Monday, July 24, 2017

Question of the week: Are there digital ways to track ROI from traditional advertising methods?

Well, yeah. Sorta. And sorta not. 

Let’s just say that the way of measuring and tracking the ROI from traditional advertising is far less cut-and-dry and a whole lot trickier. 

(Literally. It requires employing a trick.) And it looks a whole lot different from tracking the ROI from your online advertising methods.

With traditional advertising, tracking ROI is tough because your audience is all over the place and not tethered to a device. It’s that woman staring at the billboard while stuck in traffic or that man stumbling upon the ad in that magazine he pretends he doesn’t read but secretly loves. And those are just two examples. Then there are all the folks who got a hold of those flyers you sent out and casually glanced at them while walking into the kitchen where your radio ad just happened to be playing in the background.

So how do you know if you’re getting through to them?

The reality is, you don’t. 

You can’t possibly know about everyone who’s reading your billboard, ad or flyer, or listening to your radio or TV ad. 

And if you get a customer from any of these sources, how can you possibly know which one it was? Cue the magic. Here’s where the trick comes in. 

Honestly, it’s not that much of a trick.

You simply start by adding in a direct-response mechanism. 

In other words, drive your customers to take an immediate and specific action. And do this by supplying them with a unique URL or email address to which they can respond.  

For example, you could use a TV ad to send potential customers to a URL where they will then receive a promo code. The URL would be unique to that TV ad, so then you’ll be able to determine its success through searching traffic volumes to the URL.  

Or your direct mail flyer may entice potential customers to receive a coupon simply by inquiring about your product/service via an email address unique to that flyer. Maybe you have postcards that send them to a unique URL or email that has a link inviting them to follow you on Facebook or Twitter.

Then depending on how many people come to those specific sites or respond to those emails, you’ll have a sense of how successful the medium is.

Obviously, it is not an exact science. 

But it is a way to track your ROI by digital means, as it were. And what’s more, it’s a touching example of traditional and digital advertising coming together to play nice. 

Sorta. Maybe?