How to gauge if your advertising campaign is working

You've put time and effort into crafting an amazing, show-stopping advert that potential customers can't possibly ignore. The ad has gone out and it's the moment of truth. You sit back, waiting for sales to come pouring in. And then there's silence. 
If this scenario resonates with you, you're not alone. Each week, we receive calls from companies seeking advice on how to bolster their advertising campaigns and generate a return on investment.
When it comes to advertising, it's easy to throw money around. So how can you avoid wasting your budget and how do you evaluate success or failure?

The truth is that silence doesn't necessarily mean failure. The cash tills may not start ringing immediately, but your customers may still come into your shop and browse around or take note of your services for future reference. Increasing brand awareness is hard to measure but that doesn't mean it's not vital for your business. Advertising also has a cumulative effect – it may not be immediate, but it will start to gather momentum which means it's wise to commit to a programme of activity. Here are four rules of thumb when it comes to planning your advertising strategy.
1. Data is king
The most important message is that you can't measure success if you have nothing to measure it against. Base-line data should be available before you start so you can compare sales and enquiries, before, during and after your advertising crusade.
2. Be clear 
Return on investment depends on the strength of your message – your advertising should have a clear, singular call to action. When it comes to pitching a product, see it from your target audience's point of view and offer a solution to a problem.
3. Useful tools
Using discount codes is a useful tool to track response rates in print, online, radio and TV advertising. This helps to pinpoint where your customers have come from and which ads have worked well.
Whether you have an e-commerce website or not, most customers will use your website as the first port of call, therefore the role of website analytic software is crucial. Using specific URLs alongside discount codes helps to measure and evaluate the number of visitors from each campaign, geographical location, dwell time and even conversions.
4. Powerful planning
Your programme needs to establish concise goals from the outset, not just sales targets. For example, 'I would like my campaign to increase website traffic by 15% in the first quarter'. Use the tracking tools to measure how it's going during the campaign and don't be afraid to adjust mid-programme. And finally, as your customer base starts to build – don't forget to ask them how they heard about you. 
If you're feeling frustrated with your advertising we're here to help. Give us a call on 01403 783400 to chat to our advertising specialists.




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