Three things you can do to improve your ROI from advertising

Three things to try related to Technical advertising, Engineering advertising, Industrial advertising, Manufacturing advertising& Electronics advertising.Advertising has a bad reputation these days. Most of the people I speak to say that traditional advertising is dead or at least showing diminishing returns. There are enthusiastic advocates out there for PPC advertising, particularly Google’s AdWords programme, but for every one of these I speak to there is also a naysayer

But advertising still has a role to play in the marketing mix; even if it isn’t as fashionable as Blogging, technical PR or social media. I think the sad truth is that advertising simply costs a lot. I remember once having a discussion with an ad rep on a small trade magazine who was genuinely stunned to find out how little it costs to run a PR campaign in comparison with a print advertising campaign. And it’s true; to get the best results out of advertising you should be investing in regular high impact advertising. But what if you just don’t have the budget to do this? Well, there are some techniques you can apply to improve your results.

If you don’t have a schedule, create one: Many of the people who tell me their advertising no longer has an effect have only ever booked on an ad-hoc basis; normally when an ad rep has offered them a cheap spot. If you fall into this camp the first thing you should do is add up what you spent last year on advertising and plan to spend the same or more this year. Create a schedule, get ad prices from the magazines, Web sites or PPC outlets you trust and divide up the spend in a sensible way. You will probably find that the ad-rep in question can match the prices you pay for a ‘last minute’ insertion if you are booking in this manner and you will be in control of when you messages are viewed. You will be able to compliment your print advertising with PPC and vice versa and you will be in a better position to measure.

Decide what counts as a result: Magazines don’t send you reams of response cards anymore. Get over it! This is no longer a relevant measurement metric! You need to decide what counts as a result and measure that. You might measure increased Web hits, incoming calls, requests for documentation or any number of other criteria. But measure something.

Review where you results really come from: I’ve mentioned the commonly held view that PPC advertising works and magazine advertising doesn’t. However, like all generalisations this isn’t true for everyone. It may well be that your niche trade publication delivers result after result for your company. So, once you have decided what a result is and created your schedule pay close attention to where your results come from. You might well be surprised; just because someone fills out the form on your website, it doesn’t mean they found your web site via PPC or even natural search.

So, thanks for taking the time to read this week’s series of posts – 'Three things you can do today to improve your social media presence', 'Three things to do to get your PR campaign back on track' and 'Three things to do to your Web site today to improve search rankings'. My analytics package tells me that a lot of you have taken the time to read them. Normal service will resume tomorrow with Friday’s media moves round up. See you then.

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Richard Stone

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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