cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Level 15

Ads

I understand that there are very few real business owners on this site, and this question/discussion is really aimed at them.

 

At some point the business moves to paid advertising.    So my questions are:

1. How do you determine which type of paid advertising it is that you will use?  (radio, TV, print, newspaper, magazines, fliers, direct mail, etc)

2.  And once you made that decision, how do you track ROI?  (Return on Investment)

Please, let's keep this to paid advertising.

15 Comments
Level 7

Re: Ads

Hi @Rustler - great question! The decision to allocate hard-earned dollars for paid advertising can be a daunting one. The adage "You have to spend money to make money" is very true, but where and how to spend strategically - that's a tough one.

 

To help get this discussion going, do you think you might clarify what you mean by "real business owners"? As in, small business owners as opposed to self-employed? If so, is that a useful distinction in this context? I know plenty of self-employed folks (myself included) who spend real money on advertising, even if it's just forking over the cash for a Premium account on LinkedIn. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding? Help me out here!

Highlighted
Level 7

Re: Ads

I think it is dependant on what type of business you run? Most businesses now rely heavily on their online presence ... 


Social media is a very powerful tool for advertising in the modern day and age. I have used Facebook to advertise recently and it provides analytics of who had viewed your advert, where in the world as well as some very other useful insights which you could argue is a measurement on ROI depending on how you use this data. 

 

We also use Mail Chimp which is an email marketing company allowing you to send out a huge amount of emails in one go. They do a 'Free Forever' campaign for start up businesses which includes 2000 subscribers and 12000 emails per month which is quite a few if the business is small. However this does rely on you having a database of potential client/current clients details such as email addresses. If you do however wish to up this there are some pricing structures in place on their website.

 

I hope this helps a little.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Emily 

 

Level 15

Re: Ads


@EmilyCowanwrote:

Hi @Rustler - great question! The decision to allocate hard-earned dollars for paid advertising can be a daunting one. The adage "You have to spend money to make money" is very true, but where and how to spend strategically - that's a tough one.

 

To help get this discussion going, do you think you might clarify what you mean by "real business owners"? As in, small business owners as opposed to self-employed?


There is no distiction between a business owner (taxed as a sole proprietor) and the appelation of self-employed.  If a sole proprietor, business owner is not self employed - then what is he?  They both file the exact same tax form (schedule C), operate under the same Tax accounting principles, etc.  Because intuit uses different titles does not make it so in real life.

 

A real business owner (as I see it) operates in the general public space.  They never know who the client/customer might be.  They deal with phone calls from the curious, or an irate customer, or one checking on an order, or status of the repair.  They may be receiving shipments, and shipping out, all in the same day with no real warning that can be scheduled.  Walk in customers with problems, questions etc. 

 

A world of difference between having a distinctly limited set of clients you work for.

Level 7

Re: Ads


@Rustler wrote:


There is no distiction between a business owner (taxed as a sole proprietor) and the appelation of self-employed.  If a sole proprietor, business owner is not self employed - then what is he?  They both file the exact same tax form (schedule C), operate under the same Tax accounting principles, etc.  Because intuit uses different titles does not make it so in real life.

 

A real business owner (as I see it) operates in the general public space.  They never know who the client/customer might be.  They deal with phone calls from the curious, or an irate customer, or one checking on an order, or status of the repair.  They may be receiving shipments, and shipping out, all in the same day with no real warning that can be scheduled.  Walk in customers with problems, questions etc. 

 


 

Ok, @Rustler - got it, thanks for clarifying! I only bring up the small business/self employed designations because many people who work for themselves don't consider themselves "real business owners," although there's a very strong argument that they should.

 

Take, for example, our awesome Content Chief @WillowOlder - she makes her living as a freelance writer and editor. Her clients could be magazines, websites, or the crazy guy who needs a ghost writer for his self-published memoir. She's not manufacturing lug nuts (although she may well do this for fun on weekends - she's quite handy!) but she still has a product and a customer base, cranky clients, money in and money out, and taxable income. Does she consider herself a "business owner"? Probably not, and filling out the same Schedule C as the sole proprietor lug-nut manufacturer won't make it so as far as she's concerned.

 

So back to your original question, about how "real businesses" advertise, I'd say pretty much everyone on QB Community might have something to say about that!

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Ads

@Rustler, I get the feeling you know your customer base well. Go for the medium that is most popular for them - reach them where they're at. Don't count out non-digital solutions. 

 

ROI - do you want end-to-end journey conversion, as in I paid to reach x clients and the next week I got y sales, or do you just want to measure total impact, as in now z people know about my business?

 

I've done advertising for my cafes, startup and online spaces. 

Level 7

Re: Ads

@Rustler,

Yes, we used all free advertising for the first while of being up and running. Now, we have moved to both free and paid advertising. Both work in different ways. With advertising it all depends on the crowd that is trying to be reached and how much money you have to put out for it. 

1.  For us it all depends what is available and when. Also, how much we have to put out for it. We have recently been contacted by a few companies to advertise with them. We have been in Newspapers, magazines, sponsorships, and some direct mailings. We have found our best advertising to be Word of mouth. The absolute best advertising. :)

 

2. Our return on investment is counted mostly by coupon codes or links. We can track how much each brought in and how well its doing promoting. 

 

Hope this helps! :)

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Ads

i understand the distinction you are making @Rustler.

Especially given the discussion you are looking to initiate.

 

It sounds like it might fall along the lines of B to C businesses vs. B to B businesses... particularly with regard to tangible services and/or retail.  Although even many of those businesses might not have the unpredictability your description seems to center around.

