It’s a simple question. Why do we spend money on marketing? I see three answers:
- To get our name “out there”
- To affect the public’s perception of us
- To generate business
Ultimately, the first two don’t matter if we never succeed at the third one. Generating business has to be the real reason we market. If we don’t generate business, we might as well go to Vegas. Either way, we’re sure to lose money.
But you have to ask that question and apply all three answers to any advertising campaign you wage. Sometimes a campaign succeeds at one or more of the advertising objectives but still fails to generate any business. Is that a success or a failure? Should you repeat it?
We ran a bandit sign campaign for the election. Our systems analyst and MBA, Russell, came up with the idea. We later saw a Realtor® running a similar campaign offering to sell your house; so the thought, while original to us, wasn’t unique. You may have seen our signs around Austin, Temple, and Cameron. If you didn’t, there’s a picture at the top right of this post.
The signs generated several calls, so check off a success in getting our name out. People saw the signs, know who were are, and even picked up the telephone.
Response to the signs was 100% positive. No matter which political party callers identified with (and most told us up front without being asked), the ones who called liked the signs. They were funny and entertained people, affecting public perception of our business in a positive way. Check off the second box as a success.
But the signs did not generate a single lead, not even a prospect. We spent several hundred dollars, not to mention the time it took to put out and retrieve the signs, but we didn’t generate any business. Big red X in the third box. This really wasn’t a surprise. Bandit signs (that’s the industry name for those signs you see nailed up all over the place) are usually a long-term strategy.
If this were our only campaign, we would have to say it was a failure. But it’s not our only campaign, so it’s 2/3 successful. If we hadn’t tied this campaign directly to the election cycle, we would have to decide whether or not to continue it. Since it was directly about the election, that campaign is over, and we can be satisfied with the results.
Maybe we’ll run a similar campaign in four years.Hermann says please like and share!