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:
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 941-928-7192.
Additional sources: DM News (via MarketingVox), Home Builder Magazine, Ward’s Dealer Business, Furniture Today.