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Is it that difficult to Track ROI in Print Advertisement? I would like to go ahead with NO!

I love online marketing and believe that is has an ability to augment offline advertising and add value for the client in special ways. We expect to see budget shift significantly from offline efforts to online campaigns, as devices and people’s choices and reading habits are changing swiftly to online. This however does not mean that offline advertising is going out of fashion. It only means that with a little support from online tech-fundas, offline can be made to work harder and efficiently.

The biggest setback in print advertising is that it fails to provide clear ROI data which digital does very well. You can track each and every investment.

But the question is, is that difficult to Track ROI in print? I would like to say NO, it may be difficult but not impossible. Let me show you –

How and Why?

What if we leverage Augmented Reality in Advertisement. For an example suppose we have a print advertisement for an educational institute and we have something like – 3 -4 image boxes after main communication that talk aboutCourse benefits–Campus–Student Life–Placement, Etc with a line saying something like “scan and in 30 second experience the real life behind this image”.

Let’s say, most people do not have Augmented Reality software installed in the mobile or traditional AR apps are not that effective. So we can actually create a very simple QR scanner type application which will be one time investment and link to download this application will be just below the Boxes. So you can download the app and scan it. Why people will do it completely depends on how strong is persuasion just like why visitors click on any online ad that get displayed or participate in social media activity.

This way companies will be able to show most of the information in limited space, can make creative more attractive and clutter free and can track the live response of advertisement.

Other simple ways are:

Custom URL for every Ad and to make it more effective, unique promotional benefits in every ad that can be visited through that URL only (Custom dedicated landing page for print campaign) and not be published anywhere digitally and just track unique to THAT page.
But, Most times, people ignore the landing page, and go straight to the root domain. That’s a behaviour that’s beyond our control – there’s not a great deal we can do about that, except unless of course we HAVE THE USER PERFORM AN ACTION once they hit our site. The best way to do this is to have them use a coupon code or a discount code or something unique advertised only on print that pushes them to a dedicated “thank you” page. This “ties off” the process and makes it easy to track. What’s powerful is that we can use multiple coupon codes per promotional channel/medium.

I believe, print is not dead yet; all it needs is support of digital and it’s ready to shoot a different level altogether! In fact print is very similar to digital in some of the cases even more effective (Especially in B2B), Similar because, on digital when we advertise and first level tracking we get is of the impression that is the total circulation in term of the print ad, Then user takes an action and it becomes our CTR, Visit etc., Here also we are giving them the option to take action and tracking it, thanks to the high penetration of smart phone devices! And then User fills the lead form that becomes our CPL or CPA here also once user will land on dedication page and perform the action will become our CPL/CPA.

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