Sourcing Your Best Prospects – Is It Worth It?

Please stop. No one will say they heard about you from your digital ad. Most people will say they heard about your business on radio or on TV, even if you are not running on radio or TV!  You don’t have to stop asking, but definitely stop making decisions about your advertising dollars based on the answer to that question.  Why? It doesn’t work.

Here is an awesome example excerpted from the book, “The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising “ by Michael Corbett

Rule #16: Don’t Ask Your Customers What Brought Them In

The way most advertisers attempt to track results is by asking their customers what brought them in. Allow us to share an experience: When Michael was getting started in the advertising field, he was responsible for the successful grand opening of a new “lumber” store. This was a complete store that carried almost everything imaginable. Michael, his boss, and the store owner stood at the front door of this huge place and polled customers as they walked in for the grand opening weekend. As they entered the store, each shopper was asked: “What brought you in?” Roughly 50% said radio, 30% said TV, and 20% said newspaper.

What interested the poll-takers most was the fact that they never ran an ad on TV. The grand opening was advertised only on radio and in the newspaper. How could it be that 30% of the people who came into that store that weekend said they saw the ad where it had never been? And when questioned them about how sure they were, they were confident in their answer.

After speaking to scores of local advertisers in New Jersey who have had a similar experience when they polled their customers to evaluate the effectiveness of their advertising, we’ve learned some things about polling, and about people:

  • People don’t know what brought them in.
  • People don’t know that they don’t know what brought them in.
  • People don’t like not knowing what brought them in and they want to be helpful, so they’ll make things up.
  • Never change your mixed-media advertising plans based on what people say brought them in.

“The only foolproof way to evaluate advertising effectiveness is by setting measurable growth objectives for your business, and by monitoring the results in the cash register. Period.” 

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