Specifics For Evaluating Advertising

Specifics For Evaluating Advertising

If you don’t have a plan that includes specifics for evaluating advertising, you might as well put your money in a Ponzi scheme.

Check store traffic

An important function of advertising is to build store traffic which results in purchases of items that are not advertised. Pilot studies show, for example, that many customers who are brought to the store by an ad for a blouse also bought a handbag. Some bought the bag in addition to the blouse, others instead of the blouse.

 

You may be able to use a local college or high school distributive education class to check store traffic. Class members could interview customers as they leave the store to determine: 1. which advertised items they bought, 2. what other items they bought, and 3. what they shopped for but did not buy.

 

Testing Attitude Advertising

When advertising is spread out over a selling season or several seasons, part of the measurement job is keeping records. Your aim is comparing records of ads and sales for extended time.

 

An easy way to set up a file is by marking the date of the run on tear sheets of newspaper ads (many radio stations now provide “radio tear sheets”, too), log reports of radio and television ads, and copies of direct mail ads. The file may be broken down into monthly quarterly, or semiannual blocks. By recording the sales of the advertised items on each ad or log, you can make comparisons.

 

In attitude (or image-building) advertising, the individual ads are building blocks, so to speak, which make up your advertising over a selling season. The problem is trying to measure each ad and the effects of all of the ads taken together.

 

One approach is making your comparisons on a weekly basis. If you run an ad, for example, each week, at the end of the first week after the ad appears or is broadcast, compare that week’s sales with sales for the same week a year ago. At the end of the second week, compare your sales with those of the end of the first week as week as year-ago figures.

For web marketing using a tool like Google Analytics is, in my opinion, the best way. If you also run “internet specials”, your sales volume at a specific price can be evaluated. These evaluations need to be done on a weekly basis.

The Key Idea in an AD

Plan the ad around one idea

Each ad should have a single message – the key idea in an ad. If the message needs reinforcing with other ideas, keep them in the background. If you have several important things to say, use a different ad for each one and run the ads on succeeding days or weeks.

 

The pointers which follow are designed to help you plan ads so they will make your store stand out consistently when people read or hear about it:

 

Identify your business fully and clearly

Make sure your radio and television ads identify your sponsorship as fully and frequently as possible without interfering with the message. Logotypes and signatures in visual ads should be clean-lined, uncluttered, and prominently displayed. Give your address and telephone number. It’s possible to use a musical or sound effect signature identified with your store to create a “logo” on radio, too.

 

Pick illustrations that are similar in character

Graphics – that is, drawings, photos, borders, and layouts – that are similar in character help people to recognize your advertising immediately.

 

Pick the audio format or typeface and stick to it

Using the same typeface or the audio format for radio or television helps people to recognize your ads quickly. Using the same format or kind of type and illustrations also allows you to concentrate on the message when checking ad response changes.

 

Make copy easy to understand

Printed messages should be broken up with white space to allow the reader to see the lines quickly.

 

Broadcast messages should be written conversationally. Remember, these messages are human beings talking to human beings.

 

Tell your listeners how what you’re advertising will help them. Consumers buy benefits, not products.

 

Get the main message in the first sentence, if you can. Sentences should be short. Be direct. Go straight to the point. Get the audiences’ attention in the first five seconds of the radio or TV commercial.

 

Try out your script on somebody else or read it into a tape recorder. When you play the tape back, you’ll easily spot phrases that are hard to understand (or believe!). Your ears are better than your eyes for judging broadcasts ads.

Planning for Results in Advertising

Planning for Results in Advertising

Whether you are trying to measure immediate response or attitude advertising, your success will depend on how well the ads have been planned. The trick is to work out points against which you can check after customers have seen or heard the advertisement. Not planning for results in advertising means that you won’t have the feedback loop to manage changes to your marketing mix or to the advertisments themselves.

 Certain things are basic to planning advertisements whose results can be measured. First of all, advertise products or services that have merit in themselves.

 Unless a product or service is good, few customers will make repeat purchases no matter how much advertising you do.

 Many people will not make an initial purchase of a shoddy item because of doubt or unfavorable word-of-mouth publicity. The ad that successfully sells inferior merchandise usually loses customers in the long run.

 Marketers, as a rule, should treat their messages seriously. Humor is risky as well as difficult to write. Be on the safe side and tell people the facts about your merchandise and services.

 Another basic element in planning advertisements is to know exactly what you wish a particular ad to accomplish. In an immediate response ad, you want customers to come in and buy a certain item, or items in the next several days. In attitude advertising, you decide what attitude you are trying to create and plan each individual ad to that end.

Evaluating Advertising Results

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.

 Attitude Advertising

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.