A recurring question people who are considering launching customer acquisition campaigns on digital channels is asking: will it be profitable? And when?

Whatever levers are envisaged, this question is eternal.

Yet few digital marketing agencies dare to give an answer.

What if I told you that we can know it with relative precision and that it is even quite simple?

You do not believe me ? Yet at ONI, we do this every day…


Analyze your commercial offers in depth

Obviously, to get started in digital marketing and put in place an effective strategy, it is essential to carry out substantive work on the commercial policy of the company. Questions as important as “Why do we sell?” Whose ? What do our customers want? How are we different, attractive? Must be asked and, above all, receive appropriate responses.

But we must go further and project ourselves into the future. What would we like to develop? Why ? How? ‘Or’ What ? For who ?

Clearly, before launching a digital marketing strategy, it is necessary to make a precise point on the actual marketing strategy of the company.

An essential data for this type of approach is the CAC for Cost of Customer Acquisition. Unlike our accounting friends, what interests us here is not what it cost to acquire a new client. But what the company is willing to spend to acquire a new customer. We are also talking specifically about Maximum Eligible Customer Acquisition Cost.

At ONI, we support our customers from this crucial first step. These are the responses collected during this work that will allow us to go and interrogate the Web with relevance and build a profitable digital strategy.

Sometimes we are accompanied by traditional marketing and / or business strategy specialists to increase our efficiency.

Targeting: identifying the intentions of suspects

We know that more than 78% of B2B buyers start their search for a new supplier with a visit to the Web, mainly by visiting Google.

So we can say that Google knows almost 80% of the questions posed by the suspects interested in the companies that seek them. We are talking about expressed intentions.

Masters of inbound marketing are familiar with this concept. They even speak marketing intent, that is to say…

How to collect these known intentions of Google?

Google, but the other search engines also, therefore know all the intentions expressed by Internet users and this, in all areas, BTOB, BTOC or BTOBTOC. We can quite simply retrieve this data: just analyze the SERPs (Result Pages).

Whether he likes it or not, the data held by Google is in the public domain since it is widely published and openly accessible to all of us. There is therefore nothing to prevent an analysis of the results offered by the search engine.

Only, the Google database is only accessible in very small pieces. And Google doesn’t like us trying to reassemble it. Which would be very time consuming.

However, with a little ingenuity and a few lines of code, it is quite simple to reconstruct the parts that interest us thanks to judicious algorithms. For example, the parties that are affected by the expressed intentions of which we spoke above.

There are commercial tools to do some of this work, but they are more “SEO” than “intent research”. As a result, they are not really useful in building his strategy for analyzing intentions.

At ONI, we have developed bots and tools that give us access to these truly expressed intentions. These tools know how to reconstruct the lexical fields (series of queries or keywords) significant of the intentions sought.

Analyze volumes of potential suspects

Then, for each identified request, it is necessary to extract its search volume. The sum of all the research volumes concerning a series of intentions that interest us gives us a very precise idea of ​​the size of the targeted market segment.

Roughly speaking, the size of the market is correlated with the total search volume of lexical field queries related to intention.

With this simple calculation, we know precisely the number of potential customers, we say suspects, who express a need which we can meet. And we know, moreover, that this number represents about 80% of the real market.

In the event that no intention is expressed for a given commercial offer, which happens, there are two possible interpretations:

  1. The market does not exist and will never exist;
  2. The market does not yet exist.

Indeed, we only have access to data prior to research, not to what will exist in the future (the limits of AI). But the consequence of such information is clear: rather than digital prospecting campaigns, information and awareness campaigns must be planned in order to provoke the need. We will implement a digital communication strategy rather than acquiring new customers.

I stop for a few moments on this stage. Even though SEO specialists are very used to obtaining this information for other purposes, it should be kept in mind that this data was, and still is for many people, an unknown unknown. I still see a lot of market research that makes more or less fanciful assumptions about the volumes of potential customers while the information is available to them on the Net. You just have to know how to get it…

Calculate likely returns

Knowing the number of suspects is important but insufficient. What interests companies is the number of prospects, namely the number of suspects it can turn into customers. And even, it is not so much the volume of possible sales as their profitability that interests them. Here too, the Web can help us.

