Ten different factors will determine how quickly your ads pay off.
- Do your ads capture attention or are they easy to ignore?
- Do your ads speak to a felt need, or are you answering a question no one was asking?
- Are you a known, trusted, and respected seller?
- Is the brand you sell known, trusted, and respected?
- What percentage of the public will ever – in their lifetime – purchase a product or service in your category?
- How often does the average person need to buy what you sell?
- Does your ad make the customer feel any urgency due to low price or limited availability?
- What percentage of the public knows your name and what you sell?
- In your category, what name will customers typically think of first and feel the best about?
- What percentage of the public considers you to be their preferred provider?
Your answers to questions 5 & 6 indicate your product purchase cycle. Here are those questions again:
- “5. What percentage of the public will ever – in their lifetime – purchase a product or service in your category?”
- “6. How often does the average person need to buy what you sell?”
Generally speaking, the longer your product purchase cycle, the longer it will take before your mass-media ads deliver a positive R.O.I.
Online ads, however, work immediately. But will the customer type your name into the search block? If they do, you have already won the heart of that customer. They have chosen you as their preferred provider. This means you will enjoy an extremely low cost-per-click with a high conversion rate.
But if they type the name of your competitor into the search block, then it will be your competitor that enjoys an extremely low cost-per-click and a high conversion rate.
The starting pistol fires the moment a customer types your category into the search block instead of your name or the name of a competitor. Their computer screen overflows with the names of companies making them offers. If they see a name they recognize, the footrace is over in moments. But if no name is recognized, the names of several runners will be clicked.
Every runner will pay a high cost-per-click due to gambling on an “unbranded” keyword.
But only one runner will take home the prize money.
Costs-per-click have never been higher.
Mass media costs have never been lower.
If you sell a product or a service with a long purchase cycle, the bad news about mass media is that it will take 3 to 6 months of weekly advertising before you begin to gain any real momentum.
The good news is that the longer you use mass media, the better it works.1 This is how you make your name the one that customers type into the search block.
- Every advertiser should have a website.
- Every advertiser should be willing to pay for 100% of the clicks when a customer types their name into the search block
- Organic results are no longer enough.
- You’ve got to pay the price for your name to be seen.
- Your cost-per-click is extremely low when your name is typed into the search block.
- (I’ll tell you about #6 in a minute.)
Ten years ago, Inc. magazine published an article by Jeff Haden titled, “How Google is Killing Organic Search.”
“If your business depends on customers finding you in search results, you’re in trouble–and it’s likely to get worse. If case you haven’t noticed, pay-per-click ads are slowly taking over Google’s search engine results. That should come as no surprise since approximately 97% of Google’s revenues are generated by its core business, search engine advertising; Google is understandably protecting and extending its revenue turf… If you’re a business that depends on organic, unpaid search results to drive traffic, you’ve undoubtedly seen a steady decline in visitors and sales.”
- 6. The cost-per-click is extremely high when you compete for unbranded “category” keywords such as “air conditioning repair.”
A Tale of Two A/C Companies
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness… In one city, a $40,000,000 company is spending only $240,000 per year on Google ads because they became a household word by spending $461,000 per year on radio ads. Total ad spend: $681,000 per year. In another city, a $15,000,000 company is spending $700,000 per year on Google ads because they thought mass media was too expensive. Both cities are among the 25 largest in America, but neither city is in the top 10.”
The story you have read is true. The $40,000,000 company with the lower ad budget began 10 years ago. The $15,000,000 company with the higher ad budget began 20 years ago. I’ve known the first company since it was born. I’ve known the second company for about 2 months.
Things are about to change dramatically for the second company.
Aroo. And again I say Aroo.
Roy H. Williams
1 When you use mass media 52 weeks a year, the growth of your business in year 2 will usually be twice the growth of year one. The growth in year 3 will be about triple the growth of year one. Keep in mind that we are measuring growth in dollars, not in percentages, and the competitive environment and the economic environment remain unchanged. Anything can happen in year 4. Some business owners launch a moon shot, while others begin to realize they are running a business bigger than the length of their own shadow… They’re not tall enough to ride this ride. – RHW
If you have paid taxes, borrowed money, invested, or bought anything, Janet Yellen has had more influence over your wallet than any other person on earth. No other person in American history has served as Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, then Chair of the Federal Reserve, and now, Secretary of the Treasury. Jon Hilsenrath, an award-winning writer for The Wall Street Journal, has written the definitive biography of Janet Yellen and her Nobel Prize-winning husband, economist George Akerlof. Go to MondayMorningRadio.com. Prepare to be amazed.