Recently a prospective client said they had no budget for online advertising. I immediately thought he was trying to be misleading as this company’s advertisements appear on a number of sites on the internet. So I said to this to the company’s marketing manager that I’d seen there ads on sites on the internet and they said, we have no budget, just ROI. At the time their strategy wasn’t clear to me, but after learning and seeing it action, I now understand it backwards. Since that first conversation, I’ve heard this a number of times after talking with prospective clients and thought its worth sharing with you.
Most professionally run online stores know their conversion rates when a particular audience visits their store, ie a 5% conversion rate means that for every 100 people that visit the site, 5 actually make a purchase. Apart from conversion rates, most ecommerce managers know how many times consumers visit the online store before they purchase, how many pages they’ll look at, where they are located and how much they usually spend. Most of this intelligence can be sourced from various web analytic tools like Google Analytics or Web Trends as well as custom reports and metrics.
So after they know the kind of customer that spends, the challenge is how to find these consumers online, and then drive them to the store. Savvy advertisers will generally run a short trial campaign for say 2 – 4 weeks with a budget of say $5000 to see what kind of audience an advertiser like Gourmet Ads delivers and if they are actually buyers. Some channels drive traffic, but they don’t buy.
Once these savvy advertisers know the conversion rate, they can work out the return on investment (ROI) on the advertising costs. Once they’ve got a return on investment in mind, they’ll book ongoing advertising over multiple months, monitoring the return on investment and not the budget. As long as the sales continue these savvy advertisers purely monitor the sales and renew the advertising. The key here isn’t to get complacent; it’s essential to continually change the advertising message, branding and look and feel of the advertising as well as the deal to ensure that audiences continue to be engaged with the advertising.
Because the quality of the click in vertical advertising networks is much more qualified than horizontal networks, we can continue to drive the same levels of return on investment for advertisers over time. See a recent post titled Vertical Advertising Increases ROI.