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Advertising Becomes Research

It used to be that you ran advertising, and then tried to track leads coming into your business sporadically, when you remembered to ask people how they found out about you.   Then, if you were smart, you’d use that information to tweak your advertising next year.   Year over year, you would gradually improve bit by bit, until after many years you have a real methodology.  Tracking advertising wasn’t a terribly efficient way of planning future campaigns.

Fast forward to today:  Advertising can BE research — in REAL TIME!  Here’s how.

A-B Testing Your Ads

Rather than run one ad, online advertising makes it easy to split your campaigns into several versions of a given ad.  Change your headlines, image, body copy.    Analytics will tell you which ad is performing better or worse within a few days.   You can drop the weaker ads, and tweak the better ones to see how high you can push the results.  Online customers can literally can train you to write and design better ads.  

In a recent campaign we ran for a client who was advertising career opportunities, we noticed certain ads were well outperforming others.  We dropped the weak ads, and consolidated on the high performers.  The result was a 200%+ improvement in click-through rates and a major boost in impressions.  Why the impression boost?  Because Google places clicked-on ads higher up in the advertising list, meaning the ad gets seen even more often.

 

Compare Your Media Spaces

Online, there are millions of choices of where you can place your ads. The ideas is to take your first best estimate as to which places will best reach you target market, and then use your online analytics to track the results coming from each media placement chosen.

Using the career opportunities campaign again, we had advertised on both Google Adwords, and Google “search partners” — other sites that Google recommends for placement of ads.  We noticed that when ads were actually on the Google site, they did far better than those ads on the search partners.  Eliminating the search partners and consolidating more budget boosted the efficiency of the campaign.

Hone in on Micro-Markets

Today’s online analytics make it possible to target tiny groups of potential clients, based on results of how your ads are already doing.

In the career opportunities example, we started with males in the 18-35 who were interested in trades careers. After running the ads and tracking the analytics, we discovered that groups of people who were intending to buy auto insurance or who were interested in buying sedans were responding strongly to our ads.   This allowed us to reach out to these and other micro-groupings.

 

And Voila!  Online Advertising Becomes Market Research…

In summary,  remember this isn’t just a one-time exercise.  A well-monitored campaign can be tweaked over and over again, continually pushing efficiency.  It’s like taking a year’s wait and taking it down to a few days!

Tell me that if you had data like that, you wouldn’t want to immediately put it into action!   With nearly perfect “intelligence” about your target customers, you can certainly make those intelligent decisions!

Please CONTACT US to chat more about these great new techniques can help your business!

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Jacqueline Drew
About the Author - Jacqueline Drew
Jacqueline M. Drew, BComm MBA is CEO of Tenato Strategy Inc., a Calgary-based marketing research and strategy firm. She loves to use her superpowers "to help the good guys win" and is also an energetic supermom, bandleader and songwriter.

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