Evaluating Traffic Sources

You’ve spent the money, you generated traffic (or sales) and now you want to know what worked and what didn’t in terms of your advertising dollar. So now what?

In general, we advise clients to use traffic reports as a guide – not gospel – when evaluating media plans, as not all media is created equal.

For instance, magazine advertising is generally used for image building and branding so if you didn’t get a lot of people reporting that they saw your ad in one of the various magazine pubs you used, don’t be surprised.

People tend to report the reason for the visit (or sale) based upon the last thing they saw or the one they saw the most often, which is why newspaper advertising always ranks very high. As such, they may very well have seen or heard your television or radio spot or saw your banner ad, but if it wasn’t the last thing they remember, it likely won’t register as the impetus for their action. This also explains why signage is most often sited as a traffic generator as it typically is the last thing a respondent sees before taking action.

Another consideration: repeat customers may claim the reason for their purchase or visit lies in the fact that they are already clients. Keep in mind, however, that your radio ad, television ad, web banner, email, signage, school flyers, etc. may have prompted their most recent action.

Advertising works best when it’s part of a wide media mix enabling you to reach as many people as possible in as many ways as possible. Which is why your entire advertising budget should never be allocated to a single medium. (And yes, that includes the web.)