Why Tracking Your Results Is More Important Than Ever
Given the challenging economic times of the past few years, we’ve seen many companies scale back their advertising spending to meet increasingly tight budgets. Along with these reductions, companies are understandably asking for more and more tracking of results and justification for the advertising dollars they spend.
There’s a famous quote by John Wanamaker that has followed us through the years, “Half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” The good news is, for those willing to invest to target and measure their advertising, there’s no better time than now.
Tried-and-true mediums like print, direct mail and television are more trackable than ever. It’s easier than ever for customers to respond to offers – and easier for agencies to monitor results. Your target audience can enter contests or ask for free trials by calling, texting, email or social media. A QR code gives prospects more information about your product – and you get more information about the prospect. Unique URLs or dedicated 800#’s also help you track campaigns. With just a bit more upfront planning, and very little cost, you can get the information you need to justify (or modify) where, when and how your marketing dollars are spent.
Now let’s talk online, email and mobile marketing. These still relatively new technologies make it easy to track campaigns – and make changes “on the fly” based on response. Take a Google Ad Words campaign, for example. You can have different ads running using a variety of search terms. In real time, you can monitor your ads and make immediate changes when an ad’s click-through rate significantly jumps or drops off. Gone are the days when you could only change your creative every 30 days. Now you can do it every 30 seconds if that’s what it takes to drive results.
Regardless of which media mix is right for your products and target audience, be sure to build in a way to track your results. Believe it or not, few companies are out there leveraging these new tracking technologies. It’s really more an investment of time rather than money. But it can be a challenge for marketing managers whose staff was scaled back along with their budgets.
The time-tested components of a successful marketing campaign must still be incorporated into each creative component. These include knowing who your most-profitable prospects are, how they want to be communicated with – and when they are ready to buy. Combine this data with a relevant, timely message, and you’re sure to see a boost in response rates. This increase can be measured and used to justify the budget dollars spent, and it’s vital for intelligently planning the next round of spending.
Agencies shouldn’t just sell advertising or creative. When you partner with a reputable agency with industry-specific experience, you get a full team of dedicated professionals with specialists in each key discipline.
Like a good accountant, a good agency will pay for itself with results.
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