Indeed, many tools, also well known to SEO, give us valuable information on the CPC of a query. By CPC, understand the Cost Per Click. By extension, this is the price a visitor costs for one of your landing pages.

At this stage, we will use some school arithmetic.

Problem: for a given CAC, how many suspects can we contact to turn at least one into a client?

What is the conversion rate?

In web marketing, conversion rate means the ratio between visitors arriving on a web page and those who perform the suggested action (for example who click on CTA – Call To Action). It is expressed as a percentage: number of Internet users who sign up per hundred visitors.

Incidentally, note that this commitment turns suspects into prospects.

Average conversion rates are known, and teams measure them regularly. In Google Image, you can obtain this information by entering the search “conversion rate by industry”. You will get many very informative graphics.

This data therefore allows us to know with excellent reliability, the number of sales it will be possible to achieve based on the number of visitors arriving on the landing pages of your website.

A reasonable conversion rate

At ONI, we take a scientific approach. A legacy from our history.

This means that we limit all our assumptions by limiting the risk of errors to the maximum.

Clearly, we do not really answer the problem that I have just submitted to you: we cheat to win!

So we don’t try to guess a conversion rate, we impose it. The average conversion rate we use for all of our calculations and for all areas is 1/120. This means that we target one customer for every 120 visitors.

This is quite low, because the visitors we inject into our acquisition processes are hyper-targeted on their intentions. But, it is secure and it guarantees our customers a good chance of success. Thereby, we can predict a positive return on investment for them.

BE CAREFUL: if the visitors of your site are not preselected on the intentions which they express (hyper-targeted), these rates do not mean anything any more.

Nevertheless, to answer the problem posed above: we must contact 120 suspects, but the CPC X 120 must remain below the ACC.

So every campaign that respects this rule will be profitable.

Choose and test, test and choose … we get into the operational

Based on the data previously collected, it can be tempting to launch digital acquisition campaigns that have been shown to be profitable without asking more questions.

It would be a mistake. Scientists like to test their hypotheses before they make laws. We are no exception to this rule even when evaluating our marketing techniques.

It is therefore necessary to launch a confirmation phase called the Pilot phase. During this moment, we will get 120 hyper-targeted visitors for each of the landing pages that we have imagined.

We will work on ALL acquisition channels: Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social media, Emailing, SEO … We do not preselect, we avoid the ” vanity metric “!

We’ll analyze the results, including measuring conversions and ROI, and rule out channels that didn’t bring in at least one customer. Because if after having received 120 visitors, a page does not bring in a customer, there is no need to go look for more. If we chose 120 it is no coincidence: it is with this number that we reach a reproducibility rate of 95%.

Redoing a test that has failed therefore has a 95% probability of failing again … unless we change certain parameters, but it would no longer be the same test!

On the other hand, the channel / landing page pairs that generated a customer will have to be deployed on a large scale. The same rule applies: successful tests have a 95% probability of succeeding again, provided that no parameter is changed (all things being equal).

Operational marketing: exploit and start again.

From this stage, the limit is defined by the budget available to launch the “winning” campaigns. And thanks to the volumes of research available, we cannot get more prospects than there are!

So it’s reality and the marketing manager that decides, not the digital agency.

With these winning combinations, the work is not finished, however. We can optimize CACs, CPCs, conversion rates for maximum efficiency. But be careful not to break everything…

So, growth will be there thanks to marketing actions mastered from start to finish.

To conclude

Here, by working according to this method, you will make content marketing, inbound marketing, intent marketing, data marketing, growth marketing and maybe even, growth hacking!… All full of learned terms for achieve one goal: improve your business growth by securing budgets.

Ah yes, by following this procedure, you will also “titillate” what is called big data (rather middle as far as we are concerned). Do you see better what it is now and what it can be used for?

And then there is a pinch of Artificial Intelligence …

In short, all that to say that in the end, you will have converted your traditional commercial prospecting into digital (or digital) commercial prospecting. You will have taken a step towards the digital transformation of your business, quite simply.

And you will have fulfilled your true intention: to increase your turnover.

Article written in collaboration with ONI