“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” John Wanamaker

Measuring results from auction advertising is incredibly simple, yet most auctioneers don’t take the time to understand what is working and what is wasted.   There is an easy way to generate a metric that will help direct your marketing decisions.  You don’t need Google analytics or even a computer. It’s manual and anyone can do it.  Let’s explore what it actually costs for you to register a bidder, or to gain a buyer for your auction by using the following:

Total Marketing Cost / # of Registered Bidders = Cost per Bidder
Total Marketing Cost / # of Winning Buyers = Cost per Buyer

In my experience, the cost per bidder or buyer vary from auction to auction based on the type of assets you are selling.  When you understand how expensive buyers are you can start to focus more closely on your marketing budgets.  Don’t forget to include commissions for online auction platforms, if you are doing a simulcast auction you will be surprised to see how many live attendees find your auction on Proxibid or BidSpotter. Platforms are a great marketing tool in and of themselves.

Now let’s get more specific.  Start by making a list of all the places you advertise and include the cost for each one.  Don’t forget to put in an hourly rate for the time it takes to complete the marketing task.  Don’t be cheap, your time is valuable!  Remember, when using Wavebid, a lot of the marketing can be automated, saving you time and your client money.  Print this sheet out and have someone ask bidders (when they register) and / or buyers (when they pay their invoice) how they heard about the auction and then mark the sheet.  It’s that simple!  There is no reason not to do it.  Even with online auctions there is an opportunity to gather that information.  Do not be satisfied with the answers like “online” or “in the newspaper” keep pushing until you have a specific answer.  Once you are done, add up the totals and divide that by the cost for the advertising.  This will give you the cost per person for each advertising method.  See what marketing is effective and where you are spending money and reaping poor results.  This simple tool will provide you amazing insight into the effectiveness of your marketing.

Here is an example to get you started.
Sample Cost Breakdown