Numbers don’t lie

Numbers don’t lie

It’s a beautiful thing.

Numbers, that is. Data. I love that it’s all so scientific.

And the beautiful thing for those of us in the direct response business is that it’s not just institutional advertising. You run an ad, and then you see the response; you see how the marketplace feels about you when you see the numbers.

Of course, you don’t just sit back and assume you are doing well. Every single campaign you run must be tracked separately.

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And I don’t mean every channel, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and an email solo drop. I’m talking about breaking down each channel even further. If you’re running ten different campaigns on Facebook, each one needs to be tracked separately.

If all I did was say, “Hey, yesterday we spent $1000 on paid traffic. How did that traffic do for us?” we would be handcuffed and operating blindly. We would have no idea which channels, which sources, which campaigns are doing well, and which ones aren’t.

We wouldn’t know which are converting and which aren’t. Which are profitable, and which aren’t. Which are breaking even, and which are costing an arm and a leg.

Target each audience separately

Let’s say you are running a campaign to teach people how to cook. The ad is driving people to the entry point of your funnel. And you are targeting fans of people like Rachael Ray and Gordon Ramsay.

If you don’t track the followers of each of those people separately, you have no idea if Rachael Ray’s people are buyers, or Gordon Ramsay’s people are buyers.

Maybe Rachael’s people buy more; they are used to buying a ton of her stuff anyway, like knives, pans, pots, and books.

Gordon is more of a television show, more of a celebrity. Maybe his followers don’t buy as much.

If you track them all in one campaign, you have no way of knowing that. You end up with a lot of waste in your campaign, and that could be wasted money.

Is it more work to break out each target, each audience separately, and have a separate tracking link and track them separately? Yes, of course, it does take a little more work. But it can be done in under two minutes!

There’s the separate third party tracking link. And you need to duplicate the original campaign and change it from followers of Rachael to followers of Gordon. But the reality is you get much cleaner data; data you can use to make decisions. When you don’t have that data, you’re stuck.

That’s the primary difference between direct response and brand institutional advertising. What we do is scientific; it’s numbers and numbers aren’t subjective. Numbers, when used this way, are facts. There is no guesswork involved. Numbers don’t lie.

  • Charles Biami
    Posted at 17:22h, 07 March Reply

    Todd, I couldn’t agree more. Numbers show us the way to successful campaigns. And show clients what’s really working or not. It’s the only way to have realistic expectations about marketing performance. It can sometimes be a challenge to get clean reliable data. And as you suggest in your post, takes a bit more effort. I would love to hear what tools you use to track and report your campaign performance.

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