Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tracking Your Advertising

We recently spoke about advertising in a bad economy. One of the points mentioned is the fact that you need to be able to track your advertising usage. It is now more important than ever to understand how your advertising is working. With fewer dollars being spent on product, you must make sure you are advertising with the most impact power possible. To do this, you have to know if your advertising is working. How do we do this?

We have to be able to find a way for the buyer to identify how they learned of particular product or service. The old style of doing this was a survey at checkout time. The cashier would casually ask they buyer the question "how did you hear about us?". Those times are almost gone in light of a generation that does not like to communicate in a public setting. Besides, there are more and more online sales happening every day.

Another way advertisers would determine their advertising results would be the use of coupons. Coupons hold a twofold purpose. First, they advertise an individual product, and second, they provide tracking information on where the consumer found the coupon, and if they followed through on the message. Over the course of time coupons per product can show the advertiser what medium is hitting the most target demographic. If the magazine coupon/ad produced no results but the newspaper version produced huge results, then you may want to reconsider spending the dollars with the magazine. Seems simple enough, right?

The problem with this method is that the campaign life is quite long. From the time you purchase the product until you see the results it can be 60 - 90 days. Therefore, you spend valuable money trying to determine where your advertising dollars are working. Remember that I mentioned earlier more and more online sales happening everyday? With online sales comes online advertising, and with online advertising comes a whole new paradigm of ad campaign tracking. With online advertising you can know your campaign performance in as little as 15 minutes. We will talk about that soon. In the meantime, if you are advertising your products and services, find a way to determine if it is doing what you desired. Never advertise blind, it will cost you. So, be aggressive, be creative, and be successful.

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