Capture Customers With Triangulation

Dec 11, 2006  •  Post A Comment

By Adam Armbruster

Special to TelevisionWeek

Looking to stretch your television advertising budget in 2007? Then consider the proven power of a mixture of several media tools. Through the linking of television media choices in this way, you will enjoy improved profits and more specific campaign measurability, plus a higher sense of satisfaction with your campaign.

It is called “triangulation” and it is the powerful concept of “linking” your television commercial message, the Web site of the television station(s) with which you are advertising and your business Web site.

When these three media are properly triangulated, your campaign can become up to 50 percent more effective. It’s got the power of television, plus the trackability of direct mail. It performs like television advertising on steroids.

To understand the importance of this concept, consider the following recent statistics:

According to the National Retail Federation, half of 2006 holiday shoppers will shop online (47.1 percent) and most (88.7 percent) also say they browse online before going to stores to shop. They’ll begin by using a variety of search Web sites to begin their research and to compare products, among them Google (23.6 percent), Yahoo (7.2 percent), Amazon.com (5.5 percent) and eBay (3.7 percent).

We also know that they “preview” a business’s Web site before visiting across all major spending categories: furniture stores (82 percent), auto dealers (78 percent to 91 percent) and homebuilders (90 percent).

See the trend? They shop virtually every major purchase online before even considering a store visit. This poses a big problem for advertisers: How to win over a consumer who won’t even come into your store.

And here’s a shocker: Buying search engine keyword ads is not the answer. This will not guarantee success. In our experience, keyword searches have not been proven to make mid-size or larger businesses successful in the long term. Keyword searches are far too vulnerable to being blunted by a competitor who can, and usually will, buy the same keywords against you. Many companies spend 30-plus percent of their marketing budget buying keyword searches, when these dollars could be used more efficiently to promote their business’s Web site, thereby driving more “organic” traffic to the Web site. Google works on algorithms based on the popularity of a Web site.

So clearly the goal is to make your own Web site the destination for the consumer.

We know that new customers who were brought to a company through triangulated media have been on average a higher-quality lead, and therefore a more profitable lead. This could be attributed to the fact that these new consumers sought out and found your company based on a real personal need, versus a casual click-through from a Google ad.

So if you agree that the real goal is to get more consumers directly onto your Web site before they visit your business, we must begin to build our triangle.

Here are the three easy steps:

  • Write and design your TV commercial to serve as a retail-driver and a Web-driver message. To do this you need to include the key proven elements for a successful television message and then add your Web site to the end of the message as the “closer.” Forget listing addresses and phone numbers, since those should be readily available on your Web site anyway. Also, make the Web address prominent; many trendy producers are placing the Web address in a smaller font and placing it in the lower left- or right-hand corner of the screen. This is a mistake, as most viewers only “see” the middle of the television screen. When done right, significant new-customer Web contacts can occur.

    Case in point: Recently a homebuilder client of ours reported that it is enjoying a sales pacing that is far superior to its local weakened housing marketplace thanks to its triangulated television and Internet media plan. Notably, its Web site exploded by 338 percent in local unique visitors when its newly designed TV commercial aired, thereby driving quality traffic to its business.

  • Harness the power of local television station Web sites. These highly promoted Web sites are teeming with local customers who are worth far more to you than out-of-town traffic. However, think of local station Web sites as if they were actually a local newspaper: You need to design Web ads that are similar to print ads in a newspaper and not just logo ads.

    This kind of ad can send a buyer around Google and directly to your Web site, thereby creating a faster route to you without the risk of the consumer encountering competitive Web messages.

  • Optimize your own Web site to receive more local organic Web traffic by including the keywords, phrases, images and terms that are most often used by consumers to search the Internet. Also, the first page of your Web site must be what we call “retail-friendly,” meaning that the consumer should not have to drill down to find out the basics of your business such as product offering, locations, phone numbers and the like. If the most exciting page on your Web site is still the “About Us” section, it’s clearly time for a major overhaul.

    Finally, the triangulation of these media must be activated. This is the process of linking the elements electronically so that a person driven to any Web element can “click over” to the next elements.

    Consumers seeing your television commercial will instantly know where to go next online. If they miss your Web site address, they can go to the TV station site and find you there. Finally, by seeing your ad on the TV station Web site, they can instantly learn more about you on your own Web site by clicking the ad.

    Planning a successful retail campaign incorporating true triangulation takes a little more time, but the steps are already proven to generate additional profit by connecting the media together for the benefit of the consumer.

    As my mentor, Gerry Summers, once said: “Give the consumer what she wants, and she’ll beat a path to your door.” And these days, the front door she’ll beat a path to is really your Web site.

  • Adam Armbruster is a partner in the Red Bank, N.J., retail and broadcasting consulting firm Eckstein, Summers, Armbruster and Co. He can be reached at adam@esacompany.com or 941-928-7192.

    Additional sources: DM News (via MarketingVox), Home Builder Magazine, Ward’s Dealer Business, Furniture Today.