Thank you (Deverill & BBcoach) for an intersting discussion(s). I think this may be the first time I've convinced anyone of anything.
The best I've ever done on the cannobalisation issue with a client is an 'I'll agree with you if you stop talking' - Satisfying but a little lacking.
When you get 'exlained' by a techie you know your in trouble. (No offence Randy. Actually. you are always clear and easy to understand. This makes me doubt that you are actaully a techie)
One more thing Deverill, You are selling tickets online right? Make sure you get some sort of permission after the sale. They are never more sold then the moment after you sell to them. Make it worth their while to stay in touch. Specials don't have to be discounts. If you want to get 'fancy' find out a little more about their interests an send them tailored 'recomendations' about 'what's in town,' 'special offers,' 'running low on tickets' etc. If you want to keep it simple either send them generic mails or send them something based on what they already bought. (extra 'return' to add to your 'ROI')
And about your play money, make sure that any money you make goes back into your play money pile. that way, if you are losing 10c on the $ in the begining you have more time to get profitable and if you mak 10c on the dollar you get to extend your play time.
The whole ROI (the accounting definition makes you look better then the ppc definition so use it) thing actually works like this (if there is an acountant on the forum please fell free to correct and scold me):
If you have $7500 play money allocated to you now and over 1/2 a year you have reinvested all your profits in more ppc playing & you can now safely invest $500 per day to make $1000, you can make $75k in the rest of year one.
-you'd think that makes your (annualised) ROI 1000% (75,000/7,500) - but no:
What you have created is an asset ($75k cash + a $150k perpetuity + some intangibles)- You have created 75k in cash, 150k per annum in a perpetuity, subscribers to a newsletter, improvements to the website's conversion rate, million dollar insights into how to market your products, brand awareness, customer base etc. - get your bean counters to value that. This is the actual Return on their investment.
All this (whatever you believe to be a possible potential outcome) is the potential Return on your investment (the test budget, time, IT support etc.)
If you have bean counters to deal with you need to give them beans. These are beans. Estmate potential Gains, Estimate your chances for success (be real). Tell them what you need to have in order give it a shot. When considering IM investments you can often come up with risk/potential equations that'll make em slobber.