(This weeks post is comes via Jim Beckwith, Sales Representative with Metalcasting Design & Purchasing. Jim is a seasoned professional that knows how industrial marketing works and what works. Thanks Jim for passsing on Ryan Dohrn's thoughts.)
"Common knowledge" these days is that print advertising can't be tracked, which in theory makes print inferior to digital advertising options. However, noted marketing and communications expert Ryan Dohrn recently shared several ways you can quantify the results of your print advertising.
1. The person that answers the phone at your office is NOT the best person to track your print ad response. "64% of incoming calls, tracked over a four month print ad campaign, resulted in no question being asked about the advertising source. - BSM, research study, 2014
2. Use a unique website address (called a "vanity URL") in each different print ad. For example, if JohnDoe.com is your main web site, go to GoDaddy.com and register another dot com name like JohnDoeCastings.com to run in print ad #1, and GoJohnDoe.com to run in print ad #2. After you register your vanity URL, you will need to follow some very specific instructions posted in the full version of this blog at http://www.afsinc.org//MCDP/VanityURLSetup
3. DO NOT use an extension on a dot com name such as JohnDoe.com/BlueMag. This will fail almost every time!
4. Use a unique tracking phone number in each ad. Sure, phone volume is down these days, but tracking your calls from print ads is easy. Companies like CallRail.com can offer you this service for as low as $30 per month. Or, a cheaper route is to buy a TracPhone from Walmart or a similar "burner" type phone. If you truly want to know who is calling from your print ad, put your cell number in the ad.
5. Track your Google analytics. Everything a user does is tracked, but most business owners just do not fully understand how to read their Google analytics. Other than Google, traditional media like print is the second best way to drive traffic to your web site. Be sure to track when your print campaign started and ended in Google Analytics. You will almost always see a lift in website traffic during a print campaign. Be sure to filter out all the other things you are doing online to see the best result.
6. Run unique content in each ad. Ad agencies are notorious for running the exact same ad in multiple magazines. Do not do this. Feature different content in each print ad to better gauge results. It can be as simple as changing the color of the product you feature or the image in the ad.
7. Spend time checking your marketing results. It is imperative. Ask your media sales rep for help. It's your money... track it.
8. Try QR codes. While they're not the miracle some expected them to be, they can work if used properly. Feature a unique offer to readers willing to scan the QR code that is pointed to a unique landing page or offer on your website. Free QR code: http://www.qr-code-generator.com
Which of these industrial advertising tracking tips would work best for you? Give them a try and find out! Above all, share your results with your media reps - it tells us how well we're doing our jobs and lets us know if something needs to be changed.
(If you liked this post you might like "Great Industrial Marketing Ads."