The famed retailer John Wanamaker once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half. ” Wanamaker summed up the great dilemma of advertising and PR – you have to do it to be successful but you just don’t know which part is driving your bottom line.
At least that is how it used to be – technology is changing everything (what’s new). Technology is allowing marketers to track the results of their advertising and PR investments with ever increasing precision. No longer are advertisers throwing money into a hole and hoping for results – they can now track placements, circulation, traffic, engagement, leads and in many cases actual sales lift as a result of marketing and PR investment.
A turning point was in the world of advertising was Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. PPC combined with web analytics allowed marketers to precisely track the ROI for for the ad spend – not approximately – but precisely. Since that time, technology has continued to evolve to allow similar tracking for other types of ad spend.
Today, every facet of online spending – from PR to content marketing to advertising – MUST be tracked. Analytics must be put in place to determine what programs are generating results and which are going nowhere. The “which half of the advertising is working” question can be answers – as a result you can eliminate the half that does not work and double the rest.
Of course, continual optimization is the key to a long-term success digital marketing campaign. Just because it worked today does not mean it will work tomorrow. Continual testing and refinement is the only way to make sure that your are getting the maximum bang for your marketing buck.