“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted;
the trouble is I don’t know which half.’
American retail magnate John Wanamaker is credited with that well-known marketing joke from the late 19th century. The trouble is that his words still resonate today. In fact, it may be more than half of your budget that is not hitting the mark.
Experts estimate that the average U.S. consumer is exposed to over 5,000 marketing messages each day. When you compare that number to its 500 or fewer counterparts in pre-internet days, you can see that it is more challenging than ever to spend your marketing dollars on the right audience.
And with rising inflation, labors shortages, supply chain issues, and changing consumer habits, it is even more imperative to spend your advertising dollars where they hit the mark.
How do you know if the marketing for your fencing company is working or not? Here are six checkpoints to help you measure your advertising effectiveness.
1. Take note of increases in Sales
If you notice an uptick in sales that is above your projections for that period, your marketing program is probably doing its job.
To confirm sustained results, set some solid parameters for your measurements. Whether it’s month-over-month, season-over-season, or year-over-year comparisons, keep track of sales data and match the numbers up with the timeframes of your advertising campaigns.
If you do not see the results you’d like, get more assertive with your calls to action. For example, direct your website visitors to “click here” for a free fencing estimate.
2. Use Marketing Analytics
If you’re not doing so already, it’s high time you take advantage of the many marketing analytic tools that are available to your fencing company. Some web hosting sites have these tools built into their services. Or check out the various tools Google offers for tracking mentions of your company in fencing searches and whether any digital ads you’ve placed are working.
As you evaluate these metrics, look for trends in the most popular times of day, week, or month to attract potential customers. And adjust your ad placement accordingly. Some platforms (like Facebook) allow you to set filters of purchases through your ads.
3. Weigh ad cost per new customer
If you have started a new campaign and sales are going up, that’s only part of the equation. Maybe your sales always trend upward at that time of year, for instance.
Another way to measure an ad’s effectiveness is to figure out the cost per new customer.
Divide the total cost of the ad by the new customers the ad attracted. Then, calculate the cost per new customer and revenue per new customer. If the revenue coming in exceeds the cost of the ad, your ad is performing well.
4. Learn about metrics
Fence retailers need to measure everything, including page views, unique visitors, email opens, bounce rates, and social media shares. But the one thing you should be asking is, “Did this media lead to a sale?”
If you cannot measure your marketing—and if it does not directly lead to a sale—your marketing is not working the way it should. Here are some terms and acronyms that will help you measure advertising success:
Click-through rate (CTR). If your digital audience is seeing your ad but not clicking on it, then the ad is not fulfilling its purpose. Use the CTR to determine if your ad is in the right place or the right format.
Cost per Click (CPC). If the difference between the amount you are spending on an ad and the number of people clicking on your ad is high, you need to revise your strategy.
Cost per Acquisition (CPA). Carefully weigh the amount of money you are spending to get a sale. If your marketing expenses are higher than your sales revenues, your advertising is ineffective.
Cost per lead (CPL). Lead generation utilizes strategies such as email campaigns, paid social media ads, and offering downloadable content through your landing page. Once again, you need to determine if the money you’re spending on these tools is doing what it’s supposed to do.
5. Consider other objectives
Running a fencing company is not just about one month, one season, or one year of sales. You want to build a solid reputation for fence quality and excellent customer service.
Therefore, current sales are not the only factor when it comes to evaluating advertising. You need broader goals of customer engagement and awareness for your marketing campaigns.
Engagement marketing focuses on creating meaningful interactions with your previous and potential customers. It can overlap with your other campaigns that promote a particular vinyl fence style or color or a special sales event at your fencing showroom.
Even if it does not deliver fast, measurable results, engagement marketing is powerful because it connects with your customers and helps them remember you.
A study by McKinsey and Company found that engagement marketing accounted for 50 to 80 percent of all word-of-mouth recommendations. That means that the more involved a consumer feels with your fencing brand, the more likely they are to tell their family and friends about you when they are in the market for a new fence.
For example, writing and sharing content in blog posts or emailed newsletters (such as a step-by-step guide on cleaning a vinyl fence) can provide value to readers and help them remember you. Other ways to engage new customers is by supporting local non-profits with their outreach events and activities.
How do you measure engagement marketing? One way is to ask customers specific questions about how they heard about you. Another is to ask for customer feedback on their start-to-finish experience with your company.
6. Rethink your advertising goal
If you are having trouble measuring the success or failure of your advertising, your marketing may need a makeover. When was the last time you reviewed your marketing goals?
Steer away from vague statements like “We want to boost sales” and replace them with measurable numbers like “We want 20 percent growth in sales this year” or “We want to get 50 more leads each month.”
Knowing what numbers to measure and when to measure them will go a long way in helping your fencing company achieve the results you seek.