Website Analytics May 23rd, 2012
Would you get on a plane without knowing where it’s going? Would you give a hotel your credit card without knowing the fees? Would you invest without knowing how to measure return?
For the vast majority of us, the answer is no. We would want to know where we’re going, how much it’s going to cost us and be able to understand if the decision we’re making today proves to benefit us in the future.
However, I’m finding many advertisers don’t place the same emphasis on ‘knowing’ or ‘understanding’ the effectiveness of their different advertising campaigns online and offline (Print, Billboard, Radio & Television).
I have structured the this article as follows:
“How did you hear about us?” or “How did you find us?”
This question is annoying because it is one extra question I have to answer on the phone, online, or in an application that is relevant to the business and not to me. What does it benefit me as a consumer to answer that question thoughtfully? How does the business know I’ll even answer it truthfully?
Especially as it pertains to online, studies show that longer forms are less likely to be filled out. Thus the question posed to help the business understand what’s going on ends up reducing inquiries!
Fortunately non-invasive solutions do exist. I use (and sell) a system called AdLuge, that shows you how you were found and many other important metrics without interrupting the consumer and taking more of his/her time.
AdLuge tells me how many leads I have (Phone and Email). It tells me how much each lead cost me across my print campaigns, billboard, radio, organic (online) direct (online) and paid traffic (online). It also tells me what keyword people typed in to find me and how much time they spent on my website, which pages they visited and on what page they decided to contact me. I can even track the sales and make forecasts based on each form of advertisement.
By using AdLuge to measure my advertising sources I haven’t interrupted the buying process to ask the consumer how they found me and I know how they truly found me, which advertisement provided me the best cost per lead metrics and what my improvement areas were both online and offline.
Using a system like AdLuge gives me a better reading on the pulse of my business and how to improve its health.
Would you hire a salesperson and never review the actual sales figures from that particular rep? Would you hire a group of sales people and have a feel for the overall group performance, but never bother to break it down individually?
Of course not, because you wouldn’t have a business if you didn’t know the revenue each expense brought you. You wouldn’t be satisfied to simply ‘think’ the salesperson is probably doing an alright job. You would know one way or the other based on logic, based on data, based on figures.
Shouldn’t the same be true of your advertising? For Radio? For Television? For Print? For Online?
For most advertisers the answer is NO (in practice).
That’s hard to believe, isn’t it? However, you’ll find its true, because most advertisers cannot tell me or themselves the amount of leads they generate from one advertisement to another. How many phone calls come from online? From the newspaper advertisement? From that magazine you were convinced to advertise in? From the yellow pages?
Speaking of the Yellow Pages, I receive a lot of calls and one of the questions advertisers/business owners ask is, “Do you think the yellow pages is worth it?” and I always respond the same way. “Despite my personal leanings, I won’t tell you not to use the Yellow Pages, but if you’re going to, let’s measure it”.
When it comes time to making those advertising decisions you have to KNOW how to spend your money, or will you simply ‘think’ something works or doesn’t. You could end up investing your advertising budget in what you ‘thought’ worked the best, but in actuality was the worst advertising decision of the year.
Advertising pitfalls are avoided by KNOWING.
It’s true that you will not be able to accurately attribute 100% of your sales to each advertising medium out there, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t collect as much data as you can.
Speaking directly to offline, there are certainly a few ways this can be done. As I’ve mentioned, here at TechWyse, we use our system called ‘AdLuge’ whereby we can provide unique phone numbers (local or toll free) that will record all calls, and the conversation from each and every offline advertisement.
Suppose as a marketing strategy you wanted to take out an advertisement at the following costs:
Now, it may be true that someone may look at your advertisement, go to your website and then call or email you, but you can still collect data that’ll accurately paint a picture of what’s working best.
If you were speaking to a campaign analyst here at TechWyse they would assign 4 unique phone numbers (local or toll free) for each advertisement (the same can be done for TV, Radio etc). They would then ‘tag’ and track each phone number in AdLuge where we will see how many phone calls each advertisement got. Based off the results, you’ll know which advertisement to focus on or cut!
Likewise, can you imagine being able to view your cards before you placed your bet at a blackjack table?
Understanding your metrics is sort of the same because knowledge reduces risk.
Assuming you ran your print campaigns, here are some hypothetical figures you would have access to if you were measuring:
Total Media Spend: $20,500
Total Leads Generated: 175
Overall Cost Per Lead: $117.14
Breaking down the print campaign:
Assuming that this was a satisfactory result and we have a smaller budget to work with for the next month, because we have access to AdLuge (Tracking each lead source) we know that the Industry mailer was the best expenditure. We also know the community newspaper isn’t worth investing in and that the Toronto Sun did better for us than the Toronto Star.
Does this information help you spend your money better? Assuming the overall campaign was a success, if you didn’t know the community newspaper brought you nothing, were you likely to invest in it again and again because it was cheap?
If you’ve come this far in the article, here are some questions to ask:
If you want to know how and more about the system I use for measurement called AdLuge, contact me and I’ll help you put your finger on the pulse of your advertising.