In our last blog posts, we talked about what marketers can do to generate leads for small businesses and how important it is to encourage SMB owners to actually follow up on those leads you generated. The next challenge that we would like to discuss is attribution. Can we avoid a situation where your SMB client doesn’t attribute their new leads to your marketing work?

Of course, there are tools to show clients the ROI of your marketing efforts, but there is still no guarantee that they will see the direct connection between your input and increased business leads.

Connecting Marketing Efforts With the Bottom Line

Say you follow suggestions on how to illustrate the effectiveness of your work: you clearly outline your marketing goals, explain your strategy and analyze the results. You measure the metrics, track the traffic and dig through the data. You then send spreadsheets to your SMB clients and build reports that reinforce the connection between your efforts and the bottom line business results. But still you cannot always convince your SMB client to attribute increased business success to your efforts. Ryan Abrams, our Director of Digital Marketing sees two reasons for this: one is technical and the other one is perceptual.

“There is a widespread issue with marketing attribution that is particularly evident between service providers and SMBs. On the technical side, you have cloudy data from a variety of different platforms. Your Facebook Ads reporting can say there were 15 conversions this week, Google Analytics can say there were only 14 conversions and the client only sees 12 conversions on their end.”

No wonder that many small businesses are precluded against believing the data that MSPs present.

“On the perceptual side,” continues Abrams, “if a marketing service provider is only delivering slightly better results, an SMB is not going to feel a difference on their bottom line, especially after deducting the service provider’s fees. This situation will inevitably lead to client churn for the service provider.”

Ways to Show That You Delivered Value

Of course, we have been thinking about this problem here at Camilyo. Our product is a white-labeled marketing and customer engagement platform that helps marketers offer an array of digital services to their small business customers. We spoke with our clients and identified two main factors that help them attribute business results to their efforts.

The first one is serving their customers through one platform branded with their name. To the SMBs, who have never even heard of Camilyo and do not see our name anywhere, it appears that the leads come through the website that was built on our client's system. The CRM in which the leads are stored, again, carries our client’s name and such a deep penetration of an MSP’s brand into the SMB’s business proves to have a very powerful effect on the customers. “With Camilyo, we have been able upsell our existing small contracts to bigger ones, or directly sign bigger ones: the SMB sees exactly how the website performs and what our service does for them,” says Vlasta Condacs, COO of Mediatel Slovak.

Branded platform helps our clients remind their SMBs that they deliver value daily

The second factor that our clients find helpful in linking their efforts with results is our dashboard with all available metrics sitting on the same platform. “Our customers constantly feel the value we provide them with and the Camilyo dashboard is a great help in demonstrating this value. This results in higher satisfaction levels,” says Eric Hamburger, CEO of Publicar.

Dashboard seen by SMBs serviced by the Camilyo platform

But branded platforms and visual dashboards is not where we think we should stop. We do believe that the next step for marketing service providers will be shifting from marketing only towards actually helping SMBs run their business better. How? At the recent SIINDA conference, our CMO Ziv Koren covered our point on a panel dedicated to the small business operating system. He discussed the future of marketing service providers with Constantino Carroppo, CMO of Axelero, a large, Italian digital marketing agency and Neal Polachek, an independent industry observer. We will publish the highlights of the panel in our next post.