This is the 1st chapter in our newest eBook, “Build Your Own Automatic Selling Machine”. Register to receive each new chapter as its released and the entire eBook when complete, free here
4 Reasons You’re Throwing Money Down the Drain When You Pay for Advertising and Marketing
• How failure to set measurable expectations and then measure the results leaves you in the dark.
• How advertising and marketing consultants try to keep it that way. It sure feels that way, doesn’t it?
Of all the places you spend money to run your business, you can probably explain in minute detail where it all goes and how that investment returns you profits.
When you write that check for marketing and advertising, don’t you feel that rock in the pit of your stomach? You know something’s not right about it, but you know you’ve got to advertise to keep selling. So you bite the bullet and spend some more cash.
It’s because you’re unclear about exactly how that investment is going to make you money. There is way too much gray area! Sure, you know what you’re paying for. But do you know exactly how much profit to expect from the expenditure?
If you pay for a booth at a trade show, you don’t know how many people will attend or how many will stop by your booth. If you pay for a magazine ad, you don’t know how many people will see the ad or how many will call you.
In truth, you might as well head to Vegas and put that money on the roulette table, spin the wheel and see what happens. That’s what you’re doing when you spend on marketing and advertising today!
You would not be in business if you didn’t know what you’re doing. You’ve learned to be specific and clear about your expectations in every other aspect of your business. So why do we let ourselves throw money away like this?
#1 Reason You’re Throwing Money Down the Drain When You Pay for Advertising and Marketing:
Advertising and marketing vendors and consultants don’t want you to know what the return on each marketing investment is!
It’s not in the interest of someone selling you ad space or a direct mail campaign or their time to create campaigns to help you measure the return. It’s much easier for them to inflate their invoice if you’re clueless. So they point you to completely unmeasurable benefits like “branding”. They tell you about their huge circulation numbers.
You are not a marketing guru. It’s easy for them to throw around big numbers of viewers or readers or registrants —- and it sounds great.
The fact is, there are hundreds and thousands of minute variables that go into a typical advertising campaign that can make or break the results. Often many different people and vendors are involved. No one wants to be accountable for the whole enchilada.
But you are. So you’ve got to hold them accountable just like you would a vendor that provides you with parts for your manufacturing process or your landlord. If the roof is leaking, it needs to be fixed.
And there is a HUGE leak in your marketing process!
#2 Reason You’re Throwing Money Down the Drain When You Pay for Advertising and Marketing:
You are not setting expectations for the vendors and consultants and you’re not setting them for yourself.
So, it’s not really the fault of all these marketing folks that you can’t tell what you’re getting out of your ad spending. Just like everything else when you run a business, it comes down to you. You are not tracking what happens when they do what you pay them for.
Sure, they run the ad, you show up at the trade show, your direct mail piece gets sent. And that’s all you expect of the vendor. But that’s not what you’re really paying for. You want the phone to ring!
How many phone inquiries does it take to make that ad worth it? How many business cards do you need to collect at the trade show to make it pay off?
At a minimum, you should know the expectations in measurable specifics each time you write a check. If you spend another $5,000 on updating your website, how is that going to result in more sales and more profits? If you can’t figure it out, don’t write the check!
When you start thinking this way, you’ll find that the ad vendors and consultants working with you become extremely helpful. They can tell you what typical response rates are to this or that type of ad. Put them on the spot. Make them commit to a number. If you hit it, it was a win. If not, you won’t be doing it again. You’ll certainly get that extra bit of focus and creativity out of them to make your campaign a success!
#3 Reason You’re Throwing Money Down the Drain When You Pay for Advertising and Marketing:
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure”
Unfortunately, most businesses aren’t organized enough to track the real results. If you’ve got an ad running in a magazine, a classified ad in the local paper, and a trade show all in the same month, when the phone rings, can you really tell how that prospect heard about you?
Well, the good news is that its not hard to do. You’ve just got to start asking, “How did you hear about us?”
It really is that easy. Just ask. Track it on a simple piece of paper with tick marks if you have to.
Imagine how much fun you’re going to have! A month or two after the ad runs, you can sit down with vendor and show them, “This is how many inquiries we got from this ad.” Do the math with them. “We spent $1,000 and got 20 inquiries. That’s $50 per lead.” That may good or bad in your business. If it’s bad, then I bet you get a better deal on your next ad run with that vendor. Or maybe you don’t bother next time. If its a good result, then you’re probably going to want to spend more money next time. The difference is that you’ll be making decisions about investments that you believe in and because you know what to expect.
#4 Reason You’re Throwing Money Down the Drain When You Pay for Advertising and Marketing:
You’re letting them baffle you with their bullshit.
OK, so nothing we’ve discussed is rocket science. Only one problem… these guys are creative types. They’re expert at painting pretty pictures with words and images and putting the right spin on things. The advertising industry has convinced generations of entrepreneurs and business people that advertising is a creative process and you can’t really measure creativity.
If there is one thing you need to take away from this is that you cannot buy into that thinking. If they refuse to help you set expectations and measure the results, then it’s probably because they know they won’t measure up. Move on.
Find marketing and advertising partners that understand how important measuring the results is and offer solutions to make it a reality for you.
The concept of measuring the return on your advertising investments is not new, but its becoming much more crucial. The world is changing. You can no longer rely on one medium to promote your company and your products. You’ve got be in a lot of different places and the list is growing.
If you don’t have measurable expectations for each channel, that rock in your stomach is going to get much bigger and its going to eat you alive.
In fact, the changes taking place in the way people buy and the way those changes affect small business marketing is our next topic!
Remember, 4 Reasons You’re Throwing Money Down the Drain When You Pay for Advertising and Marketing is the 1st chapter in our newest eBook, “Build Your Own Automatic Selling Machine”. Register to receive each new chapter as its released and the entire eBook when complete, free here.