You run an ad — you want to know if it works. Back in the day you counted bingo cards to see how many people actually responded to the ad. Bingo cards have gone the way of the Dodo. (Many of you have no idea what I’m talking about. Google it) Today you count click thrus. That’s the number of times someone happens on your message on the ‘net and clicks on it. They they go to your site or page and hopefully react positively to the message.
About three decades ago, I had a conversation with the head of an ad agency who operated in the parking sphere. She was ruminating about the fact that bingo cards were going away. She told me that she counseled her clients to work out a marketing plan for a half year or for a year. Stick with the plan, and then look at their results for that period. If the results were up, it was a success, if not, fire her and find another agency. Tough words. But in reality is there another way?
Counting click thrus is important. You know immediately if your message is creating action. Are people actually interested? But you must do more than just put your logo on a banner ad. You must have interesting content. A logo that says “Dirt Altering Labs” doesn’t do a lot. However a banner that says “Turn Dirt into Gold” will attract interest.
In our industry, the Logo “Apex Parking Systems” is like “so what.” But “Double your lot revenue in one day” might just attract the attention you want. How could you not click on that. Get it, its not the media, its the message. Eat your heart out Marshall Mcluhan.
So you put your message out, count the results and if its not working, change the message. We are fortunate that unlike three decades ago, we can get a feel for the results of our message withing a few weeks. Then it took months and even then we weren’t sure.
But what if tons of people click thru, but no one buys. Is it the media, the message or the product? Then it might be time to rethink your solution.
Marketing is everything you do. Its sales, its PR, but its also design, customer service, and what your product actually does. Hula hoops are crazy, they are fun, they are cheap, they make us laugh. Chia Pets, not so much.
Lean marketing means having an idea, creating the product, getting it to market, measuring the results, and then learning from the measurement and adjusting (or abandoning) the product and pressing on. It is a circle that is fast, lean, and endless.
You must count. You must measure. The metric, what you count, depends on the product, the media, the message, and the audience. Mass marketing depends mostly on ‘impressions.” How many people actually saw the message. A million bucks a minute for an ad on the Super Bowl might be cheap, if 100,000,000 people saw it and reacted to it.
In niche businesses its more difficult. You put out a banner and get 50 click thrus, and assumed you failed. However if your product costs $100K, and you got two sales from those 50 click thrus, maybe your message is spot on.
Its not “if you count” its “what and how you count.” And then, after you count and analyze, do you discuss the results with your ad agency, PR agency, and the media you use. Then do you adjust using all this input?
Whether you are a Coke or Nike, or a garage start up, the process is the same, the scale is different.