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Are Your Ads Working? Can You Prove It?

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Fishing For Customers - Free Small Business Marketing and Advertising Tools, Tips, Articles, Strategies, and Advice. Fishing For Customers: Are Your Ads Working? Can You Prove It?

Friday, June 03, 2005

Are Your Ads Working? Can You Prove It?

In 1961 Rosser Reeves, the Creative Director of Ted Bates Advertising, Inc., wrote a book titled Reality In Advertising. Although it's now out of print, you may be able to find a copy at a used bookstore or a library.

Reeves was the man who created "I Like Ike," "Melts in your mouth, not in your hand," and the famous Anacin ad with the tiny bubbles carrying relief to boxes in a silhouette head. Reeves also had a simple method of determining whether an ad was "working."

His staff phoned 1,000 people across the country at random and asked two questions:

Are you familiar with our advertising?

Do you use our product?

He put the tallies into a grid much like this one.

Please appreciate the elegant simplicity of this test.

The left side is made up of people who are familiar with your ads. As a percentage of the total, these people represent your MARKET PENETRATION. The higher your Market Penetration, the better your advertising is working. The lower your score, the greater potential for increased sales with a good advertising campaign.

The top side is made up of people who buy what you have to sell. If ten percent of the unpenetrated group buys your product, and twenty percent of the penetrated group buys, you may subtract the first group from the second to get what Rosser Reeves called the "Usage Pull" of your advertising. Today it's better known as the CONVERSION FACTOR.

Thankfully, we don't see it often, but it is possible to have a negative Conversion Factor. This is evidence that your advertising is actually harming sales. Should you find yourself in this situation, STOP YOUR ADVERTISING IMMEDIATELY and get help.

Reeves techniques are nearly half a century old, but they still work exceptionally well. If you can find a copy, Reality In Advertising deserves a place in your marketing library.

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Next week I'm traveling to the
Wizard Academy to attend Michelle Miller's Wonder Branding: Marketing To Women workshop June 9-10.

This is an intensive two-day seminar, jam-packed with information, real-life examples, discussion, and creative exercises that will open your mind to a new way of thinking about your marketing, your customer, and business in the 21st century.

It's no accident that Michelle's consulting and speaking engagements are limiting the number of times she has available for this workshop. If you can fit this trip into your schedule, be sure to say "Hi."


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