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You could make visitors fill out an enquiry form. Someone looking for something that expensive would probably be more prepared to fill out a form and that would allow some way of tracking. But some people just hate filling out forms and want to phone up with a quick question "do you or do you not have a Saddam busting, moustache tracking missile in stock?". (completely fictitious example)
And losing even one customer in a business like this could be quite costly so you do want to allow enquiries via the phone. And if they phone you don't know if they found you via Overture, Google or some other means.
How do companies track ROI on high value items that aren't ordered online?
It will never be as close as what items sold online are. But you also have to consider, how do you (or do you?) track your ROI for "conventional" marketing for these type of items? A pay per click ad really isn't any different from a radio/tv commercial, or magazine ad.
Different phone number (tracked) for internet based inquiries is one
stoopid, stoopid, stoopid. Why didn't I think of that?!
how do you (or do you?) track your ROI for "conventional" marketing for these type of items?
I guess on items like that it's very much guesswork. You pays your PR/marketing company and you keeps your fingers crossed ...or believe the figures they come up with to reassure you as to how good they are. That's my guess. Honestly, I haven't the vaguest idea but will need to market some higher priced items soon. Looks like I've got a lot to learn.
For major purchases like this, I'd guess that multiple marketing media might be involved. The buyer might hear about the product in a magazine, visit the website for more information, then contact the firm by telephone. Or, they might learn about it via the web and do additional off-line research. All in all, I think it would be worth the expense to better understand the ways different customers learn about the product. Just one additional sale would cover a fair amount of research expense.