20 Questions to Ask when Planning your Next Advertising Campaign

Advertising can be a bit of a ‘hit and miss’ exercise if you don’t determine how you will measure the outcomes when you are planning your next advertising campaign. How will you analysis and evaluate where, when and how you are advertising?

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1. Who are your customers?
Find out who visits your website and could be a potential customer using Google Analytics.
Run competitions that feature your products and services to capture the data of entrants to understand who is interested in what you are offering.
Run surveys online or instore to get feedback on customer service, products and services.

2. What do your customers want to buy?
Go to market with demonstrations, product sampling, aligning your brand by participating in or holding an industry event or offer free samples through online registration to capture information about what your customers are interested in to start to build a buyer profile.

3. How much will your customers pay?
Become your own secret shopper visiting your competitors to learn what their price points are to understand what your customers will pay for your products and similar items elsewhere.

4. When are your customers more likely to buy?
Do you see a spike in traffic on your ecommerce website or foot traffic instore at certain times? What is driving that traffic? Determine a pattern and drivers and you gain insight into your customer’s buyer behaviour. Compare this with what you learn through social media and web analytics to better understand how you can factor time into your campaign to effect the best outcome.

5. How will your customers find out about you?
Do you use different means and methods to communicate with your customers? Where will they learn about you and how do they want to learn about you? Your brand must be synonymous with where your customers spend their time and focus to gain engagement and traction.

6. Why do your customers shop with you?
You can learn a lot buy looking at shopping frequency and spend. This shows you a number of behaviours including loyalty and trust with your brand. If your customers visit infrequently and buy what is on special only then they are more likely to be opportunistic and you need to revise your customer retention planning. If your customers shop regularly and have distinctive shopping habits with you they are more likely to like your customer service, product/service range and price points.

7. What do you offer your customers that your competitors don’t?
Do you do anything differently to your competitors and if so what is that? Once you can determine that you can establish your unique value proposition for your customers and use that to your advantage in your advertising campaigns.

8. How many customers abandon your shopping cart?
Your website design and the pathway that your customers take to shop with you online is important to the percentage of customers you convert and the percentage that abandon your shopping cart prematurely. Finding out what that experience is can greatly improve that ratio.

9. Where do your customers shop with you instore or online?
Tracking the traffic that visits your business online and instore lets you determine where your business is growing and where to concentrate your advertising efforts.

10. How do you communicate with your customers?
Remember you need to communicate with your customers when they are not buying from you to understand what they are looking for and what they are interested in.

11. Do you reward your customers for their loyalty?
Your customers need to feel that you appreciate them and value their custom. What initiatives do you have to recognize their loyalty and reward them?

12. What has worked when advertising before and what hasn’t?
Don’t repeat the mistakes you made before or run a campaign because that is the way you have always done it! The takeaways should be the parts that worked mixed with new technologies that reach where your customers frequent. To be relevant you need to be innovative.

13. When do you make the most sales?
Is your business seasonal? Do your customers purchase more from you at certain times during the day or evening? Why do you believe these behaviours happen and what makes them happen? The story that is told by what you learn will tell you a lot about your customers and how to make the most of the sale and subsequent sales.

14. Do you advertise as an Omni-Channel Business?
Your customers will shop the way they want to shop and if you are not on their radar they will frequent your competitor. Make sure your campaign is visible and relevant to all of your customers and wherever they interact.

15. Have you changed the way you talk to your customers to align with the way they shop?
If you have not recognized the changes in your customer’s shopping behaviour or maybe wondered why they no longer shop with you as frequently or at all it may be to do with how you talk to your customers. If you ignore them they will gravitate to the next best thing that satisfies what they want or need.

16. Do you use social media to engage with your customers?
Social Media is not just about setting up an account and they will come. You need to determine a social media strategy to keep a two way conversation happening with your customers. Social Media platforms let you share, listen, promote, get feedback and inform.

17. What is your customer retention rate?
Do you recognize the customers that come into your store or are the faces different every time? When a purchase is made through you online store are the same customers consistently coming back to your shop or are they predominantly new customers. These observations and ratios will show you whether you are engaging with your customers or you are losing and gaining customers ongoingly. This scenario means it is a lot harder to grow your business with any consistency and your cash flow is vulnerable.

18. Do you offer a competitive range of products or services?
When you have an online store range is important to establish a strong and regular customer base. A range enables you to upsell, offer bonuses and marry products as packages to encourage more frequent and larger spends. A range of products or services with some unique also give you a competitive edge in your industry and a reason why customers would shop with you.

19. Are you looking to increase foot traffic to your shopfront?
If your store is a traditional shopfront and you have an online store to capture a larger audience you need to determine if your growth will be predominantly online or your focus will be to continue to grow your traditional shopfront first and foremost. This will determine your advertising budget spend and where you allocate this to attract the right audience.  The spends will be different and must also be relative to your expectations.

20. Are you looking to increase web traffic to your ecommerce site?
Your website can be pivotal in growing your business but traffic alone is not the measure of success. Call to actions such as ‘payment links’ that deliver direct ROI outcomes are sales KPI’s that can grow customer bases if implemented correctly.