Advertising is like insurance. Many don’t know they need it until they really need it. And, after buying it prudently, wouldn’t go without it. The good thing about advertising is that, unlike insurance, you reap its benefits when things are going well!
So, why is there so much reluctance among some businesses to develop and maintain an effective advertising campaign?
Jumping into paid advertising, especially in an untried medium, is a scary proposition to a lot of small business owners who must dig into their own back pockets to help fund an effective campaign. Aren’t you reluctant to spend a significant sum on a service whose success relies on the whims of other people, in other words, isn’t predictable? That’s what advertising is but thankfully, those whims can be effectively harnessed into buying action if you play your technology, data, messaging and media cards right.
Your return on investment depends on a few simple factors – reach, frequency and relevance. These are the crucial elements of a campaign and if you put effort into all three, you should see a positive ROI.
After some experience, you’ll have the confidence to invest more as you begin to measure the results based on actual response rates. The great thing with digital is that results get better and better as you dial in your data-driven campaign to more qualified prospects!
When do you advertise?
Ask yourself a couple of questions.
- Have traditional business channels like word-of-mouth, networking and direct sales taken a pause or lagged in bringing in enough new business?
- Are you unable to devote sufficient amounts of time to develop your sales & marketing channels due to other business priorities?
These are key questions that should lead you in the direction of at least a test marketing campaign with a sufficient advertising budget to move the needle in revenues. Determining the campaign scope and duration depends largely on your sales cycle. The goal is always a profitable return on investment and you can accurately calculate the cost per lead and cost per sale in real dollars & cents.
How do you measure success?
Let’s say your average new customer takes about one month from an initial inquiry to placing an order. In as little as 60 days from a campaign launch, you should be closing on some new business and have a bevy of leads in your sales pipeline. Unfortunately, there’s no surefire way to forecast your actual advertising ROI until you have sufficient data gathered from the digitally tracked campaign. But you can begin to make educated calculations within the first 90 days in most cases.
After a few months of dialing in your messaging and target market based on specific interests, you will begin to have a throttle-like ability to manage business growth and it can be very profitable!
Digital advertising campaigns using Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms work fast because they actively find the people you’re looking for while those people are happy to see your ad pop up, answering their current need.
Campaign effectiveness and tracking accuracy are the two reasons so many corporate marketing budgets are moving out of traditional print and broadcast, which are expensive and hard to measure, to digital which can predictively deliver results when it’s professionally managed. That’s how advertising works in the 21st Century!