As you begin 2011, look back and measure the effectiveness of your 2010 customer acquisition campaigns. Did they work? How do you know? Too many marketers are trapped in the old paradigm of “I know that half of my advertising dollars are wasted, I just don’t know which half.”
If this sounds familiar, you likely are spending too much money on Old Media. Old Media means non-trackable mass advertising in which you hope, by spraying enough advertising messages, that you will gain new customers and grow your business.
Many ad agencies disguise non-trackable mass advertising as “brand advertising”. The truth is, if you don’t know the ROI, you probably shouldn’t have done it. The only way to measure the effectiveness of Old Media is to use a dedicated phone number, p.o. box, URL, e-mail address, or other direct response device so you know exactly who responded to your message.
With usage rates falling on Old Media, your ROI on that spending is very likely negative. In contrast, usage rates on New Media are increasing. New Media means trackable targeted (usually digital) marketing. But don’t think of New Media as just better paid advertising, i.e. Google or Facebook advertising instead of TV, radio, newspapers or yellow pages.
New Media includes unpaid media – blogs, e-mail, SEO, social media (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook), online news releases, etc. The beauty of New Media is that the Media Filter – the Media Establishment – is disappearing. Now you can communicate directly with your prospects and customers free through the Internet without paying an intermediary to aggregate eyeballs for you.
The key is that you must segment your customer base into definable niches, determine who you are targeting with each campaign, develop the appropriate compelling content, use the most effective New Media tool to reach that segment – and measure the outcome. Ultimately the way you measure effectiveness likely begins with a click and ends with a phone call or purchase.