These are common questions that many small-business owners and operators ask. As a business owner you want to be strategic about how you allocate limited advertising dollars. Always begin with strategy. Placing one ad a few times is not a strategy and does not provide consistency or product positioning for your brand. If you don’t have the bandwidth to plan and budget for an entire year consider setting a quarterly strategy with clear goals and benchmarks to measure performance.
There are a variety of measurement indicators to show advertising effectiveness. The most coveted measurement is tied to revenue results. In other words, what happened to your sales during the time period you placed the campaign? Did you get more covers, calls, visits, clients or heads in beds? Tracking tools today are very sophisticated; in fact, there are many ways to look at analytics. You should be reviewing stat’s daily, weekly and monthly to see results and trends. Utilizing your CRM and POS software tools to compile analytical data is great way to view your business with a profitability lens.
There are hard and soft tracking mechanisms. Both should be part of your overall strategy. Once you have your hard POS data compare the output against your business goals to determine your return on investment strategy.
For example, let’s take a hotel with an ad for a specific need period.
- What did the advertising campaign cost?
- How many covers will it take to pay for the ad costs and production fees?
- What ROI are you anticipating? What are the industry standards? 2 for 1, 4 for 1, 10 for 1?
- Do you have benchmark data from the publication including results of other like clients?
Beyond ROI numbers, there are several soft measurement indicators you should consider:
- Did phone calls and inquiries increase?
- Were web site hits up during the advertising period?
- Did you get more Facebook followers or social media fans?
- Were there any percentage of sales increases related to the special offered in the Ad?
In addition to analytics and social media indicators, there are a number of creative issues that can play a role in advertising effectiveness.
- Does the ad have stopping power? Will someone take notice, understand the offer and copy and know what to do?
- Is your copy and message compelling? One of the biggest issues for business owners is copy overkill or poor copy that leaves the reader confused about the offer.
- Does the ad have recall power and a strong call to action?
- Is the ad visually appealing or has everything and the kitchen sink been included?
Remember the process begins with strategy! A marketing plan is a living document meant for continuous updates and improvements. For assistance on writing a marketing strategy or reviewing your advertising effectiveness contact Jodi Cross at Cross Network Marketing, Inc. (CNMI) at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit crossnm.com for more tips and marketing trade secrets. Our job is to increase your profits and maximize your growth opportunities!