data collected with our Revenue Catalyst software product. Revenue Catalyst is like an X-ray machine for marketing - it illuminates everything in marketing that is going right and everything that is going wrong.

In this post, we will specifically review data related to Marketing Investments, Sessions to the Website, Booked Sales generated and resulting Booked Revenues booked. The measures in each of these areas, for the year of 2018, are as follows:

2019-05-28 - Table of Numbers 2018.png

Investments ($) include any expense related to marketing. These break down into four main areas:

  • Digital: SEO, Backlinking, Reviews, Paid Search, Display, Remarketing, Email

  • Social: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest

  • Traditional: Radio, Out of Home Billboards, Signage on Trucks, Trade Shows

  • Internal: Customer Referrals, Repeat Business

Sessions (#) include all visits (including repeat visits) to the website as recorded by Google Analytics.

Booked Sales (#) is the number of projects sold in a month. One project is one sale. We did not include upsales or changes in scope during the project.

Booked Revenues ($) includes the total value of the sale in dollars as agreed upon at the time the agreement is made with the customer.

The basic premise of marketing is that there should be some desired outcome as a result of funds invested in marketing. If the investments are done wisely and effectively then there should be a positive correlation between the amount invested and the desired outcome (most often Sales and Revenue).

In this case study, we will review 3 desired outcomes:

  1. Sessions (visitors) to the website

  2. Booked Sales (#)

  3. Booked Revenue ($)

As mentioned, our hypothesis is that investments in marketing should correlate positively with these three outcomes. With this in mind, let’s look at three graphs (and a fourth later on).

Investments vs Sessions

In this first graph, we will plot the amount invested each month in marketing (Investments) and compare that to the number of visitors to the website (Sessions). Ideally, when the company invests funds into marketing and advertising, we would expect that the number of visitors to the website would increase, either immediately or shortly after the investment.

New Investments vs Sessions.png

This is in fact what we observe when we compare these two measures. Investments in marketing (red line) was high in the last month of the first quarter and all during the second quarter. Sessions (blue columns) correlates very well with the investments made each month. As investments increase so do Sessions. As investments drop off later in the year, so do visit to the website (Sessions).

Investments vs Booked Sales

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an increase in sales when we spent money on marketing and advertising? Using our case example, let’s have a look. Just to be clear, what we want to see is more sales generated at some point in the future as a result of investing funds in marketing.

New Investments vs Booked Sales.png

Notice in this chart that Investments (red line) are exactly the same as in the previous graph — high in the first two quarters and significantly less in the last two quarters of the year.

A quick look at Booked Sales (blue columns) shows us that there is a strong relationship between Investments and Booked Sales but that there is a lag in some months. In April there was a significant investment of $37,249 made in marketing but the jump in Booked Sales doesn’t occur until the following month, May. This is not uncommon.

A lag like this depends on a variety of factors like time for customers to make a decision, the volume of orders that a company can process in a month, and the time of year. The lag between marketing investments and a closed sale will also vary between products, companies, industries and geographical areas.

In this case, the company in our case study made significant investments in traditional advertising including trade shows, billboards, and radio. Obviously, their investments paid off.

Investments vs Booked Revenue

It is possible to invest funds in marketing and have an increase in Sessions and an increase in Booked Sales but it doesn’t really matter if there is not an increase in Revenue. In our third chart, we will determine if there is a correlation between the funds invested in marketing and the resulting Booked Revenues generated.

New Investments and Booked Revenue.png

In fact, this is what we see. As Investments increase so do Booked Revenues and as investments decrease so does Booked Revenues. Similar to the chart for Booked Sales, we can also see the lag between the Investments in April and the Booked Revenues generated a month later in May. We can also see a significant lag between the Investments in June and the resulting Booked Revenues in July and August. Better late than never!

Return on Marketing Investment

While we are looking at numbers and performance we might as well review the Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI). The formula for the calculation is [(Revenue — Investment) / Investment]. Although the $ signs cancel out, we format the resulting product with a dollar sign. An example would be $10. Essentially, the number means that for every $1 that we spend on marketing (subtracting the cost of the investment), we gained $10 back in Revenue. A table of the data is as follows:

Let’s look at the chart.

Investments vs ROMI.png

This chart is quite different from the preceding charts. In the previous charts we saw a positive correlation between the Investments made and the desired outcomes. In this case, we see the opposite — when Investments are high, the ROMI is low and when Investments are low, ROMI is high. Why is this?

The answer is in the lag time that we discussed earlier. In this case study — with this company — high investments in marketing do result in an increase in Booked Revenues but there is a significant lag. The result is that in months like July and August when Investments are low but Booked Revenues are high, ROMI is high. Makes sense!

An Interesting Conclusion

Here is an interesting Year over Year comparison. Same company. Same measures but different years.

2019-05-28 - Table 2017 vs 2018.png
  • Between the two years, there was a significant increase in Investments (15%).

  • Sessions increased by a similar amount (16%).

  • Booked Sales went up by a third (35%). Excellent!

  • Booked Revenues more than doubled (117%). Wow!

