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23 May 2011

What’s Inside Your Neighborhood Marketing Black Box?

Neighborhood marketing and advertising is often a black box. Money pours in at the top of the marketing black box and results (or sometimes the lack of) magically occur. What happens inside the block box is left a mystery. The information most businesses want to know can’t be seen.

  • Did people see my ad?
  • Did they like it?
  • Are they interested in what I sell?
  • Do they know about my business?
  • Did they tell their friends about it?
  • And the ultimate question, did the ad bring me a customer or would I get the customer anyway?

When businesses market and customers call or come through the front door, there might or might not be a cause and effect. When  businesses ask customers where they heard about them, customers don’t remember the process that led them there (see pinball marketing). So, what should be the best source of the information, the customer, may not be the most reliable. This is why “word-of-mouth” gets so much credit. It’s easier for the customer to explain.

Dang you marketing black box!!

But, with the right tools, we can see inside the black box.  With the right tools:

  • We can see if people view an ad.
  • We can see if they responded to it.
  • We can see if they read more about your business.
  • We can see if they tell their friends.
  • And ultimately, we can see if the ad brings a new customer.

The right tools transform neighborhood marketing from guessing into a consultative process that can be reviewed and modified to achieve the desired results. At BubbleLife, we call these tools “Insights”. Insights is a monthly report that goes to all of our customers that gives them information they can use to improve their marketing results. Insights is valuable when the process works, because there is always room for improvement. But, Insights is absolutely essential if results are not up to expectations. Insights can help figure out the problem and design a new solution.

Jeff is the President and CEO of BubbleLife Media, the publisher of, DFW's largest neighborhood news source, and a leading provider of neighborhood marketing solutions. Jeff has always been a technology entrepreneur including founding and leading one company that ranked 26th on Inc. Magazine’s list of Fastest Growing Private Companies, held an IPO and sold to McAfee.