Forgive me for being a pain, but as an advertiser I’m always trying to nail down specifics in historic performance in order to evaluate the tools that we use.
I think this conversation is really important to have since you are not the only one that was having difficulties and others (such as myself) would gain from the insight that this real world example has to share. Let me be more specific and if you would be so kind to answer it would be helpful.
I spend a considerable amount of time training my clients and their franchisees to develop tracking habits that could literally save them thousands of dollars a year. So let me try this on you.
- You say you increased your advertising budget by 300%. Can you break down exactly what that means? In other words:
Newspaper Ad - Went from a 2" ad to a 4" add with color (was $75 a week, now $250, etc.).
- Did you place more ads than usual - in other words, usually you only placed the advert in one periodical, now you made it into three?
If so, I would suggest putting different phone numbers on each ad so that you can track the response of each publication. It’s hard to get a reliable answer from those who call to find out how they heard about you (and that should always be your first question to them), but when they call the 3rd number on your 5 line office phone, you know it came from XYZ Daily.
Are you seeing more traffic, the same, or less traffic, since you increased your advertising budget? Are you keeping track of how many calls you receive each day? Again, this is important to know so that you can determine if the increase in cost was worth the response.
What day did the first ad come out? This will also affect the response. In a test ad we ran we saw that more people would call during the week than the weekend. Your area may vary, but it was an interesting condition that I was not expecting. I was thinking that the weekend, when people were off work would be the real busy phone times. It was the opposite in our case.
The challenge is that when you get a good response all you care about is that you filled your homes, not necessarily how you did it. But I would suggest that determining how your filled the homes will lay down the groundwork for the future.
If you actually tracked the ads that you have placed, and where they came from, you’d be able to determine that maybe you should put a bigger ad in the one publication that was working, and not spend any money on the other publication that only gave you two or three calls.
I like to fish where the fish are biting, so I never try to force action from poorly performing vehicles. I’d much rather really attack the strong vehicles with better and bigger ads.
Simply put, if you had more activity this week on the phone than last week, you can ONLY attribute it to your advertising efforts. But, if you got more renters because of your new business strategy, then the increased budget in your advertising needs to be seriously reevaluated.
I hope I’m not being a pain, but as I said, this is a REAL important conversation to have. You went from earlier in the week being disappointing with the conditions, to now being elated at new results. That definitely got my attention!