Is your ad working?
Early in my advertising career I learned to check around in a company advertising with me. One day I came in to talk with a business owner about renewing an ad with me. On my way in, there were two sales people for the company and I asked them if they had seen anything from the ad that was running. One said, yes, as a matter of fact, I closed two and I have another appointment for tomorrow. The other guy said he had one appointment so far.
This particular company had a fairly high ticket home repair/improvement product. Each sale was between $2500 and $6000 so each appointment was very important to the company and to their sales staff.
However, when I walked in to talk to the business owner, he said he didn’t think he would be renewing. My response, was… Oh, Really, Why? to which he said he didn’t think he was getting anything out of it.
I asked him if he knew about John’s two sales from the ad. We called John into the office to tell him. Then we called the other salesman in. “Tell me about the calls you are getting from this advertising.” They both explained that they were fielding calls and what progress they were making or had already made on those calls. Then he dismissed them from his office and signed up for another run of advertising. He almost made a bad choice, base on his lack of accurate information.
It is Critical to have Effective Measurement Tools in Place
I have several tools that can help to measure response. REACH Magazine is a coupon magazine, so obviously we can count coupons as long as they are collected and kept. For larger ticket sales like home repairs and improvements, or for companies that set appointments by phone, we have a phone call tracking services that provides weekly and very accurate and detailed measures of the number of calls from whom that result from an ad.
Many times business owners think that their phone staff are taking good notes on where their calls are coming from, but thinking it is so does not mean that it is. There are some businesses that focus and really do keep good information, but there are many others where the persons answering the phone change throughout the day and where detailed (information you can make decisions with) information is not kept. Then decisions are being made from very soft information which may not be accurate.
Making decisions on poor information can cost you enormous amounts of money as a business owner. It can cause your business to fail as well.
Make tracking your advertising an important and critical role in your business. Then, strategically refocus your advertising dollars where they are being most effective.
The old 80/20 rule may be true with advertising for business. You get 80% of your calls from 20% of your advertising, but if you don’t prioritize measuring, you don’t know which 20% is working for you.
In addition, you may NOT have discovered the advertising that will propel your business forward yet. Continue to test from time to time in order to find your best-fit in promotion and advertising for your business. In several cases I have talked with failing businesses who exclaimed, “We didn’t start advertising until it was too late….”