While hanging with Jay of CocoDesign yesterday, we started discussing Internet advertising vs traditional advertising. We discussed that the obvious difference between Internet and traditional advertising is the ability to effectively track and target campaigns. After our conversation, I started to ponder how one could even attempt to track the effectiveness of traditional advertising like Internet advertising. The most common measurement practice for traditional advertising is to use custom landing pages, custom phone numbers, or coupons/adcodes. But this is still no measurement of viewers (or opportunities) to conversions, which the vital for tracking effectiveness. To create any kind of effectiveness measurement for traditional advertising, one would have to be able to track opportunities (similar to impressions), engagement (similar to a click or CTR), and conversion (any predefined and preferred action). Below are a few off-beat ideas on how to tracking traditional advertising like Internet advertising.
Billboards are a great innovative use of unoccupied space viewable by a large diverse group. However, they are great for one thing: advertising to everyone on the road. There is only few broad targeting options with billboards mostly based around amount of traffic. So, how do you track effectiveness? To track the complete effectiveness of a billboard advertisement like an Internet marketing campaign, you would have to be able to determine the following: how many people pass the billboard? how may people actually look at the billboard and process the message? Then, how many people look at the billboard, use the contact information, then request information or purchase something from the advertiser (conversion)?
Magazine advertising is another great method to reach your audience. Magazines provide many more targeting options, but can you truly track effectiveness? To track your effectiveness you would have to be able to determine the following: How many people viewed the magazine (not just subscribers, but all viewers)? How many people viewed the ad and process the message? Then, how many people viewed the ad, visited the website or called, then requested information or purchase something (conversion)?
TV and Radio advertising is another great advertising method that offers additional targeting options. TV and Radio are wonderful mediums because you can catch viewers when they are most focused. However, there are still limitations with tracking effectiveness. To track effectiveness you would need to determine the following: How many listeners/viewers (number of viewers/listeners that are actually listing to one media device)? How many people processed the message and reacted? How many people requested information or purchased from advertiser (conversion)?
For optimal effectiveness and targeting, Internet advertising provides the most flexibility for your reach and budget. Through analytic software, the most effective measurement metrics are readily available: impressions, clicks and click-through-rate (CTR), conversions and conversion rate. Impression data is the most valuable component, because it provides a number of opportunities that were available. Measuring clicks from impressions, you can determine click-through-rate (CTR). Using CTR, a one can determine what ads get more viewer response thus allowing effective measurement and ad testing opportunities. Once a visitor views your ad, clicks on your site and triggers a conversion, then conversion rate can be determined. Conversion rates provide campaign success data. If impressions are high, then high conversion rate is a great metric to determine that the campaign was an overall success. Of course, if the conversion rate is low, well… you know what that means.
All Internet advertising can be targeted to reach a group with a certain interest. Specific targeting alone saves tons of cash on your marketing budget. Also, using a content network such as Yahoo or Google, any business can advertise in the same space as large competitors even with a much more limited budget.
The Internet experience is a much more personal experience compared with other advertising mediums. Although, Internet marketing tracking methods are not 100% , we can assume that each visitor is only one visitor. Rarely, would more than one person use the Internet on the same computer at the same time. This is an advantage over traditional advertising because there could always be more than one user for each medium. For example: For each magazine subscriber, publishers do not know if 1 person or 15 will actually read the one issue. The lack of knowledge hinders the ability to truly track effectiveness.