Advertising Strategy: What contractors need to know
As technology continues to progress, as business owners we are presented with a limitless assault of advertising offers on a daily basis. In the past, you were able to commit to a radio or television slot, run couple prints ads, and the traffic would pour in. This strategy now a days is laughable, even though many people still do it. The advertising companies would absolutely love to sell you these packages, simply because no one else is buying them. It is now all about the digital space, and staying up to date on new and emerging products is a constant struggle. For those of you incapable of making such a commitment, either because they are not capable of understanding it or just don't want to put in the time to do so, it is probably your best bet to go ahead and hire an outside firm. This in itself isn't easy, but just use the same logic that most of our customers use with us. Get three quotes, do a little research to see exactly what their scope of work involves, and keep them on a short leash. That means you want to negotiate a 3-6 month contract and then reevaluate how that has effected business. They will try to tell you that it takes more time to see results, but hold their feet to the fire to see some actual sales or at least lead conversions. To effectively do this, it means that you have to start tracking your sales diligently. Find out the source for every lead, keep track of how many leads you ran for the month, and more importantly how many of those leads you sold. It is important that you are both getting enough traffic from each advertising source and that the leads are closing. A good baseline to use is Craigslist, it is a free place to post some ads and if someone cant generate more traffic then they do, or have a higher closing ration, then they are not worth your time or money. Once you have a couple months worth of data compiled it is time to make the tough decisions, who should you cut and who should you spend more money with. No one likes spending their hard earned money, but if the ROI is way higher for one source then the other it makes sense to increase your spend there until you have maxed out the potential. A lot of times we want to give these sales reps a chance, maybe we have built up a good relationship with them or we just honestly believe in the product. Remember, this is business and it all boils down to the raw numbers and data. If an advertising solution just isn't working out, negotiate down the cost to a point that makes sense or cut them loose immediately. The last thing that you need to do is constantly keep on eye on what is actually appearing online. I can not tell you how many times we have purchased a product assuming it would be implemented just as described only to find out that it was either completely misrepresented or someone forgot to activate it. Make it a routine, check all of your online listings at least once a month and make sure they are standing tall. You only get one shot to convert these customers looking at the ad into a lead, if anything is out of place demand that it is fixed or you will refuse to pay any further.