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When it comes to measuring and tracking the performance of your advertising and marketing, how much detail is enough? We get this question all the time from business owners. They want to measure their advertising and invest in a service to help them make it happen, but they get stuck wondering what’s worth tracking and how much detail is enough
The answer to the questions of “what’s worth tracking?” and “how much detail is enough?” is – “it depends!”
But this is an easy problem to solve and should not stop you from moving forward with investing in a measurement and tracking service. One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is, “what am I trying to accomplish by advertising and by measuring and tracking my advertising?” Are you advertising for the first time or are you seeking to improve an advertising strategy that you have done for years? What will be your measure of success? Suppose you achieve this, what then? Questions like these can help you easily and quickly decide how detailed you need to get with your tracking.
Generally speaking, when it comes to measurement and tracking you want to get as granular (detailed) as possible. Doing so gives you the most accurate snapshot of your marketing performance and the clearest direction/indication of how to improve it. This is particularly true of you are using a measurement and tracking service like Blue Corona. The cost of the service is nominal when you consider the cost of the advertising, wasted advertising, and opportunity cost of the potential business lost on poor performing ads. Let our staff spend headache producing hours analyzing every last bit of your marketing data – you’ll sit back and reap the rewards. So, when it comes to measuring and tracking, more is better (generally speaking).
Let’s look at some examples –
If you are a plastic surgeon trying to grow your practice and you are about to drop $10K on a series of ads in a local niche magazine targeting a high-end suburb, would it be worth paying an extra $1,000 over the course of the campaign to know EXACTLY how many calls, web visits, web inquiries, and e-mails the campaign generated? Of course it would!
Spending this extra 10% could save you OR make you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of the next few years. Some plastic surgeons argue that it is not worth tracking their ads because of the “branding” and the fact that if they get just one new customer from a year of ads, they’d make money on the campaign. While that makes sense, why wouldn’t you pay a tiny bit more, accurately track your advertising, and double, triple, quadruple your success rate?
On the other end of the spectrum, if you barely have enough money to advertise to begin with, should you spend $1,000 to measure and track an online affiliate program that costs you $100 for the whole year?? Of course not! Doing that would be a quick way to go bankrupt.
But when economic times are tough and ad dollars are limited, measuring and tracking ad performance is even more critical! If you are a start up business, you absolutely MUST measure and track your advertising – no exceptions! But when you are just starting out, you might decide to group inexpensive strategies into a larger category for tracking and save the detailed reporting for big dollar campaigns (if they exist). Setting things up this way will still help you make smarter marketing decisions and you can always use other (albeit less accurate) tracking methods as supplemental resources – to determine which individual strategies within the group are the top performers.
SO when deciding how detailed to get with your ad tracking, consider your goals, the picture that you need to make smarter marketing decisions, and (gasp!) your budget. You can always start broad and general and expand your tracking as new insights unfold (or as new marketing funds become available!).
In any case – don’t let confusion over how detailed to get with your tracking stop you from getting started measuring your marketing.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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