In 1923, Claude Hopkins published Scientific Advertising. Though the language is dated, nearly every principal is still applicable today! If you're serious about marketing, you must read Claude's book. Here's an excerpt from Hopkins' Scientific Advertising featuring a "95-Year Old Marketing Trick" ...
"To track the results of his advertising he used key-coded coupons and then tested headlines, offers and propositions against one another. He used the analysis of these measurements to continually improve his ad results, driving responses and the cost effectiveness of his client’s advertising spend."
In 1923, they were called a key-coded coupon. Today we call them promo codes. By using something as simple as a promo code, you get massive advertising insight. In many cases, advertising insights that trump Google Analytics! Yet for some reason, people consider promo codes a marketing gimmick and dismiss them. That's a massive mistake!
Here's a story of an event applying the Scientific Advertising marketing trick in 2013 ...
In 2013, the Memphis Airshow organizers were unsure about direct response marketing. As I recall, when asked about direct response marketing they responded with, "It's that stuff you see in infomercials, right?" And it was a pretty good guess. Infomercials typically involve some sort of direct response device like an exclusive web address, unique telephone number or promo code.
The air show started to use simple promo codes across television, print, radio and online advertising.
They discovered that a whopping 87% of all their online ticket revenue was coming from one source. The other sources, which was most of their advertising spend, only generated 13% of the online ticket revenue.
Without the promo codes, the show organizers would have never known what was working and what wasn’t. Each media channel had its own promo code.
When all the promo codes were compiled into a matrix after the air show, the organizers saw precisely what worked and what didn’t. That allowed them to make astute decisions regarding any future event advertising. It also gave them tremendous leverage when it came to negotiating new marketing and advertising contracts. Without the matrix, they would’ve had no idea what worked and what didn't.
What’s the takeaway? Make sure you're using promo codes with all of your event marketing. The example above might be from an air show and 100% applicable to any event. Air show or not!
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