The Blog

Numbers Game

More than ever, marketers are expecting immediate results from their advertising. Like right now. Part of this originates from on-line marketing metrics that allow us to see how many page views, unique visitors, and click-throughs our websites have received. Some marketers have extended these metrics to other parts of their marketing plan, and have aligned these expectations with broadcast media.

That’s why so many advertisers now use broadcast media strictly as a direct response outlet, measuring it’s success on a daily basis. It seems the data they receive (number of calls, number of orders, cost per call, etc) is their only measurement to determine the campaign’s value.  If they don’t get enough calls today, something’s wrong. For some businesses, this model works just fine.  For many others, it can be a business killer.

In my experience, better response to a call-to-action ad happens when someone is selling a well know, well regarded brand.  Make me a deal on something I know and like, and I’ll give it some consideration. Ask me to buy something I’m not familiar with and I’ll likely defer. That is, until I get to know why I need it and why the product can help me.  Does advertising do that even though people don’t call and order the product? Sure. But it’s still difficult to measure, so it’s value isn’t nearly as high in the immediate results expectation world. Pity.

This is how great brands and long lasting profits are built. And it seems to me that many companies are missing the long term home run trying for today’s base hit.

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2 Awesome Comments So Far

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  1. Steven Herron
    December 28, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    Interesting take on this, and worthy of consideration. There is definitely a difference between exposure for branding purposes and advertising to generate sales. Take PPC for example; many believe it generates sales but even Google states the CTR is less than 6 percent and even less than that actually convert to a sale. That means that PPC generates the least qualified traffic possible. SEO, or organic SERPs on the other hand, have a much higher CTR and conversion rate.

    Why do companies continue to spend on PPC? Two reasons. The first is because on high traffic search terms, a 1 percent conversion rate still equates to a lot of sales. The other is exposure and branding. People may not click on the link but they sure see it. What we cannot tell is how many people click on the organic listing after having seen the same company in the sponsored listing.

    • Dave
      December 28, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

      It’s all trying to do the same thing, right? Get the customer to do something. That process in the mind of the consumer, however, is more than just one a one act play. The consumer asks him/herself, “Why should I care?” If the answer is unknown, then the company must answer that question before they’ll see the next level of commitment. If the consumer already knows that answer, then they start in with a whole new line of questioning. (Is this a good deal? Do I need this now? and more…) But those questions won’t enter into the equation unless the first one is answered. And too often, I see companies wanting to get married to the consumer without ever dating them first.