| <!-- -->Sam Waymire

Sam Waymire

How can you trust me?

Part 1: Do Google Ads Work?

“Will digital advertising increase my sales?”

“Can you guarantee a particular number of leads from this campaign?”

"Do Google ads work? Or more importantly, will they work for me?

“How do I know you’re the right partner to take my business to the next level?”

I see questions like these all the time, and it’s no wonder why. Nobody wants to pump money into ads that won’t drive sales. Nobody wants to endanger their brand with a marketer who doesn’t understand it. When your company’s future growth is at stake, it’s normal to try to eliminate any feelings of risk.

In cases like these, marketers love to point out their best results from earlier campaigns. They’ll assure you that they’ll have no trouble delivering a similar outcome for you. Sometimes this ends up being true, but often it does not. As is the case with all investments, past performance in digital marketing can’t guarantee future results. This makes sense if you think about it. Every campaign is custom-made for a specific product/service, buyer, location, channel, and competitive environment. What’s more, many of the critical factors for campaign success are beyond any marketer’s control. Your pricing, product/service features, website, sales strategy, and available budget are all significant determinants for campaign success, and they’re unique to you.

With all these variables in play, how can you know if digital ads will work for you in particular? Well, you have to find out for yourself. But you shouldn’t just throw some ads up and see what happens. You need a reliable and cost-effective way to test—under real-world conditions—whether digital ads will deliver the result you’re looking for. This is where the pilot campaign comes in.

Part 2: The Pilot Campaign

Think of a pilot campaign like a minimum viable product (MVP) for your digital ads. If you don’t know, an MVP is the most basic version of a product you can build that’s still usable. The MVP may be bare-bones, but it still conveys the core functionality of the finished product. For this reason, companies rely on MVPs to gauge their customers’ interest in a product idea early in development. They don’t commit to building the final product unless the MVP is well-received.

In much the same way, we run a pilot campaign to measure potential customers’ receptiveness to your ads. If they respond well, you can bet on a solid return for any future digital advertising investment. If they don’t, then you’ll know that digital ads probably aren’t right for your business. I design the pilot campaign exactly like I would any other campaign, so you can trust that its results are representative.

Pilot campaigns only differ from their larger brethren when it comes to scale and optimization. A full campaign targets an exhaustive list of keywords, but a pilot campaign may only focus on a subset. A full campaign covers each of your business locations, while a pilot campaign zeroes in on a single city. Someday you may run ads for every product or service you offer, but a pilot campaign covers just one. And while you'll eventually want to reach customers wherever they happen to be browsing, we focus on a single ad channel during the pilot campaign. Pilot campaign ads may not be optimized as much as they would in a full campaign, but they’ll still get the tweaks they need to reach the desired audience.

A pilot campaign’s modest scale has several advantages. For one thing, it allows us to get up and running start seeing results in mere weeks. Even better, it enables me to offer the campaign at a comparatively low cost. This makes the pilot campaign ideal for testing the waters before you dive in with a significant commitment.

Part 3: What will I learn?

By the time the pilot campaign ends, you'll have a definitive answer to the question, "do search ads really work?" You’ll know exactly how much each click is costing you and how many of those clicks result in new leads. You’ll learn whether those leads are quality and how likely they are to become paying customers. You’ll have everything you need to understand your customer acquisition cost (CAC) through digital ads.

If your CAC is less than what you expect new customers to spend in your business, then you’re good to go. You now know that every dollar you put toward digital ads will generate a return. The more you spend, the more you’ll make.

But what if things go the other way? What if you find out that digital ads are costing you more than your customers are worth? This isn’t what anybody wants to hear, but the low stakes of the pilot campaign make it a fairly painless lesson to learn. While you may be out the cost of the pilot campaign, you’ll save money in the long run now that you know not to waste any more money on ads that don’t turn a profit.

Ready to give it a try?

A pilot campaign is ideal for removing uncertainty from your digital advertising investment, no matter the outcome. If you’re thinking of running digital ads for your business, I’d love to help you kick the tires with a pilot campaign. Contact me anytime.