Knowing and Tracking Your Advertising: Easy Steps for Self-Storage Managers

Mel Holsinger Comments
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As a self-storage manager, you wear many hats during the course of a work day. One of the most important tasks for which you are responsible is tracking your facility advertising. Although your owner or management company may have determined the advertising budget, a schedule for implementing programs and what specials to offer, it’s you who must make it all work.

For example, let’s say you manage a midsize facility in the middle of a large, metropolitan area. You have a lot of competition, including several public companies and many smaller stores.

Let’s assume there are numerous Yellow Pages directories in your community: perhaps a large citywide book, a regional one, several smaller books, and possibly specialized books such as a military directory. The cost of a large ad is probably way more than your owner is willing to spend, so he decides to place a small, in-column ad in the citywide book, a quarter-page ad in the regional book, and a half-page ad in the military book.

Now let’s assume you are diligent about asking customers where they heard about your facility. Perhaps you ask the question on your new-rental paperwork. A customer checks the “Yellow Pages” box on the list provided. That’s great, but at the end of the month when you review this data, you won’t know which of the three ads he saw. This is where ad tracking comes in. 
 
Tracking Your Ad Dollars

Why is ad tracking so important? Let’s assume your in-column ad costs $3,000 per year, the quarter-page ad costs $2,500 per year, and the military-directory ad costs $1,800 per year. Combined, that’s a lot of money. In this example, you have no way of knowing which ad was the most effective, or where you should be putting your ad dollars.

However, by changing our tracking methods, you’ll be able to easily determine which ad is the most effective and cost-efficient. If you use a customer form that asks how people heard about you, list all your advertising outlets—Yellow Pages, regional or special directories, website directories, etc. Each should be clearly identified on the form so customers can identify exactly where they heard about your facility.

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