Presented by CallRail

Businesses today need to learn how to do more with less, while keeping customer experience front and center. In this VB Live event, learn how to make the most impact with your budget, leverage data to measure true ROI, generate hot leads and more.

Watch free on demand here.

For a small business, deciding where to spend your budget is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Not only do these budget decisions impact every part of your business, they need to be made wisely in order to drive the return that makes a campaign effort consistent and sustainable. But from the proliferation of potential marketing channels, to the sheer amount of content required to be successful across platforms, to the enormous amount of data to sift through, the challenge is growing.

Plus there’s the pandemic, which has accelerated a number of trends, but especially the move toward digital. Prospects are online, looking for digital-savvy companies, doing their research, and getting a better look at the overall market — which means companies need to step up their game to ensure they’re staying competitive. But it’s a lean time for many businesses as well, leaving marketers with shrinking marketing budgets when leadership reroutes spending to what they consider the real core costs. But that’s a big mistake for a number of reasons, said Laura Lawrie, principal product manager at CallRail.

“The worst thing you can do is build this great product or service and then have no one around to use it or subscribe to it — you want to make sure that you keep that lake of prospects full, to try to feed into your sales funnel,” she explained. “Marketing is really your first line of important data on how and where to focus your business. It’s a huge, important source of data, and if you scale back on that, if you don’t have somebody monitoring, reporting, and looking at that, you’re going to miss out on information that can help you make good strategic business decisions.”

If you stop marketing, and the engagement it engenders, then you’re flying blind in many respects, said Hamilton Wallace, founder of, “If you’re not constantly engaged with your market audience, then that gap starts to widen between why you think people are buying from you and why they actually are.”

But to drill down to the data that gives you essential intel on your audience, you need to track your prospecting activity across all platforms you’re using, making sure you have identity resolution as well.

“We know now that, in addition to searching for you on the web, most prospects in most industries are going to have multiple touch points with you before they make a purchase decision,” Lawrie said. “If you’re just looking at your reports in Google ads or Facebook ads or your PPC spend of choice, you’re going to get really opinionated data back. It’s going to tell you that you spent $1,000 on Google ads and look how many leads it got you. But that’s really one step of that journey.”

With identity resolution on an aggregated platform, you can stitch together customer journeys as they engage with your content, from Google searches to Facebook, Nextdoor, and so on. This way you start to get a picture of your ROI, so you can direct your spend. Most successful marketers have a sophisticated understanding of their audience, but only data tracking can really tell you what’s going on, Wallace added. You need to put your instincts aside, and focus on what the data is telling you.

You also need to have buy-in from your leadership team, and trust between leaders and marketers and belief in the data — even when it’s not telling you what you want to hear. Otherwise, you’re not going to make it, said Corey Halstead, owner of Halstead Media Group.

“As an SMB, you have to work with people that you trust as experts, and trust that they’re going to get you to the endgame of ROI — which is not always a linear path anymore,” he said. “But as long as you have people at the helm that you trust to make decisions and test creative and report correct data, then that’s how you achieve that.”

Overall, a marketer’s master plan is all about flooding your analytics tools with data by launching and tracking your campaigns. With enough scale in the interaction and user data, you gain the complete story of your efforts.

Wallace recommends tools like Google Analytics, CallRail, and session tracking tool Mouseflow, which lets you look over the shoulder of prospects on your website, so you can see how they interact with the content. And you need to drill down to the ad set level to understand not just what ad set is doing well, but which ad in particular is driving the return in a campaign.

Lawrie also recommends that when trying to connect with ROI you feed your data into your CRM of choice, to make sure you can connect that to the rest of your sales funnel. This can help you get to true ROI reporting, which is the actual dollar value of a sale, to give you a better picture of what is actually going to lead to a closed deal.

She noted a customer who was able to cut branded keywords out of their campaign altogether, because they found they were not making a difference — and it allowed them to reduce that spend by thousands of dollars and divert it elsewhere.

“I’m pretty sure small business owners love clicks and traffic, but that doesn’t go in the bank,” Halstead said. “It’s a difficult thing to map it back, but if you can sync that data to the sales team, that’s amazing. And then you get real buy-in. Then you get leadership saying, okay, now you’re talking my language. This is revenue from what you did.”

To drill down into what marketing platforms offer the best data analytics, which channels offer the best ROI, and whether to build or buy your own tools, check out the rest of the webinar, now on demand.

Watch on demand now!


  • How to do more with the marketing budget you have in 2022
  • How to prioritize lead management and reduce friction throughout the entire customer journey
  • How to sift through marketing and sales data to optimize your campaigns, and ultimately drive more leads and improve your ROI


  • Corey Halstead, Owner, Halstead Media Group
  • Hamilton Wallace, Founder,
  • Laura Lawrie, Principal Product Manager, CallRail
  • Seth Colaner, Moderator, VentureBeat