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Tracking your advertising is essential to justify your ROI
In the world of advertising one element that gets left our for most business owners is the tracking of the advertising they have paid for. Most waste thousands of dollars annually simply expecting their advertising to work. Track it and make sure!
When we discuss doing local lead generation for any business part of our process is to evaluate the entire portfolio of the company and find out what other forms of marketing or advertising they are currently doing. This will give us a very clear perspective on what types of lead generation the company is doing and hopefully what volume of leads they are generating. Lets take your average family dental practice for example. This group is unfortunately targeted heavily by advertising companies and these advertising companies are usually horrified to hear you will be tracking your leads. The usual promise of new patients is often the bait that will draw the Dentist or the office manager in. Our experience with Dentists has been that the average dental practice is spending between $3,000 – $7,000 dollars a month in advertising. The ads are usually spread across a broad spectrum of advertising mediums and range in price and length of contracts. Here is a recent dental office we visited and how they are spending thier advertising budget.
1) Billboard $1,200.00 a month
2) Monthly Mailer $1,050.00 a month
3) Swag like pens, and giveaways $350.00 a month
4) Radio Ads $2,250.00 a month
5) Online Marketing $1,000 a month
6) Phone Book $750.00 a month
The total marketing budget monthly was $6,600.
This dental office was rather aggressive about trying to get new patients and it certainly showed by what they where trying to do in their advertising budget. After our first meeting we asked the question “where are your leads coming from and do you track your leads?”. The answer was pretty simple and pretty accurate by saying that our leads are coming from our advertising. When asked which specific ads are developing the new patient leads the honest answer was that they didn’t know. It was that reason that they felt they needed to continue to do all of them and had been running with the same ads for the past two years. By simply not knowing where the leads for the dental practice where coming from they had agreed to spend $79,200 year because the assumption is that they are coming from the advertising they currently had.
This is when tracking your leads can help dramatically. All of the ads that the dentist was running in his local area are easy to track. Unfortunately how to track your leads is not a commonly known technique. The accuracy of having a receptionist ask the caller where they heard about you has been long debunked as a highly in accurate method of knowing what ads are generating the phone calls. Here are digital odyssey IT we use a firm called verified ad. Through the use of a call tracking platform you are able to actually count the total volume of inbound phone calls from any advertising source that contains a phone number. You will also have access to hear the actual call, see the caller id information and view reports that will show all of the call volumes of your ads side by side. Through the tracking terminal you activate a new tracking phone number. This can be a local number in your area or a toll free. We always recommend that if you are advertising to a local area you should use a local number in the ads because your potential client will feel that this is a local company and not some random national call center situation. Once the phone number is activated you forward the calls that come through that number to your main office line. All the calls that come through are routed directly to your main business line and your phone rings just like normal. Now, there is a whole host of additional features available like whisper tones that tell you what advertisement the caller is calling from so you can ensure the new patient gets the free teeth whitening you may offered in that specific ad. However, the most important thing that is happening is that you now have access to information usually only huge national advertising firms have. You know exactly how many calls each specific advertisement has generated. This knowledge will save you thousands of dollars each year and take all of the guess work and mystery out of your advertising.
We offered to activate 6 tracking numbers for this dentists office and track every single inbound call that comes through their ads. After two months of tracking here is what was discovered.
1) Billboard $1,200.00 a month (2 calls)
2) Monthly Mailer $1,050.00 a month (12 calls)
3) Swag like pens, and giveaways $350.00 a month (0 calls)
4) Radio Ads $2,250.00 a month (6 calls)
5) Online Marketing $1,000 a month (43 calls)
6) Phone Book $750.00 a month (8 calls)
Needless to say they where shocked! The dentist was blown away at the low volume of inbound leads that were being generated. The office manager said “but we seam to get a good volume of calls in the office”. As it would turn out those calls where mostly returning patients or referrals from other patients. The fact of the matter was that this dental office was spending thousands of dollars monthly to generate leads that simply where not coming in. The two main adjustments this office made was to immediately cancel the billboard and the radio ads which made up 45% of their monthly advertising budget! That’s right 45% of their monthly advertising budget was being completely wasted. Unfortunately this is not uncommon! By canceling those two ads this dental office saved $3,450.00 per month in advertising. The choice was made to move a portion of this money to the local online marketing efforts and they managed to generate 117 calls per month on average from that change.
Simply tracking your local advertising allows you an amazing amount insight as to where your customers are coming from and if your advertising budgets are being used wisely. If you have a dental practice or any other type of company, this adverting tracking will work for you too! Tracking your inbound leads is essential to ensuring that you are spending your precious advertising dollars the best way possible.
Do you have questions about how to track your advertising?
Digital Odyssey IT