I had a client I am selling a bunch of stuff to (INCLUDING MOTHER PRINT) ask me this question below. So I wanted to share with you all incase you get a similar question. And I want to share so you all can form your own answer and REALLY UNDERSTAND the value of print. Njoy…

That said, it’s been a while since I’ve placed print media so I’m very curious to know how you recommend we measure impact and evaluate success. Can you please share your thoughts on this?

Print and Billboards and Fliers and Radio are “top of funnel” on the customer journey (see attached). This means, while it is harder to find “model attribution” from your PRINT (OFF LINE) ads, it doesn’t mean is it impossible. By example, it is very easy to associate attribution from PPC, Programmatic, Hyper Local ads, Social Paid and so on — due to the fact it is all “mid-to-bottom funnel” digital (ONLINE) based and it all has a landing point in your google analytics, if mapped properly.

But on the top of funnel stuff (PRINT), we have to believe and think a bit differently.

Here is what 20 years in print industry has taught me (or kicked into my head anyway) on how to deploy said print, billboard or radio assets:

A print ad leaves readers with a brand impression: an imprint of your identity in your target audience’s mind. Over time, impressions add up to build awareness of a brand. The more familiar a person is with a brand, the more likely he or she is to trust it.
So building awareness is a critical first step to building brand loyalty.
But how can you know how many brand impressions your print ad has made? There’s no way to tell for sure, but there are a few techniques you can use to get a general idea.

Here are the ones I use…
use unique urls
Place a unique URL in the ad to track visits. It helps to give readers an incentive to visit the URL. Just including the URL in the ad may not be enough.

interview potential readers
To find out how your ads resonate with your target audience, do a little research. Say that your ads target prospective students. You can talk with incoming students to see if your messaging hits the mark. List the publications in which you’ve advertised and ask which ones they read.
Show readers print ads within the context of the magazines or newspapers in which they appeared.

how to make the most of my print advertising…
follow the five second rule
Your ad must communicate branding and your key message in three to five seconds. Supporting points, if the reader takes time to explore them, must be presented so they can be grasped in the next 10 seconds. After 15 seconds, your reader has moved on.

deliver one message only
Ads tend to be scanned, not read. Plan to communicate one main idea, and keep it obvious and literal. Your reader won’t take time to parse complex concepts. Less is more.

keep copy short
The longer the copy, the less likely it is to be read. Ads with more than four to five sentences or bullet points don’t engage the reader longer. Instead, lengthy copy distracts readers from other elements in the ad. Bullet points do a better job than paragraphs of attracting and holding readers’ attention.

leverage the main visual for branding
More than half of readers leave an ad before reaching a brand signature placed in the bottom right corner. The result is low brand recall. Since visuals are nearly twice as likely to be seen and considered as text, you can enhance brand recall by ensuring that the main visual includes a direct reference to the product or service advertised. Otherwise, readers may recall the image, but fail to link it to the brand.
Alternatively, a very consistent and distinctive “look” immediately conveys branding without requiring a person to read.

make it likeable
The most recognized ads are the ones that people like. Including a visual of a person enhances likeability.

lead readers through the ad
I think the typical reader spends at least half of his or her viewing time on visual elements, usually starting with the primary visual element in the ad (I call this the HERO PRODCUT). From there, readers scan downward and to the right.
I believe readers zero in on the part of the ad—image or text—that most supports their goals, and then they either scan the picture or read the text. But if you don’t speak to them, you will never convert.

And all in all, if you don’t like the print offer, lets move the money to a different asset. I feel it would be a mistake to do so, but I want to throw that out to you, as I am not a salesperson that will force you to do what I want you to do. I don’t care where you spend it in my SUPERMARKET, because I have every thing possible in this superstore to meet your needs.
So you pick what you want, bring it up to the register, and I will ring you up. PS: I don’t take coupons or person checks at this Supermarket. Straight Credit Card, Señor.