A leading South African debt counselling firm was facing a typical challenge in measuring the effectiveness of customer acquisition campaigns: The ability to actually connect marketing spend to customer acquisition, retention, and lifetime value.
The firm operated a range of customer acquisition channels: Wordpress landing pages for different brands, an inbound call center, paid social media advertising via external agencies, and an outbound call center. In addition, the firm used an industry standard on-premises CRM with limited integration capability.
A new growth phase
The firm reached an inflection point in 2018, with the need to scale up operations, systems and processes to enable a new growth phase. As part of the initiative, every aspect of the day-to-day was reconsidered.
When it came to marketing, they first tried building in-house integrations, using off-the-shelf tools like Gmail and Zapier to connect incoming leads to their call center platform - with manual reconciliation reports run to attempt to match customers back to their point of origin.
Amberstone first got involved in 2018, with their first requirement: Setting up automation to retrieve emails from multiple Gmail boxes, and centrally feed them to the call center platform, while providing automated reporting for further downstream use.
By the time the solution was up and running, it became clear that there was a much bigger challenge to solve. The solution materialized in the form of a bespoke Lead Management System:
This Lead Management System (LMS) offered several advantages over the old approach of relying on email inboxes and free Wordpress plugins. All leads – whether inbound leads from websites, submitted via social media channels, or uploaded from data suppliers – would now go through a single point of entry before being integrated into the call center.
Amberstone then integrated with the on-premises CRM, exporting the necessary data to automate the core reporting function: Connecting incoming leads to their customer records, enabling the firm to report on customer LTV against the incoming source.
In cases where the leads originated from paid media sources (Google Adwords, Facebook Ads), the LMS was able to attribute the lead to the campaign – and ultimately, the spend. In most cases, the LMS could also pull basic demographic, technical and geographic information, and associate those to leads.
This unlocked a new set of end-to-end reporting capabilities. From a single source, the firm could now retrieve campaign and spend data, correlated to real leads, customers, and the LTV, all in one view. Tableau was the tool of choice for the firm’s data visualization needs. Amberstone managed the initial deployment of Tableau Server, the data integration, and the initial set of dashboard builds to validate the end-to-end reporting.
In addition, the new LMS served as the foundation for partnerships with external lead generators and other agencies. By providing a single API for lead submission, auto-generated onboarding documentation and self-service management features for the dialer team, the firm is now able to integrate data from new suppliers in a matter of hours.