In these lean times advertisers must ensure they get a good return on every advertising dollar spent. Print advertising is often the most difficult to evaluate impact but with a little thought, it becomes easy, especially if you are using your website the way you should.
Here's an add I saw in the newspaper (yes, I still read the newspaper while having breakfast - it satisfies my need to always do more than one thing at a time). Finks Jewelers is a great jewelry store and this add is simple, elegant and tasteful. But, how will Finks know if it had an impact or if what they paid generated a reasonable return on investment. Notice in the ad they are using their standard home page url. They are also using their standard phone number. There's just know way to determine if they get any phone calls or website visits from the ad.
Here's a way to measure if the ad had an impact. Finks could:1) Purchase a unique url - something like finkscharmset.com. Even if they didn't create a unique landing page for this url within their regular website, they could code their web analytics to track how many people come to the site using this unique url. Additionally, they can2) Purchase (or use) a unique tracking phone number and with the right technology, can get a report that tells them how many people called specifically from the ad. That's how you can measure whether the ad has its desired impact - and best of all it is pretty inexpensive to do.Finks likely spent a couple thousand on this ad, and that's a meaningful enough investment to make sure they understand how it performed. With the right combination of phone tracking and/or web analytics, Finks can measure the impact and evaluate the frequency and method of future newspaper advertising.