You work hard at your business to earn money, and often that hard earned money makes its way to your advertising budget. Making sure that your advertising works to improve your business is crucial, and this leads to the all important tracking metrics – measuring the success of your ad campaign. One of the most common mistakes made in this arena is confusing response with results.
While tracking results can be tricky, tracking response is rather easy. Results have an impact on your bottom line. Responses indicate that people were exposed to your ads, but not whether those ads motivated them to make a purchase or made an impact on their opinion of your business. If you’re clear on the difference, try this experiment. Purchase some billboards in your hometown and put nothing on them other than a picture of your face. The entire billboard is nothing more than you smiling. It won’t take long before your family, friends, co-workers etc. will begin to comment that they’ve seen you on a billboard. That is a response. It accomplishes nothing, but it is a response nonetheless. (This, by the way, is not a dig on billboards, which are fine ways to advertise. It’s just an easy example.) Anheuser-Busch (specifically Budweiser and Bud Light) count their ad budgets amongst the largest in the US, and their share of domestic beer sales reflects this. Do you think anyone has ever placed a 6-pack on the counter and said “I love those new TV spots?” The point of this is that just knowing people saw yours ads isn’t enough, they have to react to them. If you can track this, or better yet hire an ad agency to help you, you can get the most out of your ad budget.