If you think back in time, 10 to 15 years ago measuring local advertising performance was significantly less important than it is today. Back then small businesses could assume that most of their customers came from either the newspaper or the print Yellow Pages, since they were the two most prominent local advertising vehicles available.
Fast forward to today’s local advertising marketplace in which small businesses use a wide variety of local advertising vehicles—from print Yellow Pages to search-engine marketing and everything in between—and it becomes clear why the notion of performance is one of the most talked-about topics in local advertising today.
In recent telephone surveys conducted by The Kelsey Group with small-business owners (with one to 99 employees), however, we found that less than half of small-business owners actually take the time to measure the performance of their advertising.
Tracking advertising performance isn’t as difficult as it may seem. To get started, you simply need to establish measurement tools, which can range from a pad of paper that sits beside the person most likely to answer the phone or open the door to sophisticated call-tracking tools. What’s most important is implementation of performance measurements rather than the precise measurement. In the end, it may be as simple as saying, “May I ask how you found our business so that we can improve our service?”
A few answers and you’ll begin to see the power in knowing just how well your various advertising options are working.
Neal Polachek Senior Vice-President The Kelsey Group