In the World of Advertising measurement is King

- August 24, 2012 3 MIN READ

Online advertising in Australia exceeded $3 billion in the last financial year according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, but despite this, many companies blindly enter into advertising and marketing campaigns with no way of tracking the effectiveness of their advertising. This is one of the biggest mistakes a small business can make.  Tracking what attracts customers and what doesn’t is no longer an option – it is a necessity. You really need to know what is working for your business, so you can make the best use of your dollar.

Steven Prestige, General Manager, ReachLocal Australia said: “Advertising is one of the few areas where Australian businesses seem to be willing to invest without having any measurement metrics in place. You wouldn’t take on a new employee and then never monitor them to see how they are doing. Advertising should be no different.  

“Measuring the success of an ad campaign isn’t just about the number of people clicking through to your website. Other outcomes might include emails, calls and/or service quotes, all vital to have a full understanding of the effectiveness of an ad campaign”.

ReachLocal gives its top 5 tips for measuring the effectiveness of online advertising campaigns:

1.Choose your advertising websites carefully
Some websites do not allow for traceability when advertising, withholding personal data such as IP addresses. This makes following up with potential customers more difficult. Wherever possible try to work with a company that lets you have more information than simply ‘number of click-throughs’. A successful search engine advertising company will not just say they can get you leads – they will prove it to you. Look for a high level of transparency into the results of your advertising campaign, complete with details about the number of calls, emails, and visits you get from your ads. Features like online access let you see your progress at any time and change campaigns as required. 

2.Try call tracking
Call tracking is the process of putting a unique, trackable phone number in your advertising in order to measure whether or not that ad generated any phone calls. With some call tracking technology you can also record your calls to see how it led to a successful appointment or sale. Call recordings are also extremely useful for other purposes including sales training, customer service monitoring and giving insight into customer trends and in-demand services.

3.Email tracking 
Many people choose to enquire about a business or service through the company’s website enquiry forms. Many companies also now include a drop down ‘where did you hear about us’ section, which goes some way to understanding what is driving traffic. However, it does not allow analysis at the granular individual advert level. To get that level of granularity, you need to invest in a platform that can help you to assign individual email details to someone when they click on an advert. If the user then goes on to send an enquiry through the website you will know exactly which advert they originally clicked on. There are platforms like ReachLocal’s, which are able to do this without the need for any changes to your existing website.

4.Think wider than your advert alone
If you are using an agency, the right agency won’t focus solely on search engine advertising, but will also be able to help you with many aspects of your web presence. An agency that understands brand awareness, social media marketing, or converting customers will not only be able to advise on these aspects but also feed this knowledge and expertise back into your advertising campaign to maximise exposure. For example, display advertising and remarketing services can boost a search campaign while helping you expand your brand awareness among prospects.  Similarly, conversion tools like website live chat widget can help you engage visitors who click your ad, which can help you get more calls or emails from your website.

Western Landscape Supplies in QLD recently started tracking its advertising and has been impressed with the results. Manager Chris Habit said: “ReachLocal send out reports every week. I can go through and look at how many phone calls we’re getting or emails and I can even listen in on phone calls and make sure our staff are getting trained right.”

Tackling these challenges is not an easy task, but if Australian businesses are to attract new customers and maximise conversions, ensuring ROI on advertising through monitoring outcomes of individual campaigns is absolutely vital.