Online advertising: how effective is it?

By Ryan Watkins, finda.co.nz on Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Online advertising: how effective is it?

Do you often wonder how customers actually find your business? Obviously you will have various marketing efforts set up to draw in new customers, but how do you best measure what each medium delivers? If they are current customers they will probably have your contact details somewhere, but what if they have lost them, where are they going for the information?

Previously people have gone to traditional printed directories like the Yellow Pages, if you want your tap to stop leaking you look under “Plumbers” and call one up. Now I am not saying that you won’t get leads from the Yellow Pages, it is still an effective tool however with the widespread use of the internet in New Zealand it is now of vital importance that you are visible online.

Comscore undertook a large behavior study “Local Search in a Multi-Tasking World” that unveiled trends in the way consumers found local businesses. 31% used a search engine to fill their query i.e. Plumber in Auckland. 19% used an online business directory, often with the intent to just find the phone number. 11% used internet mapping sites, often to find who the nearest business was.

This highlights the importance of being found online. With over 60% of people in the study going online to find the information they required it is no wonder that many businesses who have embraced the online medium have enjoyed great success. It also raises important questions about other mediums. Let’s use the plumbers’ example again. When people search for a plumber online they have already decided that they need their service. They may be researching for an upcoming purchase or they may be ready to purchase now, the key thing being that they would not have searched unless they actually wanted information on Plumbers. Compare this to say TV or Radio where you are trying to stimulate the customer to contact you while they are driving to work or relaxing after a day at work. While the message is still getting through to the customer, it is reaching them at a time when they have no need for your service. And even if your business name does stick in their mind, they are still going to have to look up your contact details.

If you are looking to capture new business and retain your current customers a strong online presence is essential. Sure, online isn’t as ego building as hearing your name on the radio or seeing your ad in print, but it is fantastic at building your bank balance.

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