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Evaluating advertising spend

    It’s important to make the most of your advertising spend. Work out a maximum budget. Identify which options give the best possible return – it could be one or two adverts in a more expensive medium, or several adverts in cheaper outlets.

    You can produce an estimate of how much it costs to reach each potential customer. For example, if an advertisement costs £2,000 and you expect to reach 20,000 people – 50 per cent of whom are potential customers – it is costing 20 pence to get your message to each potential customer.

    Managing responses
    The success of your advertising campaign can be measured by the number of responses you receive. Make sure you have the right resources to handle the increase in enquiries.

    You should determine the expected response level and check you have enough resources to meet it.

    It may not be a good idea to plan a campaign at popular staff holiday times. If this can’t be avoided, consider temporary cover to deal with responses.

    You may need a system to ensure leads aren’t missed. For example, you could design a standard enquiry form to be used by people fielding calls.

    Monitoring an advertising campaign

    Each time you take an enquiry or make a sale, ask how the customer heard of you. This reveals whether any individual strand of your advertising or other marketing activities is particularly effective. Check to see if there are any patterns in enquiries relating to when and where your advertisements are displayed.

    If you include vouchers in print advertisements, use a different code for each publication they appear in. This allows you to pinpoint where incoming vouchers have come from.

    You might find some advertisements generate many enquiries but no actual sales. These cost most because they take up staff time without generating revenue. If this occurs, check whether your staff need additional sales training or if your adverts need amending.

    It’s also worth looking at the kind of sales each advertisement generates and whether they have a good profit margin.

    You should bear in mind that some advertisements may have delayed results. One person may order the next day, another might wait a few weeks or even months. More expensive products may not be purchased very often by consumers, and so your advertising may be targeted at keeping your brand at the front of people’s minds for future reference. Advertising aimed at increasing brand awareness is always harder to measure because it does not transfer directly into sales.

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