Famed American merchant, political figure and marketing pioneer, Jon Wanamaker, once said “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Nearly one hundred years after his passing in 1922, business owners are still trying to figure this out. The science and art of measuring the effectiveness of your advertising are imperfect, but those who are able to weed through the noise put their businesses in prime positions to thrive.
Understanding Return on Investment
So you’ve spent $10,000 on a new marketing campaign and are unsure of how to determine whether you wasted your money or not. Many business owners struggle with this because it’s difficult to determine which metrics are important. First, not every value can neatly translate into monetary terms and second, every advertising campaign has different objectives. The first step in understanding your return on investment is understanding your marketing goals.
Examples of Advertising Goals
- Increase overall sales
- Increase sales of one service or product
- Attract new clients
- Generate likes/follows on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Attract high-quality employees
- Build brand awareness
- Increase website traffic
There are nearly endless amounts of marketing goals a business owner could pursue. When it comes to generating revenue, multiple mathematical equations can be used to measure the effectiveness of marketing. One commonly used formula is to subtract your initial advertising investment from your gross profit and then divide that total by your initial investment. If you spent $10,000 on a new marketing campaign for a hot new product and sold $15,000 worth of the product, your formula would look like this:
($15,000 – $10,000)/$10,000
In this scenario, your return on investment is 50 percent, meaning that you made 150 percent of your initial advertising investment back. However, when dealing with advertising that is not directly related to revenue, calculating its efficacy can prove extremely difficult due to the numerous factors involved.
Here are some tips to help you measure the success of your other types of advertising campaigns:
1. Set a Clear Goal: Just saying you want more followers on social media or more visitors to your website is not enough. Setting concrete goals like, increasing traffic by 20 percent or reaching 5,000 followers on Twitter makes it much easier for a marketing manager or business owner to quantify success.
2. Track and Measure: The closer you track the results, the more accurately you can measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. In some cases, it’s as easy as counting how many coupons customers give you. In other situations, you may need to set up more detailed measurements, including the source of digital traffic, level of engagement and click through percentages. Setting up an effective way of measuring your success is a critical step in the process.
3. Before and After: You need to have context to determine how effective your campaigns are. Without knowing exactly how you were doing before your campaign, how could you get an accurate measure of how you’re doing after? Don’t just look at the numbers either. Asking your customers/followers how they heard about your business/page can help you figure out what worked and what didn’t. Any feedback they provide will help you move in the right direction.
4. Be Patient: You have to give your advertising a chance to be successful. One of the biggest mistakes business owners make in their advertising is expecting instant success. Very often, advertising has a cumulative or delayed effect. Don’t pull the plug on your advertising before it has a chance to work.
5. Compare Pre and Post Advertising Website Traffic: In today’s age of information, a successful advertising campaign will likely increase traffic to your website, whether or not that was your goal. This is because modern consumers almost always research companies before doing business with them, and that research often starts with a company’s website.
Why Measuring Advertising Success is Crucial
Although there is no 100 percent completely accurate way to measure the impact of your marketing initiatives, it’s vital that business owners do everything they can to see what works and what doesn’t. When businesses are struggling to generate revenue, having an understanding of what marketing strategies have been successful can help owners make strategic cuts or reinvest in areas that have proven effective in the past. The last thing a business owner wants to do is cutback on advertising that is working or double-down on ineffective marketing strategies.
Business owners can also gain greater understanding of their target audiences and their consumer behaviors through measuring marketing effectiveness. If a business owner finds that his or her print ads are generating very little foot traffic into stores, but their digital marketing campaigns have tripled website visits, it could be a sign that his or her clients are more easily reached through the Internet. Likewise, if a business owner’s attempts to get more Facebook likes are proving futile, but clients are bringing in lots of coupons from the local newspaper, this could also provide valuable insight into the habits of his or her consumer base.
Simply put, measuring the success of advertising campaigns allows business owners to minimize marketing costs and maximize revenue.
The marketing specialists at Mary Pomerantz Advertising are experts at creating and implementing advertising campaigns and measuring their effectiveness. We realize that as a business owner you have dozens of different responsibilities pulling you in all different directions. Our goal is to provide advertising strategies that allow you to reach your business goals in the most affordable way possible. We invite you to explore how we can help your business by contacting us today at 732-214-9600.