‘How Do I Know If My Ad Is Working?’


(By Pat Bryson) Businesspeople want to run an ad today and have teeming multitudes run into their store tomorrow screaming out our call letters. Since they all start with “K” or “W” in the US at least, customers will find it confusing at best to attribute their arrival to ads heard on our stations. Also, it’s not their job to help businesses know how their advertising is working.

Customers want to get their needs met most expeditiously and go on with their lives.

Measuring traffic flow is the best way to know if advertising is working. Over time, traffic should increase if advertising is effective. Note, I didn’t say “sales.” Once a potential customer crosses the threshold, it’s up to the business to sell them. Often, we get an interested potential customer into the store, but the “friendly, knowledgeable personnel” fail to sell them.

Most advertising is designed to work over time. Why? Because on any given day, the national average for people who are “hot” consumers (those who are planning on buying TODAY) is only 2%. “Warm” consumers (those who are thinking about buying and developing their criteria for a purchase) make up only 8%. That means that statistically, 90% of the population is “cold.” They are NOT planning on buying today and aren’t even thinking about it.

Our clients seem to think that every time one of their ads airs, everyone within their trade area wants to buy what they are selling. Not so.

The main objective of advertising should be to predispose the 90% and the 8% to buy from our clients when they have the need. And no one, not us nor our clients, can determine exactly when that need will arise. Advertising’s job is to make sure that customers will at least go into our clients’ stores, call them, or go online to their websites and give them a chance to serve them. Otherwise, if our clients’ names are not in the customer’s mental file drawer, they will never see that person. The customer will end up in one of the national chains that do have space in their file drawer.

As we are in the sales process, we need to explain to our prospects how advertising works. The 2% hot, 8% warm, and 90% cold consumers also explain why advertising should be consistent and long-term. As advertising professionals, it’s up to us to craft campaigns that will work. Higher revenue awaits our clients and us.

Pat Bryson is the CEO of Bryson Broadcasting International, a consulting firm that works with sales managers and salespeople to raise revenue. She is the author of two books, A Road Map to Success in High-Dollar Broadcast Sales and Successful Broadcast Sales: Thriving in Change available on her website. Read Pat’s Radio Ink archives here.


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