Best ROI in Advertising

All adverting must have its purpose and goals clearly identified before planning the advertising campaign. Once you’ve clearly identified what are your business needs then advertising will help you achieve those needs, if done properly. It’s important to select the correct advertising channel(s) which is best fitting your business with best ROI.

We are going to talk about how to break down the cost bases of each advertising format and their effectiveness. Since it’s the only way compare & choose the most cost-effective advertising medium. You’ll need to check printed coffee cup sleeves & compare it to other forms of advertising as well. We are confident you’ll find it most effective & will provide you with the best ROI. First of all, we must advertise to achieve a particular goal. Listed below are some goals which most businesses set for their advertising campaigns. Though I’m sure there are others.

  1. Need corporate branding?
  2. Need short term return?
  3. Need long term return?
  4. Promoting a specific new product or service?

Identify your business need

The most important issue is to identify what your business needs.
Once you’ve identified your business needs you can then choose a correct way to fulfill that need. You know best who your targeted audience should be as well as agency will provide the best results. Once you’ve qualified some agencies now you need discuss cost & their effectiveness. Let’s talk about some real examples! Your organization has developed a new product. You need to come out advertising with a bang beating out your competition. Now you have developed a special pizza menu unique in the neighborhood.
Now you’ll need to advertise in both cases so you can attract new and or old clients increasing revenues. In both cases one of the quickest ways to increase sales is a coupon distribution program. You should decide if coupon distribution fits your business model or not. Why does a pizza restaurant need branding you might say? If consumers have never seen your brand they’ll never visit you. Well, that’s what branding does. It’s an investment which you would make for the future. You can advertise through veriest advertising channels on an ongoing bases. Always reminding consumers about your product & services. Most advertising can not is difficult to track. Consider the branding investment for the future & coupon advertising for the short term.

Raise awareness with branding

Branding & advertising’s main function is to raise awareness about a product or service. For example if you own a pizza restaurant & are changing your menu or have introduced a new product. By advertising you can make public aware of your changes so when they are ready to buy they can think of you first. The hope is that when a consumer is ready to buy they at the least consider you while making their decision. This way your firm is at least is the race which sure beats the opposite.
To check the ROI from your adverting you need to track the hits or interest only. One must not bundle sales into this equation.
Branding should do one thing and one thing alone.
Branding is making public be aware of your firm. It’s a slow process which the results become clear in long term. It should not mistaken with a short term advertising that the results become clear in a short period. Now I’m going to shock many by the following statement. Fasten your seatbelt. Branding should only raise product or service awareness as described earlier. The number of PC’s or pizzas sold has nothing to do with the success of a branding campaign. Why you might ask?

The truth

Organizations hires a PR firm to promote their product and to raise public awareness. So this PR firm ends up building a great traffic to their store or website but only a few actually buy their product. My opinion of the PR firm is that they did their job. Exactly what they promised they would do. Is it their fault if the product did not sell? Recently while speaking to a marcom group of a hi-tech company in the valley. They said that they only wanted to pay for the type of advertising which ends up in a sale. I know they are confusing two issues.
Advertising means only that, to advertise and promote. Sales mean that someone who is in the business of selling to perform this act. My response to them was that my job as a promoter is to capture an audience’s attention & raise their interest. To a level where they would view their product or services. My promise is then fulfilled and we should get paid. But I will not make any silly promises guaranteeing sales. Selling is not our business. Why their product did not sell could have several reasons. One reason could be the product price point. Or inferiority of their product. An inferior sales team might be another reason.

To brand correctly

So lets talk about branding . The other day I needed to buy a software, so I asked a friend if he happened to know a software which would serve my purpose. Sure enough he referred some software which I ended up purchasing. I had never heard of this company or their products but I bought it anyway. You see my friend remembered them & as a result he recommended them. It’s like second level of branding. That’s when you know the branding worked. That’s a great success when people telling each other about the product. Job would be well done by the PR firm even if the referral did not result in a sale. There are other factors which must be also considered.
Close monitoring of a questionnaire, survey or facebook comments is important while advertising. Being patient while monitoring is the key. Trust in your judgment of selecting the proper advertising channel(s).
Once you feel committed to advertise and brand, you need to qualify the correct agency. I like to speak about how to qualify different advertising channels. For example you have called a billboard company inquiring about their monthly rates. Their rates based on the size of the board, how many months you would be renting & most important the location. The reason why the location is important is because of the traffic count. How many cars drive past the billboard daily.

Ability to read analytics correctly

Following are some questions which you should be asking yourself. Besides what analytics which they’ll provide:
  1. What is the speed limit in that area?
  2. How close to an intersection is the billboard? There are limits on how far away a billboard can be from any intersection or to an off ramps.
  3. How many other billboards are nearby?
  4. How far back is the billboard from the highway?
  5. Is the board lit up? If not you will need to get credit for the night travelers.
  6. Are there any other distractions near the board? Which will distract drivers from paying attention to the billboard.
  7. Is there a traffic light or a stop sign where the billboard is?Any data available regards to the commuters? Such as are they local commuters or they are travelers.
  8. Any data available regards to the commuters? Such as are they local commuters or they are travelers.
  9. Other similar questions.
I am trying to have you begin breaking down stats. Add or deduct credits. Remember not everyone driving by will takes a notice of the billboard. They drive by and within 2-3 seconds they are gone. Other nearby distractions may take away from the billboard’s visibility. You may be able to get 2% of the driver’s attention at most.

Asking the tough questions

As you speak to a billboard sales agent or any other advertising firm ask them some tough questions. This will allow you to rate each agency with real numbers. Once you’ve arrived to a real number of views on a billboard then divide it into your monthly fee. The result will be your cost per/view. I would bet your price per view will be much closer to truth than theirs. You could do the same with other sources such as newspaper, magazines, direct mail TV. You can then compare all the prices which you’ve collected & choose the best one to give you most bang for your buck.
Now things get a little easier. Make a chart which displays all the firms you’ve interviewed. In a column write the fee for each agency & in the other column cost per view. Of course these prices are the prices based on your own valuation. After making the chart you can determine which firms suit you best. The goal is to bombard a the audience with your ad from different sources. Such as Internet, magazines, radio, etc.
When the time comes for someone to buy he/she will be considering to compare it to your competition. Do your homework, go for it and reap the benefits. Remember operating a business is much better if the business is successful.


Ed Avakian

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