 

That said, having been an 'unreal' business owner for nearly 15 years, working with clients would would meet and exceed your definition of 'real businesses' -- perhaps you could find a better way to describe the distinction you're making going forward.  I think there are some people that wouldn't fall into the category you are describing that still rely on advertising to grow and/or retain a customer base.  They might have some valuable insights.  IE: those who actually work in advertising for just such businesses, for starters!

Level 15

Re: Ads

@Anonymous

I am a simple guy, I pay for advertising - that has a life span, so my return over that life span is what I am looking for.  ie I can run an ad or a  coupon in a trade magazine for each month, total term 6 months, I would need to track ROI over the 6 month period.  Yes, of course ROI is in reference to sales, I can not see it being associated with anything else, what else were you thinking of?

Knowing my customer base is not the issue, and dealing with the public that customer base is always shifting - that is my distinction between having a set number of clients and never knowing who is calling or stopping by or when or why.

I know how I do it, I was wanting to know how others, who deal with the public, determine what type of paid advertsing works, or how they even choose what type.  There is, or there should be, a distinct budgeted amount for advertising, so how do you decide what type to use, and was it effective.

 

@jessbru99568

Jess how do you track coupon codes?  in QBO or in the POS you use?  What kind of reporting do you get on redeened coupons and what do you do with it, how?

 

@Anonymous

Those who work in advertising is definately not the folks I am asking, their job is selling that ad space to start with so of course their medium(s) are the best.

We have a company that owns 4 local radio stations, with a sales rep per station.  Amazed me, each came in to our store pitching thier ads, each with the statment that they hold market share for the area.  So me being me, asked for the data to prove that - All I can say is they have some very creative statistics folks moving numbers around.  And of course could not tell me why the numbers for the same dates, for the same locale, showed different raw data.

It may be different where you are or perhaps you handle things differently, but as long as I can remember, I have never ever heard  or seen advertisng for accountants (outside of tax time of course), QB or not.  I don't count the yellow pages.  From what I see and undestand from those I know who are consultants, the greater majority of new clients are refferals, or something similar.

Level 1

Re: Ads

I may be coming in late for dinner here but any advertising you purchase or use must be able to provide you with some type of measure of how well they are reaching your audience.  If you think about it the Neilson ratings are the best example.  They provide who, when, what and where to whoever advertises during those time slots.  Then I guess it's up to you to track the sales that come from those time slots.  As mentioned before coupon codes go a long way.  I call them coupon codes, but they are those after domain "/" (slashes) you hear at the end of a radio add or they tell the customer to "mention X" or Enter X  when they make the purchase.  The coupon code is the signal to you that your customer has come from a certain advertisement.  Most major providers will help you with those "codes.".  Others won't provide you with the actual codes but they will provide you with clicks, visits, etc. through their own measurement.  (I don't trust those as much.) . Most websites can be loaded with tracking codes that will tell you where folks are coming from and you have to employ the tools and resources to capture that information.  When you see more coming in from one type or another after testing.. you know where you need to focus.    Good Luck to you.  

Level 1

Re: Ads

I am  both a business owner (s-corp retail repair service business with 5 employees), and have a past in selling advertising, internet marketing and business coaching. 

 

In my opinion paid advertising if any you do depends on the nature of your business, your competitors, and your prospective customers. 

 

What may work for someone in one type of business/market may not in another. I was the first in my sector on Yelp in 2007 (not paid for first couple years but had a profile), we built a great reputation there and went out competitors finally got into it we went paid, which is well worth it for us. We are in a very affluent and tech savvy area and most of our customers find us online, then we have a good repeat and referral business too. 

 

In the beginning I did a lot of Adwords campaigns too.  It did help give us a bit of momentum. It all really depends on what you're offering, and to whom. 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Ads

@Rustler. This was a fundamental way of asking - do you care more about digital or non-digital traffic. That return is relative (not trying to be obfuscating, it's just not a straight forward answer). Again, do you want dollars-in-pockets or awareness of your brand.

 

Each has their benefits, long-term and short-term, depending on your roadmap. Brand impression can have a very direct, organic impact on sales if it is done a certain way, or it can have almost no impact. You track conversions for adWords across different companies, you will see very different results for each, and this has a lot to do with their digital and non-digital efforts in addition to adWords. 

Level 7

Re: Ads

@Rustler 

Might help to know this first. The customers in QBO are our wholesale customers, website customers are individuals that want it delivered to their house or shipped. (We ship across the whole US). Although the sales from our website are recorded in QBO, we don't integrate customers. So that being said, all of our coupons or link tracking is done in our website. It gives us really good tracking for those types and also will tell us what the first page visited on our website was and how they got to our website through Google, Facebook, etc... :)

Currently, we do not use a POS system, as we are wholesale and online right now. But I'm sure it could be tracked pretty much the same way if we did. 

Level 15

Re: Ads

Let's close this, thanks for trying

 

I'm going to start a new thread called ads 2 - well never mind the new thread thing  is a loop to correct a red x or hightled error and there are none.

hopefully I can present what I am curious about in a better way another time.

 

 

Level 12

Re: Ads

I got out of retail 10 years ago, just before the big explosion in social (free) media. I relied on a combination of 

Level 7

Re: Ads

Hi Rustler,

 

You have had an overwhelming repsonse with this discussion. So much so that I came across this article today and thought of your post. I hope it is helpful: 

 

https://quickbooks.intuit.com/uk/resources/accountants-and-bookkeepers/never-waste-money-marketing-f....

 

Kind Regards,

 

Emily

Need to get in touch?

Contact us