Online advertising should be your best bet in terms of confidence. There is little you don’t know about performance of internet advertising campaigns. No hoops to jump through here, everything you need to know should be automated and available.
So why is it people waste their advertising budget on no-hoper campaigns that generate lots of traffic but very little impact on the bottom line?
Did you see the report that eBays traffic increased when they stopped their USA Adwords advertising?
Unfortunately many of us have been hypnotised into believing all we need is a big enough pool of prospects, attract enough visitors. Listen carefully when a friend is talking about their business model …
So if I just get 5% of the market we will be millionaires …
Even worse they might not even think as far as making any sales at all.My advice?
- Test & Track – Experiment but with an eagle-eye on your stats. Track every campaign down to conversions. If you do not get your desired conversions from that keyword, ad, campaign, type of advertising then pull it.
- Brand AND Convert – Yes repeat exposures will assist in building brand but so will repeat exposures to ads that actually convert. Also the best branding is through experience and word of mouth. That is, having a great product or service and delighting your customers. If you have a massive budget then go right ahead and create branding campaigns, otherwise spend your budget dollars more carefully.
- Sales NOT Traffic – Unless you can afford to keep up your level of spending forever you need to keep a close eye on the bottom line and drive your business with tactics that make a positive impact. You can’t afford to be monitoring Alexa and Hitwise, your sales will tell you if you are on the right track.
- LTV – You want steady growth, great customer service, positive, building word of mouth. You want life time value. Do not sacrifice long term company health going after short term profit. Monitor average customer value and defections closely.
- Stay Golden – Work out where your best customers are coming from and do more to attact them. Every business will have a spectrum of “barely profitable” through to “if we could only clone this customer!”. Create special offers for your top 20% “Gold” customers. Learn as much as you can about your best customers, profile them, nurture them, get them and your campaigns to attract more of the same.
Online advertising is not rocket surgery but at the same time it is not “fire and forget” either. You have to monitor, test, tweak and track everything from beginning to end. Most importantly trim the fat.
There are very few channels as fast and responsive as online but speed can kill (your budget). Be a careful driver!