How did you hear about us?

I just bought a Skylight… a digital calendar that syncs each of my family member’s calendars onto a simple, comprehensive touchscreen. It’s a startup led by a bunch of Harvard MBAs who clearly don’t know much about digital marketing – just like many lawyers.

Here’s one of the screens in their checkout sequence:

Ugg – the electronic version of “how did you hear about us?”, the inaccurate, invasive refrain from many law firm intake specialists. Additionally, most (but not all) “Intake Management Software” perpetuates this practice with a database field to be dutifully data entered by a law firm front desk person.  Except of course, most of the time the answer is; “the internet“.  Also – because that frequently underappreciated and undertrained front desk person hates doing data entry – he decides to skip data entry of those truly useless calls; which leads the firm to have a very incomplete picture of the true effectiveness of their marketing.  This is exacerbated by marketing agencies over-reporting on their “leads”.  So while the agency’s report says 86 leads last month, the front desk has only entered… 7.  This leads to debate and friction between agency and law firm about what really is a lead.  I’ve had that conversation hundreds of times over the past 15 years.

Of course, we landed a man on the moon in the 60, so we can accurately and comprehensively report on digital marketing activities today. The law firms that are taking your market share are absolutely doing that.  Because data is power. I’m tired of hearing marketing agencies talking about “data driven design”, yet they don’t have accurate and comprehensive data to make any decisions.  It’s just a nice sounding soundbite in a sales pitch.

Bringing this back to Skylight – I looked through my own personally tracked history and this is what I found: I know I initially saw a skylight ad on Facebook, clicked through, read some more and then forgot all about them. Until this morning when I had a calendar clash with one of my kids and decided to go back to Google and search for “online shared family calendars display”, which brought me back around to Skylight. So this is a long purchase cycle, with zero brand retention and multiple touch attribution modeling. Great data for our team of MBAs if they had the infrastructure to track it… instead they wanted me to tell them how their marketing was working with a checkbox. Boo.

A Skylight costs a solid $150 – lawyers, your clients are much more valuable – don’t you think it’s time to have real, accurate and automated reporting infrastructure?