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Technology versus Just Event Marketing

Tracking Your Advertising, Old School

A few months ago I attended a local marketing meeting with some very smart marketers. During one of the sessions a gentleman started to talk about the importance of accountable marketing.

During the discussion he brought up an important point, “Everybody should be carefully tracking their advertising effectiveness. I know that the $3000 I spent on just my yellow pages ad has brought me $53,261.29 in revenue to date.”

After the gentleman had given his yellow pages example he went on to point out, “If you ask most business owners what their return on investment is for their advertising, almost all of them respond with - I have no idea.”

Would you invest your money into anything if you couldn’t quantify what you were getting in return?

Can you quantify your return on investment?
Today I want to give you a simple “old school” idea for tracking the effectiveness of your advertising.  At the most basic level all you need is a pen and a piece of paper. If you really want to get a little high tech go with a simple excel spreadsheet.

Start with a Promo Code

The easiest thing to do so that people can reference your ad is adding a promo code. The whole purpose of a promo code is to differentiate all your various advertising materials.  Make sure that each version of your advertising has an easy to reference, but different, promo code.

Ask Them Where They Heard About You
If you answer the phone for your business, keep your tracking sheet right next to the telephone. If you have employees, make sure they pick have the sheet in front of them before they pickup the telephone.
It starts with you asking the question, “Can I ask where you heard about us?” Most of the time people will have an answer for you. Even if they can’t remember the exact promo code they’ll at least remember the type of media – television, print, radio, etc. At least get the type of media. Some tracking is far better than no tracking. If you have an online presence, leave a space for people to enter promo code information. As an incentive to enter the promo code you could even consider giving the consumer a discount if they’re making a purchase.

Some Simple Metrics

There are a number of different metrics you can use. I recommend cost per lead (advertising dollars divided by revenue). If you spend “X” dollars you get “Y” dollars in return. Track your results over time. If you’re spending $1000 a month on print advertising and you’re only getting $750 in revenue in return, you have a problem.

Of all the advertising techniques one could use, tracking might be the most important. If you don’t track, you’ll never be able to tell if your advertising is worth the investment.

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