In Billings marketing circles, there is a lot of attention paid to how many and how much when it comes to buying media time and space. What is their rank in the market? How much do they cost? How many do I get? News box versus delivery? None of that should matter to business people looking to improve their top line revenue.
Today, I’ll show how ratings, especially when marketing in Billings, is a waste of time and money.
First, a quick explanation. Ratings are just estimates. No one really knows for certain the actual number of listeners, readers, viewers, or even web traffic. Much is made of Google Analytics and their ability to track clicks and actual views. Even that is a pile of horse stuff. Different programs will come up with different sets of data. The important part (to the data marketing guys) is you believe the BS.
I’ll use the newspaper for an example. The “standard” for circulation in print is the Audit Bureau of Circulation report. It estimates, the Billings Gazette has a shade over 27,000 daily users. Or about 15% of Yellowstone County. See if you can find that number on the Billings Gazette web site. I’ll wait.
Do you believe for even an instant 18-29 year olds use the newspaper more than 60 year olds?
The BG website claims almost one million users to their site. Or to put it another way, EVERY PERSON in Montana would have to visit the site for that to be true. Including your 2 year old.
It doesn’t matter what system you use, they all are different. There is no 100% way to know for sure no matter what you might be told in glossy slideshows or fancy graphic presentations.
The Most Accurate Measurement in Billings Marketing
There is one way measure that is accurate above all others. One specific way to know if your Billings marketing is working or not.
Not to pick on print in this post because the same wildy different numbers exist for radio, cable, television, online, and out of home display too.
Look at the top line of your business before you started your campaign and after. If you made more money, it probably worked. If you made less money, it may not have worked.
Why the “probably” and “may” disclaimers, you might ask?
The Variables in Billings Marketing
There are too many variables to know for certain. Don’t let the experts tell you they can isolate and split test to get the answer. That’s BS too. The next time you hear from a Billings marketing expert on the subject of ratings or any other analytical numbers in an attempt to justify their argument, just smile.
You have the only number that matters.
Any monkey can look at a chart of numbers. Understanding where they come from and what they really mean is not just the province of your accountant. Billings marketing experts can help with that too.