The defining-attributes for online advertising have been “cost-effectiveness”, “enhanced reach” and “tracking conversions”. With faster Internet penetration and more reasons for people to get online, it will become mandatory for almost all the businesses to allocate a certain percentage of their advertising budgets to online spend. I will go further to say many businesses have now realized that the above three are so effective that they have chosen to stop any other form of advertising, like OOH and TVCs.  Many onground stores choose not to do online ads because they feel their enterprise has nothing online-related. It is a common misconception that online ads works only for ecommerce related activity. It is more cost-effective for any advertiser to try online ads as compared to creating hoardings of their service or product, or creating TV commercials. The reach is phenomenal and can be controlled to any specific location you choose. Your ads can appear in Cancun, Mexico while you are based out of Pune, India.

The final straw is measuring the effectiveness of online campaigns or, in short, “tracking conversions”. Tracking conversions using the online media is actually far simpler and easily automatable, using technology right off the bat! Here are techniques used by various SMBs to effectively track the reach of online advertising  and measure the return on investment.

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Online ads to phone calls

A very popular real-estate enterprise of Pune has completely removed all the hoardings across Pune and Mumbai, and placed just one hoarding right outside the construction to provide for directions. The reasons are very clear, they don’t know where their potential customer is. And hence, placing a hoarding everywhere is neither possible nor economical. Instead they have resorted to Google Search ads. A potential buyer knows exactly what he/she is looking for and will “search” for a suitable construction. The real-estate enterprise tracks the conversions by the number of times a client called using the phone number on their online ads or the number of times “contact us” page on their website is filled. The phone number that is listed in the ad is a unique number different from their usual website phone-number or their offline-sales number. The number of times their “online phone” rings provides for how effective their online ads are. Many savvy enterprises have allocated different numbers to different channels to differentiate conversions between email marketing, Facebook marketing or Google marketing.

Online ads to increased footfalls

A popular apparel store started using online advertising only to increase their brand-awareness. With limited budgets and with an aim to reach across the city, they wanted to differentiate themselves from the mighty retail chains and also to add a special oomph-factor over their competitors. The store was very clear that they didn’t want to get into ecommerce just yet, but would rather increase the number of footfalls to their already established swanky retail store. They had taken special care in creating a website that preserves the culture of their store, that highlights their catalog and provides unique promotions. To increase their footfalls, they also provided for a downloadable coupon which offers a 10% discount if they visit the store by a certain date with the coupon. The online-coupon now provides a measure of footfalls being driven onground. This store now runs ads local to Pune on Facebook and Google targeting folks looking for “Paithani sarees in Pune”.

Its a wrap
There is of course the traditional questionnaire approach to identify how the client heard about your enterprise. This helps with most walk-ins.

Many enterprises are now adopting various techniques to increase their new customer acquisition and increasing their repeat traffic by storing their email addresses and phone numbers. Through these details you can stay in touch with your clientele and possibly win them back more than once.

Give the online ad world a chance and increase your sales!

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