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offline data, lead generation, qualified leads, ivan jerkic

How to leverage offline data for startup growth?

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Picture of Ivan Jerkić

Ivan Jerkić

What do I do? I build ventures – from the concept to product-market fit. And then I scale them.

How to make sure your lead generation campaigns bring in quality leads?

Bringing in quality leads is crucial for every business. Yet, the usual ratio is one quality lead for a few bad ones. This becomes incredibly “painful” when every single lead costs you a certain amount of money poured into the advertising budget.

Google Ads and Meta Ads are great for lead generation but can only optimize for high-quality leads if you step in and take on a role of a teacher.

How can you train their advertising algorithms to stop bringing in s**** leads?

The answer is offline data.

What is offline data?

To illustrate offline data and how you can use it to get better results in lead generation campaigns, I’ll go over a hypothetical performance marketing execution workflow.

Before going on, remember that every digital interaction (online or offline) can be tracked. From now on, this should be your mantra when working with lead-generation campaigns and offline data.

I’m breaking down the process into four crucial steps: budget, integration, lead qualification, and sales/closed deals.

1) Budget

The marketing budget is a significant factor in offline conversion tracking capabilities. However, there is a solution for every type of budget — you will either buy a CRM or improvise one. 🙂

Depending on your budget, buy a great CRM like Salesforce or HubSpot, a more affordable one like Zoho, or stick to Google Sheets (free).

As you’ve guessed, Google Sheets can be turned into a working CRM with some improvisation. I’ll write more about it in the Integration step.

Google Sheets, your best friend when there is not enough marketing budget

2) Integration

Most CRMs can be integrated directly into website lead forms on the one side and Google & Meta Ads on the other.

Salesforce and Hubspot can be integrated into Google and Meta ads with a few clicks. Once connected, they automatically push sales data into advertising platforms, enabling you to track activities beyond your ads and the landing page.

Google Sheets require Zapier or Make (ex. Integromat) and a bit of coding to automate data flow between Sheets, websites, and ad platforms. Therefore, to successfully turn a random Google sheet into a CRM, you will need the following:

(A) A JavaScript that saves Google and Meta Ads click IDs into a lead form (hidden fields).

(B) A Zapier or Make hook to collect lead form data and save it into Google Sheets.

(C) Mirror data to another sheet formatted for an offline data import (Google and Meta Ads have specific requirements).

(D) A Zapier or Make hook to push data regularly from formatted sheets into Google and Meta Ads.

3) Lead qualification

If using CRMs, “tick” who is a qualified lead, and that data is pushed back automatically.

If using Sheets, you’d be doing the same thing essentially — but by adding an extra column to fill in the info on who’s a qualified lead (put Y/N or whatever you want).

4) Sales/closed deals

The same logic can be applied to closed deals or virtually anything you want to track (that happens offline).

In CRMs, you’d be entering data directly into contact details, while in Sheets, you’d add extra columns and sync them into ad platforms, as explained above.

B2B fintech startup use-case

How does offline data import work in practice?

Illustration: B2B Fintech

To help you grasp the logic behind the approach, I’ve chosen B2B fintech since it is a tough niche to get great results without leveraging offline data.

I’ve outlined the growth strategy to understand the performance marketing funnel better. I will call it the “performance marketing machine” for B2B fintech startups since it is scalable and highly automated.

So, here it goes — the “performance marketing machine”:

1) Start with Google search ads targeting high-intent search terms and lead-gen campaigns on LinkedIn Ads (we would leverage audiences/data from the 8th step in both cases once after the first iteration).

2) Build a landing page featuring a lead magnet (lead magnet should be a PDF sales deck + demo/intro offer).

3) Split test landing page variations with Unbounce (or a similar CRO tool).

4) Push the landing page lead form data into CRM like HubSpot.

5) To enable engagement tracking across the PDF sales deck/brochure, upload it to the Dropbox DocSend platform (or equivalent). Push that data into CRM as well.

6) This enables startup business developers to get to know leads’ behavioral data before contacting them. Consequently, it gives them the upper hand in sales, increasing the closing ratio.

7) Business developers qualify or dismiss the leads in the CRM (or Google Sheets, if we’d choose that route instead of buying Hubspot).

8) Lead qualification CRM data gets automatically pushed back into ad platforms.

9) We iterate & scale the whole process.

Conclusion

Offline data is a powerful tool to leverage when you work in lead generation.

Advertising platforms and their algorithms are “dumb,” i.e., they mindlessly focus on the chosen optimization goal. If you set up campaigns to maximize leads, they will maximize leads — without considering the lead quality.

This logically makes us think about providing additional data to “tell” the advertising algorithms when there is a high-quality (qualified) lead.

Once we set up this feedback loop, there are two benefits:

(A) We will know which ad campaigns drive better performance in terms of lead quality.

(B) Advertising algorithms will get much-needed data to maximize the number of qualified leads instead of s*** leads.

Are you already importing offline data or just starting? If you need personalized advice, feel free to contact me!

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