Why aren’t they encouraging you to track response?

According to a recent survey (I know, I know), eight in ten B2B marketing professionals are spending more time and resources on “marketing metrics” this year. That’s good. However, it also says that well over a third simply don¬ít track revenue generated by their campaigns, and I believe that. I just looked through the May issue of a well-known engineering magazine, and over 90% of the advertisements just quoted the company’s unadulterated website address (with no way of tracking how many people clicked through to take a look). If I’d had the time to check, I suspect I’d have found that a similarly high proportion of the ads showed only the company’s standard sales telephone number too, rather than a dedicated number which could be tracked. Whoever placed those ads doesn’t care about measuring the results.

The magazine publishers clearly aren’t encouraging their advertisers to set up response mechanisms which can be tracked. Most abandoned their own systems (such as “bingo cards”, and online “more information” numbers under the advertisements) long ago. You’d think they didn’t want you to measure the response. But why?

The answer is that for the first time since the heyday of the magazine “bingo card”, online marketing has given everybody a clearly measurable advertising return on investment. Whether it’s emails, banner ads or AdWords advertising, it’s now quite straightforward to track the results of promotion, right through to website visitors, enquiries or even sales. And to survive, the media which are finding it hard to compete are clinging on to marketing managers’ apathy. There are a lot of ad sales reps out there who desperately don’t want you to start measuring response.

With budgets under pressure, there’s never been a better time to join the ranks of marketing managers who base their decisions on evidence, rather than guesswork. Maybe that poster, or that mailshot, will be the best thing you ever do. But wouldn’t it be nice to actually know?

Discussion

  1. Jane

    Hi Chris

    I think it is unbelievable that people throw money at advertising without tracking users and ROI.

    The best thing about advertising online is that it is so easy to calculate the ROI.

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