February 14, 2012

Sales & Marketing: Be wary of online ad campaign metrics

The first client I ever worked with was president of a restaurant chain with locations around the world. He was famous in our firm for demanding advertising that "makes the cash register ring.†There’s nothing to argue with there and we were determined to do our best to give it to him.

What couldn’t escape my notice, however, were all the things that got between our good intentions and that lovely sound at the end of the transaction. Even as a marketing newbie, I remember thinking it was a little simplistic to expect advertising to not only initiate, but complete the sale. I knew that wait times, table cleanliness, product quality, and staff trainingamong many other thingscontributed to (or detracted from) our success.

All other things being equal, it does make sense that two different ad campaigns would have two different effects on sales. In this respect, they would be measurable. But running two different campaigns is not always practical; it especially wasn’t in pre-Internet days. Nor are all other things frequently equalone of the intractable nuisances that plagues any form of advertising research.

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