Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Measuring the results of your advertising

Over the many years that I have worked in advertising, I have heard just about every positive and negative comment about advertising. There is one thing that is truly impossible to measure and that is to able to pinpoint the results to a specific form of advertising or marketing.

It used to be coupons were a way to track, because the business owner had a piece of paper (coupon) that they could count at the end of the day. Same thing with Direct Mail.

But what about the Phone Book? Should you advertise in the Yellow Pages? The Yellow Page people will show you stats that show that a big % of the population uses the phone book. What is not asked is why a consumer will choose one business over another. It often is not the Yellow Pages ad, but the other advertising and marketing that plants the name of a business in a consumers mind so that when they see the name and number in the phone book, the business is recognized and then called. Which form of advertising gets the credit for bringing you the customer? The phone book, since that's the last form of advertising that the consumer recalls seeing.

It could be your sign. It could be the ad you place in the church bulletin or school paper. Maybe it's the attention getting billboards or signs on your truck.

If you are doing more than one form of marketing, yes I said marketing, not just advertising, than it is impossible to measure the results with 100% certainty.

Realistically, your customers cannot tell you all of the reasons that they became your customers. We simply don't remember everything.

Then there is the other side of the equation. Business owners and their people don't ask their customers. Have you ever been asked by the check out clerk why you bought a particular brand of soup or pasta sauce? Have you ever been asked by the attendant at the gas station why you picked their station instead of the one across the street? (I don't even see a person when I buy gas, since I pay at the pump.)

So if it is nearly impossible to track your advertising, does that mean it's hopeless?

No, it just means you should be very leary of those advertising sales reps that want to sell you advertising that you can track, unless they have the same insight that I've shared with you today.

I'll write more on this subject in the future.

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