Advertising – If you can’t measure it, don’t do it!

If you can’t measure it, don’t do it!

… as Peter Drucker, regarded as the father of modern business management practice is noted for saying, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”.

And if you can’t manage it you can’t control its effects or impact on what you are trying to achieve.

I would go one step further and say that “if you can’t measure it, don’t do it!”. Unless, of course, you are prepared to make, at least, some small effort in the attempt.

And, I would add, that it should apply to every form of marketing activity regardless of the medium.

Traditional advertising/marketing

Traditional advertising such as press, magazine, billboard, banner and tv take the form of exposure marketing ie presenting information which you hope is of interest to anyone whom might see it; with the hope that they will take some action when they do.

The operative phrase is “hope will take some action”. It is the ‘call-to-action’ that can only be measured as it is extremely difficult to measure who or how many saw it or had any sort of interest which they might or might not follow-up on, now or in the future, regardless of the circulation of the publication.

Many factors influence that process eg size of advertisement, page and position on page, ability to catch the attention of the reader some of which are headline, illustration etc.

Before the internet the only way to test exposure advertising was by the use of either a coupon response or telephone number call-to-action or make some attempt to link increased sales/business with the publication of the ad.

Now it is also possible to direct viewers to specific pages on your website and measure them as goals within Google Analytics.

Internet advertising/search marketing

The main difference is that it is only potential customers who are actively seeking the information and products you have to offer not the other way around. Assuming, of course, some effort has been made to optimise your website for the keyword/phrases your customers search for!

The other important difference between traditional advertising media and the internet is that almost every action can be measured:-

  • how many visitors saw page/website
  • how many were interested (stayed on site)
  • what they did (other pages visited)
  • how long they stayed (how interesting the content was)
  • did they return
  • completed your call-to-action (made a purchase, filled in contact form, joined your email list etc)
  • how many visits before completing your call-to-action

With the growth in internet use from simple email collection to streaming video and films its impact is hard to deny.

It is also an highly cost-effective and highly targeted advertising medium which is, not so slowly, taking over from traditional forms.

If you would like to take control and profit more from the opportunities your website offers contact us now on 01506 517037.

About Rob Willox

Inbound Marketing and SEO professional working and living in Scotland. Owner of Search Marketing company, WebMedia Inbound Marketing dedicated to helping small businesses get more from the internet and improve their profitability.
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