Prior to my arrival in my position, the company set up some ad campaigns for Google AdWords and Yahoo AdCenter. Yahoo AdCenter has since been converted to Microsoft AdCenter, and we’ve been having some issues with our number of clicks. We can’t really determine if the migration caused some issues, or if our clicks are just down this year. I think it’s some combination of both. In addition to attempting to track our actual ad clicks, we’re also having issues tracking the conversion from clicks. Why? Because, sad to say, we don’t have any call to action associated with our ads! I’m working on correcting this problem, but the ads have been running without any type of call to action for about a year already! There’s no “visit our website” or “call us and mention this ad” anywhere. We’ve also been lax in asking people about the referral source when the sales team follows up with customers, so we have little or no information about how effective our ads are. I’m on an information crusade for 2011, complete with surveys of every customer to ask, “How did you hear about us?”, analytics on any emails we send, and updating all the ads we’ve got running.
The lesson that’s been further confirmed? Measure, measure, measure! You can’t forget the measurement piece when you’re creating and implementing Marketing campaigns. It’s more costly to try to add this key information hind-sight, so take time on the front-end to effectively implement measurement tools for your campaigns.