Friday, January 5, 2007

Is it working?

You've budgeted, planned, researched, created, stuffed, mailed, paid and your marketing materials are out the door. This is where the rubber meets the road. Are your efforts working?

There are a variety of ways to measure advertising success. A simple spreadsheet can track results. To track results, however, means that every member of your organization must determine what generated the respondents' inquiries.

There are various ways to track results. Suppose you sent 300 direct-mail pieces. From this piece, you generated 21 leads and 11 sales. Divide the cost of the advertising vehicle by the number of leads it generates to determine the cost per lead. To determine a cost per sale, divide the cost of the ad by the number of sales the ad generates.

Because an ad campaign isn't particularly successful, don't automatically discard it. A direct-mail piece may need tweaking, you may need to adjust your target market, or the timing of the campaign, perhaps right before a holiday, may be flawed.

There are essentially two types of advertising campaigns, "brand-building" or lead generation. Brand building increases public awareness and impression of your company and generally takes longer and more repeated efforts (usually from three to five) to accomplish. If you sent out press releases, these may not generate many leads but build your "brand," your visibility in your community. Tailor your expectations to the vehicles you used.

It is critical to track responses to your advertising efforts because both your time and budget are finite.

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