Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts to measure offline advertising
August 11, 2006
Measuring offline advertising is a pain and a lot of people make major mistakes. Here my top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of measuring offline advertising
1. Don’t setup a new domain
No. 1 fault of many webanalytics guys is to create a separate domain for their offline campaigns. A separate domain might give you great stats, but will confuse your users and also harm (duplicate content) or effect (no inbound links) your SEO efforts.
If you start using a subdomain or suffixes/prefixes on your site you might catch all the users. That is what the agency will tell you. The truth is that a lot of visitors don’t visit your suffixes/prefixes or subdomain page at all. If you see a TV ad for Mercedes Benz USA, do you visit www.mbusa.com/tv ? Maybe you as an internet savvy person, but not the average Mercedes driver.
3. Never trust publisher / TV ratings numbers
Identifying effective marketing mediums is one of the most difficult things. Publishers love to give you circulation, subscriber or even printing numbers and tell you how highly effective your campaign will be. The truth is that circulation numbers won’t say anything. Printing numbers are also pretty useless and subscriber numbers I don’t even want to hear. Publisher numbers are the “offline Alexa”. Use them as an indicator, but don’t waste too much time with it. If you need numbers, you can look at the Audit bureau of circulations.
4. Try to use coupons if your business allows it
Coupons are great. Coupons rule! Join the billion $ coupon market. If your website supports coupons, use coupons. People somehow always want to get a deal and tracking coupons is an easy task.
5. Issue-By-Issue Magazine Measurement
Readership.com recently partnered with Comscore and formed a new print ratings service. Try it out if you have the money. If you don’t have the money try services like PrintAd.Info
6. Use special pricing
Start giving your offline offers a special price might be a good idea to track success. With special pricing you easily can identify users. But make sure you label these users and only show them the special pricing. This method won’t be accurate, but will give you a good idea.
7. Track your phone lines
Incoming calls from offline advertising can be one of the best things you can do. With new VOIP services (not talking about skype!) you are able to track, record, redirect callers. The accuracy of phone calls can be much higher than Cookie or logfile tracking and can be a big boost for your profits.
8. Label/Tag your users AND merge your data
No matter what: Label or tag your visitors and merge this data with other data sources (phone calls / coupons…). Never use a single data set.
9. Don’t use Googles offline Print Ad (yet)
Many testers reported poor results. Wait till Google will find a more effective way. Give them some time.
10. Track and test, track and test
Always double check your numbers. Test again, track, test again ….
Anything missing or wrong? Feel free to comment!