Return on Investment.
If you work in marketing it's one of the most hated terms in the game.
Mostly because it's what every dollar, pound, yen, cent or penny you spend is measured against.
"You want to run that campaign?" What's the ROI.
We've all known for a while now that chatbots and conversational marketing are a great way to engage customers on our sites.
The customer is actively engaged with your business at the exact moment the chatbot comes in and offers to either help them find the information they want or helps them get in touch with the right person.
But a recent Forrester report, examining the economic benefits of Drift, has really put a light on the benefits you can get from a chat function on your website, and particularly using the Drift platform.
For the record, and for transparency, we're Drift partners so we fanboy about this platform quite a lot, but the stats don't lie and it turns out, yes, you really can expect returns as high as 670% with Drift.
As part of the study, Forrester interviewed Drift customers about their experience using the platform and how it had improved their business.
Before using Drift, each of the customers had used the typically traditional inbound marketing method of form based lead-generation and inbound calls - with some basic chat tools.
Not surprisingly, the biggest problem with the traditional method was the amount of time it took salespeople to manually process emails, form fills, voicemails and other information.
What they said was it could sometimes take days to get back to prospects which, when you're trying to find a good solution to a problem, is too long to wait for a callback.
And this is where the Drift platform came in.
Because Drift's chat function engages customers directly on the page, they were able to qualify and respond to leads in real-time.
They didn't have to wade through information because it was being submitted to them directly.
As you'd expect, this active lead engagement saw immediate improvements in the quantity and - more importantly - quality of leads.
In fact the increase in 'conversations' converted to MQLs was between 75% and 100% for the customers interviewed for Forrester's study.
Of course creating MQLs is all good, but that doesn't pass the ROI test of most sales and marketing meetings.
You're looking for real conversions and sales opportunities.
Well, Forrester's report looked at that too.
Here's the main 'quantifiable' ROI stats they pulled.
Because Drift's customers were able to engage with audiences in real-time, right at the moment they're thinking about a product or service, they were able to move them through the customer journey quicker.
By providing instant answers and information they were able to deal with objections in seconds and book more meetings.
Plus, those leads who weren't ready to convert could be directed to information they needed on the website to keep them in the pipeline.
This shows Drift is ideal when it comes to cross-selling or upselling existing customers (which is way easier than selling into new customers).
Because Drift can be used to make recommendations to customers depending on where they are in the customer lifecycle, companies were able to target them with relevant additional products and services, right at the time they might need them.
And because the content was specific and targeted, it sold directly into the customer's pain point, making them more likely to convert.
Ask any salesperson and they'll tell you one of their biggest complaints is being sent a lead from marketing only to find the lead isn't ready to buy.
It's a waste of their time, and it risks the relationship with the prospect if you try to sell to them too soon.
But with Drift, unqualified leads or non-sales enquiries can be deflected away from your sales team either towards customer support if they have a technical question, or towards more marketing content if they're a lead - just not sales-ready.
As you'd expect, removing lead qualification from the sales teams meant they could focus more on those leads that were closer to buying and scheduling more meetings with hot leads.
While it might not show up in a sales report, we all know that brand and reputation play an important role in the marketing process.
Brands that provide a better service, better customer experience, use better technology tend to perform better than those relying on old school tech and sales heavy tactics.
Forrester's report also found these benefits to come hand-in-hand with the quantifiable results of using Drift.
For example, the customer experience vastly improved and all Drift customers reported increases in Net Promoter Scores among their customers who engaged with the Drift platform.
It also helped to improve brand equity, demonstrating that these businesses were investing in technology to help customers better and provide more variation in the types of communication customers could use.
Plus, and this isn't to be underestimated.
Drift customers saw improved satisfaction among their sales teams.
By providing them with better quality leads salespeople were able to close more new business and, important to them, earn their commission for that summer break they've been dreaming of.
As we've said, we're a proud Drift partner and we've been flying the flag for them for years.
But there's no denying the results you can see as a Drift user when it comes to lead generation and conversions.
If you're ready to find out more about using Drift, feel free to get in touch with us and we'll be happy to demo the platform and help you figure out how to start generating a better ROI that will make your marketing look good in the next sales report.