Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted but I don’t know which half

John Wannamaker, father of the department store, said this many years ago. It’s still true today if you’re using traditional advertising methods such as TV, magazines, newspapers, etc.

Most of the advertising in these media is image or branding.  Which is fine if you want a great image for your brand but not much use if you want people to buy it and make you some money. Think of all those comic TV ads that have you rolling on the floor .  Do you even remember what the company was selling?  More important, did you ever buy anything as a result of those ads?

Now look at this from your company’s point of view. You are pouring God only knows how much money into these ads.  But you have no idea if your sales are the result of the ads, dub luck or word of mouth.  In other words, you can not measure the effectiveness of your ad investment.  You have no idea what the ROI is ,if any.  If the truth were known these ads may be costing you far more than any sales that resulted from them.

Now direct response advertising using snail mail, TV spots with a phone number to call to buy immediately or the internet is a far different animal.  You can measure the ROI down to the penny.  By tweaking the letter, TV script, e-mail or landing page you can directly affect the response to your ad.

You can calculate exactly what each snail mail letter cost to deliver,  how much the TV ads are costing you, and what it costs to send out an e-mall blast.  You can also calculate exactly how many orders you got and how much money you got.  By comparing the two you can quickly determine whether the effort is worthwhile. That gives your ROI.  If its less than 1 you may want to consider another marketing approach.  By experimenting with the ad wording and organization you can optimize the response.

So try direct response marketing.  It may work for you.



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