That quote is attributed to John Wanamaker, a 19th century department store merchant, and it raises an ongoing challenge for any business owner: How do I know whether my ads are working?
If you start your campaign without a clearly defined goal, the answer is simple. You don’t know.
What do you want your advertising effort to accomplish? “To increase sales” or “To get my name out there” is too broad a result. You’ll never know which half of your ad budget is wasted if you don’t articulate a specific outcome. You have to quantify success:
“We’d like to see foot traffic in our Scottsdale location increase 10% this quarter.”
“We want 50 people to come in for test drives this month.”
“We’d like 100 new users to sign up for our e-mail newsletter by year’s end.”
When you specifically define what success looks like for you and your business, your advertising team can craft a campaign toward that goal.
As for which half of your ad money is wasted? While it’s true that you may not know specifically which ads or which medium worked best, if you reach the goal you put forth at the onset of the campaign, then none of your ad money was wasted. The campaign worked.
And that’s when you throw the party.
Photo: x-ray delta one