Marketing you can measure

September
15
2010

Acquiring new customers isn’t only tricky, it can be down right expensive. If you’re going to spend money on any marketing, shouldn’t you be able to tell if it’s working?

Traditional advertising mediums are definitely feeling the pinch of the effect the world wide web has had on marketing.

You only have to watch a few minutes of network television to see how advertisers are spending their dollars funneling potential customers to their websites, or facebook pages, or twitter feeds. Some companies don’t even mention their own websites, but rather only their Twitter feeds, or some other social media landing zone.

The biggest reason they actually still market on television is because not enough of their top executives have died yet. These dinosaurs still see validity in spending heaps of cash on a TV ad campaign because that’s what they’ve always done. I’m not saying that image advertising on television and radio is a complete waste of money for every company, just for most of the mid to small sized ones that come to believe the “need” to do it.

Radio, though geo-targeted, still has no really accessible way to measure customer conversion.

And don’t even get me started about the yellow pages…speaking of people who aren’t dead yet. Does anyone know anyone that even uses it anymore?

The proof is in the pudding

Consider for a moment Groupon, Forbes’ “Fastest Growing Company EVER”! The only evidence of a TV commercial I can find was a 4 second spot. I don’t know when, where, or why it aired, but every other time they’ve been on television, it was because they made the news.

What’s great about Groupon, is that the customer acquisition cost is low, and the customers you get are pre-qualified. They not only choose to subscribe to Groupon’s “deal-a-day”, but they chose your deal specifically. As long as you do your job properly once you get those customers, chances are damn good that they’re going to want to buy from you again…maybe even regularly!

Most of their growth is virally internet-based by people telling their friends what a great deal they’ve found. It’s also in the best interest of a customer who wants the deal to go active to tell everybody they know, to ensure that they get to take advantage of it.

Hard numbers for your troubles

Those of you who do any e-mail marketing with Good Egg Design know how cost-effective that is in comparison to “old-school” marketing techniques as well. Your monthly performance reports are incredibly detailed too, so that you know that the dollars spent performed for you.

The cost of engaging in many traditional forms of advertising is just becoming so difficult to justify when you can’t quantify its success. You can’t afford to participate regularly, or you may well lose your shirt before you’ve been able to determine if it’s helping. If you can’t measure effectiveness immediately, how can you properly forecast for the next quarter’s marketing budget?

Any advertising and promotions you run online, however, can usually be measured instantly. In some cases, you can pull out right away if you see time and money are just being wasted. Go ahead and try unsubscribing (getting a partial refund) from the Yellow Pages after three months of seeing no real return on the investment. Fah ghit abaw did! You’re on the hook for hundreds or thousands of dollars whether it works or not. If they don’t laugh right in your ear when you call, you’ll still be the talk of the office for the rest of that week.

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