How Did You Hear About Us?

How Did You Hear About Us?

I hear it all the time from business owners. “I track all my marketing effectiveness by asking people how they heard about us.”

Great! You SHOULD ask! This question is a great indicator, and you’ll get great feedback and knowledge. Successful marketing is all about understanding the effectiveness of your efforts. However, focusing solely on the above question as a tracking method is unreliable and ineffective. Let me share why…

Biased Response

Tell me how you heard about McDonald’s. 

Um….? It’s easy to remember the last touch point, but that doesn’t mean all other previous efforts weren’t successful. I saw a McChicken billboard near the exit, and I was hungry….so the billboard was the most successful thing? No, I heard about the Mcdonalds' brand long before I was hungry for a hot apple pie guaranteed to burn the skin off the roof of my mouth.

Customers might not be aware of which specific channel influenced them that day. Do you remember every ad you saw on Facebook today? All of your marketing channels work together to create awareness. It’s hard for people to pinpoint which ad convinced them to walk into your business when they were ready to buy your product, and they are likely to answer the first thing that pops into their heads. 

Ignoring the Customer Journey

Asking how they heard about your business assumes there is ONE primary channel that influenced their decision. In truth, the customer journey is like a funnel. They start unaware of your business. Through advertising and marketing, they become AWARE, then move to CONSIDERATION, then ultimately CONVERSION. Potential customers might encounter a brand through various channels, such as traditional media like radio, out-of-home billboards, or television. 

Digital marketing channels come into play in the Consideration phase. Paid Search ads get a ton of credit for driving conversions, but if you’re not in the market for a dishwasher today, does it mean you won’t be valuable to a business in 6 months when your kitchen floor floods from a broken machine?  

Marketers miss out on crucial insights about the entire customer journey by focusing solely on the "How did you hear about us?" question. Understanding the sequence of touchpoints that leads to conversions is critical to allocating your marketing resources effectively.

How to Track Effectiveness in Marketing:

  • Growth in overall sales and revenue
  • Analytics and GA4 - measure what matters! GA4 focuses on better device tracking, deeper insights into user behavior, and machine learning to allow for data-driven decisions
    • GA4 questions? Check out our Webinar.
  • Unique links and UTMs codes - track multiple social, digital, or email campaigns by appending your links with unique tracking codes
  • A/B testing multiple landing pages, images, or ad copy to determine which drives the most results

Asking, “How did you hear about us?” is a valuable insight, but it’s not the best way to track marketing effectiveness. It can be a strong indicator but does not account for response bias or the complexity of the entire customer journey.

Struggling to track your marketing effectiveness? Contact Mid-West Family Madison today!

Have Questions? Contact Us!

Amanda Davis

About the Author : Amanda Davis

Amanda Davis works as a Brand Strategist for Mid-West Family Madison with sales and project management experience. She has 5+ years of media experience in digital marketing and Out of Home. She also has experience in market research, technical training, and working with nonprofits. She is a strategic thinker who likes blowing things up just to see if the pieces fit better another way. She’s still negotiating if she can be paid in tacos, ammo, or concert tickets.