As GEICO has showed us, changing your advertising message can have a very positive impact on your results and ROI. While they’ve kept the same overall marketing theme, the actual message has changed over the past decade - from the GEICO Caveman commercials from the mid-2000s to the “Get Happy, Get GEICO” ads that started in 2012 and are still running today. Including many other themes too numerous to list.
But in addition to the very memorable GEICO advertisements, there are many ads that didn’t catch on, such as their series of talking inanimate objects from 2009 that featured a talking pothole and talking tree limb. Do you remember those? Neither do we. But part of what has led to their success as a multi-billion dollar company is that GEICO isn’t afraid of trying new marketing strategies, measuring them, and making changes when something isn’t producing the results they want.
Not every marketing tactic implemented by a Washington DC area business will be remembered, successful, or impactful. But if you are constantly measuring your advertising, you will find the best marketing mix for your business.
It seems, at least for the most part, that most marketers expect everything they do to work. However, we all know not everything works as we expect it to. Conversely, you can’t make knee-jerk decisions on your marketing either, since most advertising campaigns take time to reach their maximum effectiveness.
In order to maximize your marketing budget and assure it is being used effectively and efficiently, you need to make sure you are properly measuring its effectiveness.
Here are some tips on measuring and adjusting your way to marketing success:
Don’t let "paralysis by analysis" affect your marketing efforts
The best marketing strategies take time (and some adjustments) to be successful. Not advertising until your strategy is perfect will hurt your business, especially if your competitors are advertising. Don’t overanalyze every detail or be preoccupied with having the “perfect” marketing plan before starting an advertising campaign. If you are committed to a measuring and adjusting, get started when you have put the proper work into your marketing plan.
If you need help making sure you have done that correctly, check out our guide, the Marketing Strategy Model. It will help you define your target audience more effectively and create effective advertising through positioning, among other things.
Don’t make more than one change at a time
Changing multiple things at once will leave your measurements inconclusive. Think about measurement of your marketing like a science experiment. You need a control and variables. However, if you combine the variables, you won’t know which change made the difference. Same concept applies to marketing changes. If you change the graphic design of a special offer AND the words of that offer, you might never know which change led to the better results.
Don’t be afraid of change
Your marketing and advertising strategy won’t mysteriously improve itself! As a marketing professional or business owner, you have to change it when it isn’t working. Don’t be afraid of making changes. The best marketing strategies come after multiple tweaks. Paralysis by analysis on changing ineffective advertising can be a waste of valuable marketing money!
Put as much effort into measurement as you do development.
You have a great advertising campaign. One you have put countless hours into and you are really excited about what you developed. You think it will work REALLY well. But don’t stop there. You need to put an equal amount of energy into a measurement strategy. It is super easy these days to attribute everything to “google” or social media. Those answers just aren’t good enough. They will give you a false positive that will lead you down a marketing road that likely isn’t specific enough. There is a saying that is applicable here: “The better they questions, the better the answers.”
In most businesses, the person who is interacting with the customers is not YOU! And it is likely, the person asking the questions about marketing and advertising could care less about the answers (not always, but OFTEN). So it is important that you arm them with BETTER questions, as well as follow up questions. If not, you will get plenty of answers, but they will likely not be good answers…or even accurate answers. Remember, the potential customer doesn’t care about the answers he/she is giving. They just want to get on with business.
We recently published an article with a very interesting case study about how asking the right questions can really make a difference in your advertising measurement. You can read the article here. For more on how the generic “Google” response is all too common, check out this article.