  • And ROMI doubled (99%). Impressive!

Overall this is FANTASTIC.

In the next post we will look at the changes that our client made in order to get such a significant improvement in Revenue and ROMI.

Jeff Nelson

An Endless Stream of Referrals

Photo by  Bryan Goff  on  Unsplash

Photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash

It’s Not About You - Give

How do I say this gently? Okay, I won’t bother being gentle. I’ll just shout it out: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. If you want referrals, you can’t talk about how great you or your company are. You can’t talk about how great your clients are.

You have to give. To get a referral you have to give something of value.

What you give and what is of value depends on what your referral sources want. People are people. Most people want something. You just need to figure out what they want.

Some want a referral from you - easy to do. Some want a coffee - also easy. Some want to be treated to lunch - I do this all the time. Some want a shout-out on social media - again easy to do. Some just want to be acknowledged for who they are - simple. Some want cash - which we do sometimes. Some want a Ferrari - this is not going to happen, unless I win the lottery.

Be Different - Be Unique

This is obvious but I’ll mention it anyway. If you don’t stand out from the crowd no one will notice you. I know a guy who wears an orange shirt - all the time. I bet you know who he is. If you guessed Craig Elias then you are right. I dare you to click on the link but be sure to wear sunglasses first. This is my favorite picture of Craig - he’s wearing a purple shirt but the background is orange.

Speaking of purple, have you read, Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin? Me neither but I’m going to - soon - I promise. In fact, I’m thinking of starting a group that meets in the evening, near Longview, AB, and we read the book and we talk about the book and we apply the concepts. Are you with me? Let me know if you are interested. Email me: Or call me: 403-703-2247.

Remind People - Ask

Sadly, not everything is about giving. You can give and give but if you never ask you won’t get anything. Some people are just takers. These wallowing worms wiggle around waiting for wayfarers like me to wrestle with and waste my time. Ignore them.

On the other hand, everyone I know is busy. Even people, like my Dad, who are retired are busy. I know some people who have made a lot of money - guess what - they’re busy. The only people I know who aren’t busy are people with no money and, interestingly, they often don’t have anything to give either.

As a result, in order to get a referral you are going to need to remind people and ask. How you ask can vary. It could be over coffee or during a phone call. It could be on your website, although that is often overused. It could be at an event that you are hosting - this makes a ton of sense.

To get an endless stream of referrals you are going to have to keep in touch. Here are some of the things that I do:

  • Interact with people on social media. For me this is mostly on LinkedIn. You need to find the platform that works for you

  • Write a blog post at least once every 2 weeks

  • Send out a newsletter a couple times a month

  • Call or email people who have referred companies to us

  • Attend networking functions

My Offer to You

Here’s the deal - If you complete the referral form below AND you come to Longview, I’ll treat you to lunch at Little New York Bistro. I’m specifically looking for referrals for our Revenue Catalyst program.

I’d love to hear from you.

Jeff Nelson



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Creating a Landing Page Using MailChimp

Getting Started

Various versions of Landing Pages have been around for a long time. I remember looking at some in the early 2000’s and they were long, full of text, bolding, highlighting and basically annoying. I suppose that some people subscribed but I sure wasn’t me.

Landing pages have gotten much more sophisticated since then, and cheaper. In this article, we are going to look at how to build a landing page using MailChimp. I really like MailChimp as a platform for learning. The technology and things that can be done using MailChimp are quite incredible. AND FOR FREE, well at least it is free if you have less than 2,000 contacts.

Here is what you need before you get started:

  1. An account on MailChimp - easy, just sign up at

  2. An email address that you can use for testing - easy, just use Gmail,

  3. A PDF ebook that you can offer as a giveaway - easier said than done and a great idea for a future blog post

  4. A web page where the ebook resides. This can be a bit tricky because it depends on what platform you are using for your website and how well you know the platform to add a page and a link to the PDF. Here is a link to an example from a campaign that we set up:

  5. A logo or an image for the landing page - not critical but a good idea

  6. An idea of why you are doing this and what you want your audience to do after they download the ebook

1. Create an Audience

You need to have a place that stores a list of contacts. In MailChimp, this is called an Audience but creating the audience (or List is a little tricky). The simplest ways to log in and go to

Alternatively, you can click on Audiences, then under Current Audience click View Audiences, and finally click on on the grey Create Audience button on the right.

2019-04-29 - Landing Page 1.png

Skip Tags, you can learn about that another time.

Click Create Audience.

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Fill out the Audience details.

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Skip Form Settings.

Select the Notifications that you want.


2019-04-29 - Landing Page 4.png

2. Create a Landing Page

Next, click the green Create button at the top right of the page.

2019-04-29 - Landing Page 5.png

Select Landing Page.

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Give it a name.

Select the Audience.


2019-04-29 - Landing Page 7.png

Select a Template - e.g. Grow Your List

2019-04-29 - Landing Page 8.png

Add a Logo or an Image.

2019-04-29 - Landing Page 9.png

Add a heading.

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Add some details and information.

2019-04-29 - Landing Page 11.png

Complete “A few more things to do.”

