Measure & Test: Using call tracking to improve your local advertising

Lori Alba Written by: Lori Alba

Successful marketers will tell you that the two most important things you can do when putting together your media plan are:

  1. Measure the effectiveness of your current advertising
  2. Test new forms of advertising

By continually measuring and testing new forms of advertising, you can increase the effectiveness of your next media plan by retiring advertising that has stopped working and integrating new advertising channels as they increase in effectiveness. While it’s relatively easy for local marketers to track the number of sales transactions resulting from their advertising, it’s just as important to track the number of leads your ad generated. If your sales cycle is long, this type of information [over time] will prove beneficial in making future sales predictions and determining when to run your advertising. Similarly, if your ad generates a high volume of calls (leads) but those calls don’t convert into sales transaction, you can narrow in on the problem; whether it’s the creative or the offer, and make modifications to future advertising.

Measuring the number of leads generated by your advertising isn’t that difficult. A simple and inexpensive way to do this is by utilizing a call tracking service. A call tracking service will assign a unique toll-free or local telephone number for each source of advertising or marketing campaign you wish to monitor. Simply use this telephone number on your advertisement and the call tracking service can record the number of callers who dialed into that specific number. Most call tracking services will capture the caller’s telephone number and location and in some instances even the caller’s name, address and demographics.

At BrandMuscle, we use call tracking data to analyze how local media performs on its own as well as in conjunction with other forms of media. By taking the total cost of advertising and dividing it by the number of leads generated, you can easily determine your cost per lead. Additionally, you can use your average close ratio or actual sales data to estimate the number of unique calls it took to register a transaction.

Knowing the cost per lead and cost per sale of current advertising efforts allows you to make more effective advertising decisions in the future. By collecting this local intelligence for our clients, BrandMuscle can review results at a national level and make “Best Practices” recommendations for adoption in other markets. What methods have you used to successfully track lead generation at the local level? Let us know.

Author: Ruth Allen, New Media Specialist at BrandMuscle Inc.

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