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What's The Score

Get more for your money by tracking your advertising.

This story appears in the January 1998 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Entrepreneurs know it's important to track their advertising efforts, but most don't do it. They assume it's too time-consuming or complex. Instead they rely on gut instinct and unsubstantiated information. But a good tracking system replaces conjecture with facts and enables you to make sound decisions based on reality. The system doesn't need to be complicated--it only needs to be used.

Don't wait until after you've placed an ad to set up a system to measure its effectiveness. Plan how you'll measure success whenever you're considering a particular marketing strategy. First decide what you need to know: What's the cost of each new customer you attract through a Yellow Pages ad? Does it pay to give away promotional gifts? Different situations demand different analysis, but every ad demands follow-up and evaluation.

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