2019-04-29 - Landing Page 12.png

And publish

Done! Have a look:


There are other ways to do landing pages but this is a start - at least for learning. You may want to try creating the page on your website and adding a form from MailChimp to the page. That is a little more professional because the URL of the landing page is actually hosted on your hosting server.

Let me know what you think.

Jeff Nelson

Find Your Social Selling Score on LinkedIn

Every once in a while there is something on the Internet that is actually interesting. This doesn’t happen every day, just once in a while.

Recently, I got an mail or read an article or got a notification about LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI). To see your score you will need an active profile on LinkedIn, obviously. Next go to:

Click on “Get your score free”.

2019-04-15 - LinkedIn Blog Post  1.png

Once you log in you should see a page that looks similar to this:

2019-04-15 - LinkedIn Blog Post  2.png

This is the Social Selling Dashboard. At the top, you will see your Industry and Network Ranks.

Then you will see your SSI as of today. This is broken into 4 categories:

  • Establish your professional brand

  • Find the right people

  • Engage with insights

  • Build relationships

As you can see I need to work on the middle 2 sections. If you click on the headings which are links, a popup will appear with a slide presentation on how to improve.

2019-04-15 - LinkedIn Blog Post  3.png

The information isn’t all that helpful and of course, there is the obligatory sales pitch at the end for Sales Navigator.

2019-04-15 - LinkedIn Blog Post  4.png

At the bottom of the page, there are comparisons to People in your Industry and People in your Network. If your score is lower than in your industry or your network, then you have lots of work to do.

2019-04-15 - LinkedIn Blog Post  5.png

If you want suggestions on using LinkedIn better you may want to look at a blog post that I wrote a while back, Tips and Tricks Using LinkedIn.

Alternatively, you can view this presentation called Outstanding Use of LinkedIn on SlideShare to how I manage my profile. The section of the presentation include:

  • Navigating

  • Setup

  • Connecting with people

  • Posting

  • Engaging

Send me a message on LinkedIn and let me know what your score is. I’ll give you some suggestions.

Jeff Nelson

Establishing Expectations

I have been reading. And learning. One of the topics that keeps raised its head is Expectations.

The topic and focus on Expectations started when a friend of mine, David Cooper, suggested that I read, Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore. I mentioned this before in the blog post last week: Marketing Must Establish a Beachhead. If you haven’t had a chance to read that post, I would suggest that you have a quick peak.

Crossing the Chasm

In his book, Moore talks about the various stages that companies go through (see image below), the different types of customers at each stage, and how companies need to change, especially when they are ready to leap across the chasm between Early Adopters and Early Majority.

2019-04-01 - Geoffrey Moore - Adoption Curve.png

Here is a quote related to Expectations from Moore’s book, p.27 (underlining is mine):

Getting closure with visionaries is next to impossible. Expectations derived from dreams simply cannot be met. This is not to devalue the dream, for without it there would be no directing force to drive progress of any sort. What is important is to celebrate continually the tangible and partial as both useful things in their own right and as heralds of the new order to come.

The most important principle stemming from all this is the emphasis on management of expectations. Because controlling expectations is so crucial, the only practical way to do business with visionaries is through a small, top-level direct sales force.

This is Brilliant. Moore captures the essence of establishing and adjusting Expectations with a visionary client. Lots for me to learn.

The Alpha Strategies

Then another friend, Joanne O’Connell, sent me a copy of The Alpha Strategies by Alan Kennedy. Again one of the topics that arises is Expectations.

Kennedy’s framework is all about business strategy and choosing the right strategy as your lead strategy. Here is a list of the eight primary strategies:

2019-04-01 - Alan Kennedy - Alpha Strategies.png

All eight strategies are critical for a business but only one strategy can be the Alpha strategy. The rest are Influencers (only 2-3) and finally, Enablers (the left overs).

Here is how this works for Ford. The Alpha strategy is Manufacturing. The Influencer strategies are Financial Management, Marketing, and R&D Technology. The Enabler strategies are Growth, Organization Management, Risk, and Business Definition.

2019-04-01 - Alan Kennedy - Alpha Strategies for Ford.png

Here is a quote about Expectations from Kennedy’s book, p.71 (underlining is mine):

All strategy implementation is driven by expectations created and imposed by the strategic plan on all subsequent strategy development. If those imposed expectations are clearly articulated, then strategy implementation can take its direction from those expectations and stays aligned with the intent of the strategic plan.

Therefore, we think business plan strategy development is founded on identification and prioritization of expectations imposed on the business planner.

Once the expectations have been identified and prioritized, then the business planner can test the most important expectations (imposed priorities) against the business planner’s external reality. In this way, the imposed expectations inform the business planner on what the priorities are to be and the external reality check allows development of strategy consistent with and  tailored to that reality.”

Draft of Expectations

My conclusion with all this reading (and learning) is that I need to bring up the topic of Expectations with our clients on a regular basis.

Here’s my first draft for discussion. What do you think?

2019-04-01 - Revenue Catatlyst - Expectations.png