Without Metrics and Measurements, How do you Know if your Advertising Program is Successful?
We won’t lie. We’ve seen it before – companies guilty of spending money on advertising and not setting goals or tracking their results. With the economy rolling downhill into the biggest tumbleweed of the century, what are they thinking? Plain and simple – they’re missing their call to action. So, think about it – do you want people to purchase your product, enter a contest or call in to request more information? What is the goal of your message?
When investing money, your own or your company’s dollars, you have to have a plan. Define, track and assess your advertising program by following these steps:
- Define the goals that your program should accomplish – SMART Goals – Strategic,
- Achievable, Measurable, Relevant/Realistic, Timely Goals
- Assign a dollar value to the goals
- Track the results – daily, weekly and monthly and record the information to
- establish trends
- Adjust the program based on tracking information, what is and isn’t working well
Step 1: HOW CAN YOU SET A MISSION WITHOUT DEFINITION?
Define the goals you are trying to achieve. How well do you know the target market and audience? Are you trying to raise awareness of your brand, change a perception about your product, company or service? Or are you asking consumers to change their behavior, buy a particular product/service? Maybe you’re trying to expand your customer base? Whatever the goal, it should be outlined before you invest in advertising. You can’t measure what you can’t define.
Step 2: ASSIGN DOLLAR AMOUNTS – IT COUNTS
Assigning a dollar value to the potential results can be tricky. Ask yourself how much are you willing to spend and what is it worth to you? What is the value to every prospect? What is the value of every lead earned?
Now, don’t let us scare you away by all the numbers, but on the Google Ad Network, the average conversion rate of every banner ad is .005%. If you are running banner ads on websites where the demographics don’t match, the conversion rates will be lower. Evok has found that on average it takes approximately 10 impressions to impact awareness and 20 impressions to impact brand perception.
Assign your dollar value based on how frequently your ads run and how many impressions will you garner. If your search engine optimization is working, it typically grows organically .02% every month. For print publications, the pass-through readership is typically 2.3%. There are several variables and formulas to consider when assigning a realistic dollar value to your results. Depending on your current awareness, product offering, etc., if you spend $100,000 in media, you should be growing the marketplace, gaining awareness for your company and impacting sales.
Step 3: DON’T MEASURE AT YOUR PLEASURE
Although a highly regarded science in our industry, it’s not rocket science. There are simple measures to put in place to see if your marketing efforts are working effectively. Some of the more common ones are response cards and adding Google Analytics to your website. Response cards can be added into any packaging where you ask for consumer’s feedback and demographic information. This will help you build your database. Google Analytics is a free service and enables you to view how much website traffic you are receiving, how many unique visitors are coming to your website, how long people stay, the demographics, where your traffic sources are coming from, etc. This information is invaluable and will help you track your results if your call to action is website driven. Analytics are not an audit, just a helpful gauge.
Consider creating special landing pages for your website and code your print ads with unique URL’s, so it’s easier to track what publications are piquing the most interest.
If you send out e-newsletters, track the open and bounce rates. How many people are opting in and out a month? If your drop out rate is high something could be wrong with your messaging and content.
Is your ultimate goal to make the phone ring? Why not invest in a unique phone number? There are several phone services available that allow you to purchase a temporary or vanity phone number to tie in with your program.
For awareness-raising efforts, it is helpful to do a benchmarking research study before you start. This way, you know what your aided and unaided awareness levels are and project growth over the next year.
There are many tracking tools out there, from Google Analytics to Radian6 for social media to Vocus for PR measurement. They all will assist you in determining whether or not you are achieving your goals. Make sure you use the right one to measure your specific goal’s effectiveness. If, for example, your goal is to increase visits to your consumer packaged good dealer locator, make sure you have Google Analytics on that particular page, but also monitor our site’s bounce rate and time spent on the site. While the initial unique visitor measurement could show an increase in visitors, are you sacrificing overall time spent on the site, sending consumers straight to a dealer locator to find a retailer for a product that they are uneducated about?
Step 4: TO SUCCEED IN YOUR EFFORTS – ADJUST IS A MUST
Adjust the program based on what is working and what isn’t. Don’t over commit your media to run for the entire year. It’s great to be able to commit for several months to help keep the rates down, but after the first few months if you find that something isn’t working, you don’t want to be locked into a contract that you can’t get out of. Keep in mind that the market changes rapidly. Just because something is working now, doesn’t mean it will work a year from now.
If you are still not sure where to start, evok can help you with your goals and metrics, please contact us at 407-302-4416 or go to www.evokad.com.