Monthly Archives: May 2011

Wasted Advertising – A Solution

There’s an old saying which you’ve probably heard: half my advertising is wasted but I don’t know which half.
It’s a cliche but like all cliches it has a large degree of truth in it. In this case it’s one that is particularly true for small businesses. The big companies and brands monitor their advertising with focus groups and surveys. They also have the technology to track the response rates directly. Small businesses on the other hand advertise pretty blindly and try to gauge if their advertising worked based on whether they see an immediate increase in customers. This can be a guide if you advertise specials occasionally. But if you advertise regularly and/or if you advertise in multiple channels at the same time (such as two newspapers or a direct leaflets and the radio) how do you know which is the half that worked and which is the half which wasted your money?

Loyalty Cards can be some help in telling you how many people convert to regular customers or is they come in only that one time for the offer, never to return. But that doesn’t do much to tell you which advert worked best. You are still left wondering if the fact that all the new visitors were females in their 30s from one suburb is because one paper worked best or if the offer appealed for some reason only to that group. And so for the next offer you again advertise in all the same channels, wasting the same money reaching demographics that will never visit you.

A lot of businesses are now beginning to rely on direct advertising by means of discount voucher books and websites such as Groupon. These gives a more accurate reading on their performance since you have someone coming in with physical proof of where they saw your advert. But monitoring these still takes effort and does not give you any indication of people who saw your advert, were not in a position to purchase at that time and came along only 6 months later because it remained in their mind.

What to do then?

Well what if you could directly see in real time which channels worked, which adverts had the best response and which promotions led to delayed purchases? What if you could not only do that but also identify the channels by demographic? And if you could link this in to your Loyalty program in a way that told you which advertising channel led to one-time bargain hunters and which resulted in long-term customers?

Direct Marketing companies have been doing this for years and soon we will make this option available to you. We have been busy developing a system that can be used to do all the above and more. It can not only allow you to monitor the effectiveness of general advertising but also that of vouchers and offers.As an added advantage the system will also allow businesses who do not have any internet connection to run a self-service Loyalty Program. It can even help organisations build a local fundraising system for clubs and charities.
This is not a magic bullet – it is a simple and established idea we have spent time developing a new mechanism for. Like everything in business how successful it is for you will depend on how well you use it. But for those who are interested in saving money and generating business it will be a powerful tool.
We will be introducing the service in stages over the next few weeks. As we introduce each element I will keep you informed and will give examples of how that stage can be used to help you save money while increasing revenues. Look for the first stage in 2 weeks time.