Should we advertise at weekends?

If your company uses any advertising media which can be controlled on a daily basis, such as search advertising (AdWords), should you focus on particular days? After all, few people are going to be sourcing blue widgets on a Sunday morning, right?

If you ask Google, they’ll tell you that you should be advertising when you get the best return on investment, taking into account the cost of the advertising and the number of widgets you sell at that time. So you point out that you’re not selling hundreds of widgets online every hour, but just hoping for the occasional phone call from an engineer with a requirement you might be able to solve. And the person from Google looks at you as if you’ve come from Mars.

My own instinct is that you should advertise all of the time, if it’s pay-per-click advertising. After all, if there’s nobody out there clicking on the ads, you won’t be charged anything. There are certain considerations, especially if you’re advertising against search terms with a consumer overlap. Even if your advert makes it clear that you’re offering non-consumer products, there will be a proportion of unwanted clicks, and if the consumer traffic goes up at the weekend, the unwanted clicks may become significant.

Also, if you’re asking people to call you, and your telephones are unmanned at the weekend, that’s another reason not to advertise. Your enquirers may fully expect not to get a reply at the weekend, but you don’t want to rely on them remembering your number, or to call you two days later.

On the other hand, weekend advertising can be cheaper, as it’s an auction and there may be less competition then. So there’s a decision to be made – but it’s a decision which shouldn’t be neglected.

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