Mike Brown is General Manager of The Wholesale Airtime Auction.
Measuring the effectiveness of legal TV advertising is an inexact science. There’s no amount of number crunching that will tell you exactly how your advertising spending translates into the number of leads your TV ads are generating. However, there are still ways to estimate how well your ads are performing relative to the amount of money you’re putting into them.
The first step to estimating the effectiveness of your legal TV advertising is to determine your precise advertising goals – that is, what you hope to achieve through legal TV advertising. Are you trying to increase sales of your services and products? Develop brand awareness? Expand your business volume in a particular market? Once you have a clear idea of your advertising goals, you can then determine how well (or poorly) your advertising is performing with regards to those objectives.
Here are the six performance indicators you need to monitor:
1. Sales. Do a comparative analysis of sales before, during, and after an ad campaign. Note that TV advertising usually has a cumulative and delayed effect: it may take time for your ads to begin actually driving sales.
2. Customers. You can monitor the number of new customers for your product or service before, during, and after your ad campaign through an efficient customer information system.
3. Requests for information. You can also gauge the impact of your ads by monitoring for any increase in requests for information, whether via phone, mail, or online.
4. Phone inquiries/orders. Direct response TV ads include dedicated phone lines that can give a good measure of ad effectiveness. In addition, you can determine how many people are responding to different ads in your campaign by assigning unique extensions to each one.
5. Retail store traffic. Counting how many people enter your stores is a simple way to track retail traffic. Don’t forget to monitor traffic before the start of your ad campaign so that you have a baseline.
6. Website traffic. If your TV ads mention your web address, email, Twitter/Facebook accounts or other social media sites, you can measure site hits, email inquiries, online purchases, and follows/likes.
Don’t forget: no matter how much effort you put into analyzing these factors, you won’t be able to make use of the data unless you know exactly what you’re trying to achieve. You need a clear business plan if you want to succeed at legal TV advertising.