magazine | June 17, 2016
LegalZoom’s Approach to Results-Oriented Marketing Campaigns
Too often marketing leaders struggle to generate results from their campaigns. Issues such as poorly defined audiences, the wrong programs, the wrong activities, or bad offers continue to plague marketing teams. SBI recently spoke with Laura Goldberg, chief marketing officer at LegalZoom, to hear how she combats this problem. She walked us through the anatomy of campaign planning that generates results for LegalZoom.
The first step is determining which type of campaigns to run. “It’s all about defining your goals up front,” says Goldberg. “We think about what we are trying to achieve with our marketing in general and with the campaigns specifically.” Once objectives are set, a series of decisions must be made. What is the budget? What is the media mix, the channels, the schedule, and so forth? How should marketing leaders make these strategic decisions?
At LegalZoom, a wide variety of products further complicates the decision-making process. “When you’re selling just one thing, then it’s only one set of decisions for one product. On the other hand, we have lots of products and three main product lines,” she explains.
In order to surmount this hurdle, Goldberg and her team group things together and again, think about what they’re trying to do. Are they trying to generate new customers? Increase the lifetime value of their current customers? Once this is determined, she allocates money against the three product lines and determines the best channel. Take LegalZoom’s trademark business, for example. It’s a very complicated, long buying process. Because of this, Goldberg knows that online is the best channel for that product. She then looks at their budget, determines the spend needed, and optimizes the campaign schedule based on their buyer’s behavior.
Another key piece to LegalZoom’s success is audience targeting. Goldberg explains, “We have spent a lot of time, energy, and money thinking about who our customer is. We did a segmentation study to understand the characteristics of someone who is open to a new and different way of purchasing a legal solution.” This resulted in very detailed customer profiles and the knowledge of whom LegalZoom should go after and how the company should go after them.
Once they have their targets, Goldberg must determine what content to put in front of them. How does she do it? LegalZoom creates a wide variety of content. The nature of their business requires it. Recently they have ventured into video content. Why? Because it provides an easy way to explain complicated processes. For example, they use a two-minute video to explain the difference between a trademark, a copyright, and a patent. This is much more digestible than a 10-page white paper on the same subject.
Equally important is channel selection. Goldberg and her team work to understand the different media types and what they’re really good for. For example, LegalZoom knows television is a great channel to bring awareness to their products. So only awareness-based offers are used for this channel. Additionally, LegalZoom spends a significant amount of its time testing, specifically testing calls-to-action. Which ones work best on which channels?
Goldberg also spoke to some of the challenges faced by marketing leaders today. One of the biggest challenges is attribution. What drives what? “Everything is so inextricably linked,” she says. “People will search on a question, go to their mobile phone, log on to their desktop, etc. Attribution is a huge challenge that we are constantly working on.” So what should you measure when in search of the Holy Grail of attribution? Goldberg recommends having two or three key performance indicators to track. At LegalZoom she measures customer acquisition cost and lifetime value.
All things considered, Goldberg would make three recommendations to immediately improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns:
Marketing budgets are constantly under pressure. If campaign results are poor, the budget will get taken away. A key input to campaign success is proper campaign planning. It’s a lot more scientific than it has ever been. Marketing leaders must take the time to plan their campaigns correctly. And in the end, they must focus on results, not activities.
Laura and I use SBI’s workbook to guide our conversation. Specifically we refer to pages 184 – 189 which detail how to design marketing campaigns that attract your buyers. If, at the end of the show, you want to use SBI’s workbook, download How to Make Your Number in 2017.
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