Don’t rely on the person who answers the phone at the office to track your results. Numerous studies have shown the reliability and effectiveness of staff asking questions related to the advertising source is very hit and miss. If the question is asked, it typically steers the customer to provide one answer, yet we know there are numerous touch points along the buyer’s journey. The customer’s answer will probably reflect the most influential source or their last point of contact.
A landing page with a unique URL means you can measure the results very easily. How else would they arrive at this page?
Your landing page should take the interested party to content specific to the advert they are responding to. Too often they are taken to a home page or a page that confuses the user and requires them to navigate further to find the information they need.
This is simple and relatively inexpensive. It takes the guess work out of measurement.
Everything a user does is tracked in your Google Analytics. Very few business owners understand or use analytics effectively. Surely if the purpose of your advert is to drive traffic to your website then you should measure the uplift in traffic. For best results, measure web traffic across the duration of your print campaign and filter out any online advertising you may be doing.
Test and measure – run unique content in each advert. We know differences in the advert headline can increase results by a factor of 10! Things like image, colour and benefits will all affect results.
Use a cheat sheet
Rather than have your prospect or customer answer the simple question, “How did you hear about us?” give them a cheat sheet. We’ve put together a simple A4 sheet that is designed to have the customer identify three things.
- The customer is prompted to identify ALL the touch points they can remember. This gives you invaluable information on what marketing is effective, including which ones are being seen.
- Secondly, they are prompted to identify the features of your business that had them come to you and not your competition. Maybe it was location, the quality of your website, your testimonials, price point or awards. Imagine how useful this type of information is when planning your marketing spend!
- Thirdly, it asks the customer whether they have seen the advert or magazine in question. This question gives you a degree of confidence that you are spending your money in the right areas.
Use a coupon
Have the consumer cut out and bring in a coupon. This can be very effective particularly in certain industries where consumers are used to getting discounts such as restaurants and beauty. A word of warning however, some socio-economic groups attach a stigma to bringing in a coupon and hence you might reduce the effectiveness of your campaign.
A final word
Print advertising is trackable – it takes a bit of effort and results should be viewed as grey rather than black and white. Ideally, set up a few ways to measure your results. Perhaps you can get the staff to measure, monitor your Google Analytics and set up a cheat sheet. Results will give you a guide but they won’t give you the full story. What’s missing? You won’t be able to measure the effect trust and brand recognition has had on all of your other forms of advertising. Brand recognition makes your advertising become visible and trust leads to intent to purchase.