Evaluating Advertising Results
Because your budget is limited you must see that your advertising does the job you want it to by avaluating advertising results. Measuring the results on a continuing basis can help you see that your ads keep your business’s name before the public and contribute to increasing sales.
Planning is important. Before you can evaluate results, you must decide what purpose your ads should accomplish. This Guide gives pointers on planning ads and discusses several ways you can compare advertising and sales.
Advertising is necessary today. Whether you have a small business or a large one, you must tell groups of people who you are, what you sell, and where you are located. You must tell them when they wish to hear or read about such things. So you must place ads in newspapers, on radio, TV, and outdoor posters, or send out direct mail pieces.
As a business owner-manager, you know the money that you spend on advertising must return enough sales and profits in added business to justify the cost of the advertising. In most firms, neither time nor money is sufficient to engage in complicated ad measurement methods. Even so, you can use certain rule-of-thumb devices to get a good idea about the results of your advertising.
What Results Do You Expect?
Essentially, measuring results means comparing sales with advertising. In order to do it you have to start early in the process – before you even make up the advertisement. The question to the answer is: What do you expect the advertising to do for your firm?
Immediate response advertising
Is designed to cause the potential customer to buy a particular product from you within a short time – today, tomorrow, the or next week. An example of such decision-triggering ads is one that promotes regular price merchandise with immediate appeal. Other examples are ads which use price appeals in combination with clearance sales, special purchases, seasonal items, (for example, white sales, Easter sales, etc.), and “family of items” purchases.
Such advertising should be checked for results daily or at the end of 1 week from appearance. Because all advertising has some carry-over effect, it is a good idea to check also at the end of 2 weeks from advertising runs, 3 weeks from runs, and so on to insure that no opportunity for using profit-making messages is lost.
Is the type you use to keep your store’s name and merchandise before the public. Some people think of this type as “image-building” advertising. With it, you remind people week after week about your regular merchandise or services or tell them about new or special services or policies. Such advertising should create in the minds of your customers the attitude you want them to have about your store, its merchandise, its services, and its policies.
To some degree, all advertising should be attitude advertising. It is your reputation builder.
Attitude (or image building) advertising is harder to measure than immediate response advertising because you cannot always attribute a specific sale to it. Its sales are usually created long after the ad has appeared. However, you should keep in mind that there is a lead time relationship in such advertising. For example, an ad or a series of ads that announces you have the exclusive franchise for a particular brand starts to pay off when you begin to get customers who want that brand only and ask no questions about competing brands.
In short, attitude-advertising messages linger in the minds of those who have some contact with the ad. People sooner or later act upon these messages when they decide that they will make a certain purchase.
Because the purpose of attitude advertising is spread out over an extended period of time, the measurement of results can be more leisurely. Some attitude advertising – such as a series of ads can be measured at the end of 1 month from the appearance of the ads or at the end of a campaign.