Henry Ford is credited with the insight “I know half of my advertising works really well. I just don’t know which half”. The success of Google, the leader in online advertising, is largely due to the impressive accountability that they give advertisers.
Having done the online training course provided by Google, I sat for (and passed) the Google Advertising Professionals exam. The course covered Adwords, cost per click marketing (CPC), cost per impression (CPM), pay per click advertising (PPC), contextual advertising, placement advertising and a slew of other web marketing devices (WMDs; I made that one up).
It all amounts to a fantastic amount of control for the advertiser.
You can start with a tiny budget. Try that on television.
Not only can you select individual web sites that are of interest to your market, you can target based on demographics and/or keywords. In the case of search marketing, you can confine your advertising spend to people in the Perth area who type “model cars” and exclude people who search for “models”, though why you would do that is beyond me.
The system rewards relevance. If you write ads which contain words irrelevant to the web site you send them to, your cost of advertising increases.
You can experiment with different campaign wording and compare the effectiveness of alternatives. Most of this experimentation costs you not a cent.
Having done all that, you can then monitor and adjust at a micro level every aspect of every alternative whenever you want. For example, you can increase your advertising on the weekends or in a particular time-slot. This contrasts sharply with the way NineMSN sells advertising for example. Theirs is a conventional media package: Buy this product, pay this amount, call us if you need a change.
Serious advertisers can also use the Google API to automate keyword changes and daily budgets.
Finally, you can track the conversion rate of every aspect of a web campaign. How effective was each banner ad, Adwords ad, Yahoo ad … in generating an online sale or a page view? Then compare each to your cost of advertising. It’s a system which combines with Google Analytics to give you a comprehensive method of measuring what works and what does not.
Here is one of the sixteen AdWord variations Henry and I are using to launch the Model T:
Ford: Universal Car
Model T; Open Touring & Roadsters
$300 only. 20HP 4 cylinder. Black.
Call to Action: let me know if you’d like a hand using online advertising. In Australia: 040 990 8133. In the US, 714 656 4001.