Has your business been engaging in cut throat marketing? Due to the economy or other reasons, many businesses have reduced or cut the amount of money spent on promotion and advertising. Doing this is the equivalent to cutting a business’s throat.
Why? Because the financial success of a business enterprise today depends almost solely on how many prospects are aware of the business times how many times prospects hear or see an invitation to buy something from the business. When advertising and promotion are cut you are cutting your ability to reach and invite prospects to do business with you.
What often happens is that they go into a marketing program with let’s “try” it and see what happens attitude. After a week or a month they don’t feel they garnered a good enough response, so they stop the program mid-stream and “try” something else they think will work better. The new program usually also fails.
The reason it did not work is simply because they went into it with a “try” it attitude, usually under funded and with a non-surveyed ad with no understanding of the types of response they would or could get from the program.
There are basically two types of responses: direct and indirect. Being familiar with the two types of responses you could get will help you to measure the actual effectiveness of your advertising.
Direct response is tangible; some one brings in the ad or postcard or tells you they saw your ad. For every person who verbally told you they saw the ad there are usually 3 others who inquired in some way but did not say anything. This boils down to tracking or lack of tracking.
How do you track it?
1) Actual live direct response is easy because people are telling you they saw the ad. You have customers who will volunteer this data and others you will have to ask. You simply have to make sure that the person on the phone is asking or your sales person is asking, “How did hear about us?” And, they are writing this down and giving you the information. If you use a great offer or a limited time offer on the ad you will get more people telling you they saw the ad. This is also covered in more detail in the article ten things to increase ad response.
2) Intangible leads. Intangible leads are leads that come to you through a via, say your web site. Or, the leads that come in and the prospect does not volunteer or is not asked how they heard about your company.
Direct mail does affect Internet traffic. The advent of QR codes makes it very efficient to tie direct mail to the Internet. To help track leads from direct mail to your web page Google has a free service called Analytics. In Analytics you can see how many people were referred from other websites, how many people searched for you, what key words they were searching for AND how many direct responses your web site received. A direct response is someone who types your company name directly into his or her web browser. These prospects know enough to type your name or web address. How did they find out about you?
You can also see how many new visitors you have to your site and what pages they viewed and how long they stayed on your site. Google is a great tool for measuring intangible response to your post card campaign or other marketing program.
The best way I know to track response from advertising is to look at your gross sales; did it go up, stay flat or go down during the period of the marketing program and shortly after? I have found from personal experience that takes five to six weeks after a post card mailing a bump in sales to occur. For one reason or another there was a time delay on this person responding. Even more prospects tell me they have received over several months 7 or 8 post cards and NOW they need something and call. (Evidently repetition does sell.)
Realize that increasing sales is more than running ads. It also involves a combination of contacting your customers via the phone, email messages, postcard or letter mailers. Everything you send out has a marketing impact.
Look at marketing and promotion much the same as a river flows. A river flows outward, endlessly. If you are consistently out flowing into the market place with phone calls, letters and note cards, postcards, brochures, you will get business flowing back in on you. It is a natural law.