We recently had a client voice a common misperception, i.e. that advertising in search or via online content networks is cheap compared to traditional media. The fact is that online advertising is different and the value must be measured in different ways. First let’s consider the cost comparison.
Yes, you can buy a lot of impressions but impressions are not the desired outcome of a spend online, especially in search (Google ads next to results for example)- you want clicks and conversions. To get these you really have to do two things- be a top bidder on the right right search keywords and create an ad that directly addresses the intent of a searcher. These two things work together to get you in a top spot and to ensure that you get a click. If you scrimp on either the bid amount or the creative you’re basically throwing your money away. Let’s assume they do click. Where do you send them? If you don’t send them to a web page that directly addresses their stated need (why they searched?) then you’ll lose them. These customized pages, aka landing pages, require creativity and testing to be effective. Both require time (creative and programming team, media expert to test and monitor performance) which costs money and requires planning.
Now for the really good news, the difference between online and most traditional advertising. Online is extremely measurable and targeted. You know exactly why a prospect clicked you ad so you can make sure he or she gets the answer they need from your site. If you (we) get this right then the ad has performed its primary function: to get your attention. If your landing page is doing its job you’ll get them to take action: make a purchase, contact you, take the next step, etc. A prospect has become a qualified lead or customer and you know exactly how much it cost to make that happen.
At Martino Flynn we work with our clients to understand the actual value of that lead or new customer. If it’s $50, for example, and we can acquire that customer for $25 then we can confidently recommend that you continue to spend to buy as many new customers or leads as the market can provide. We can make that confident recommendation because your media budget is generating a measurable profit. That’s the difference. It’s not cost, it’s ROI.