Three Ways to Track Your Advertising Like a Hawk ©
by Ernest F. Oriente, The Coach

Tired of pouring endless money into advertising? Do you wonder which ads are "REALLY" working for the business you manage? Would you like a bullet-proof system for capturing the results from your advertising? Below are three concepts that will enable you to track your advertising like a hawk! Really, it’s that simple!

Develop a tracking system.As a business, you need an efficient way to record and evaluate the results from your advertising program.

Certainly, you should have a "prospect card" which includes a list of ALL the places you advertise your company. This prospect card must be current and complete, so your staff will be able to accurately track the results from each advertising source.

Your business should also have a phone log, a summary of the daily and weekly advertising results and a report to summarize the month. Be certain each advertising source you are using has its own column for each report.

Often, advertising sources are bunched together in the same category or column on the weekly or monthly recap, making it impossible to track the performance of each ad.

Tip from The Coach: When asking your managers to provide a summary of advertising results for each advertising source, have this person sign and date the form. This is a reminder that they are accountable for the timely and accurate "source" information which is reflected on each report.

Identify The Source. To accurately evaluate the performance of your advertising program, begin by deleting "drive-by" as a source on your prospect card and tracking system. In most cases, the prospect read or heard something about your business before simply driving by.

Next, have each of your managers design a marketing easel which has a sample of each ad you are running and the name of the media source above it. Then, ask your staff to begin each sales call at this marketing easel and ask each prospect if they have seen your current advertising.

NOW, this is the time to mark the prospect card as your staff can accurately identify the advertising which brought this prospect to your business. And by using this technique,your weekly and monthly reports will now reflect a more accurate picture of which advertising source is most effective.

Tip from The Coach: Remember, drive-by is not a source of traffic. Want a simple test…if drive-by is over 25% of your total traffic, chances are you are not getting the accuracy you need from your tracking system.

Create A File For Return Prospects. Wow! Isn’t it great when a return-prospect becomes a sale? Such fun!

Unfortunately, identifying the original advertising source which brought this prospect to your business the first time is a major problem for most companies. Often, your staff will hear from a return-prospect, "I was just here a few weeks ago and decided to come back."

Certainly, making a sales to a new prospect is the primary goal of your advertising, and each sale you receive from a particular advertising source makes the justification to renew your ad for the next month that much easier.

And since advertising is such a large monthly expenditure for most businesses, isn’t it important to be able to validate which ad is working and which one isn’t?

Tip from The Coach: Create a master file of prospect cards for all prospects and have your staff file the prospect cards from each day into a small box by last name, sorted A-Z. Now, when "Peter Smith" returns in three months after his first visit and says he wants to buy your product or service, your staff can simply go to this small box and behind "S" the original prospect card is right there! Now, that’s an instant way for your business to source its advertising and more importantly, your staff will have in their hand the background of this prospect and can create instant rapport. Instant rapport equals higher closing ratios, a double win!

Once you have these systems in place, you can then calculate your cost per phone call, your cost for bringing a prospect to your business and most importantly, your cost for each sale! For a free analysis of your advertising tracking forms, fax your system to The Coach at 435-615-8670 and receive 20 minutes of complimentary coaching!

Author’s note: Ernest F. Oriente, The Coach, founder of PowerHour®, a professional business coaching service delivering customized training, by telephone, in management, marketing and sales for property management companies, apartment locator/corporate housing services and publishing companies worldwide. We specialize in global distance learning by telephone, using our state-of-the-art conference call system for interactive and dynamic TeleForums. Twice-monthly TeleForums link 10 -100 executives/ professionals/ individuals who are geographically dispersed, in a time efficient and profitable format. PowerHour® is based in ski-town—Park City, Utah, at 435-615-8486, by E-mail or visit our TeleForum website: To receive a FREE property management success newsletter send an E-mail to: Recent PowerHour® articles have appeared in 1500+ business/trade publications and websites.

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