Friend to Groucho Marx: “Life is difficult!”. Marx to Friend: “Compared to what?”
Groucho Marx’s response to his friend highlights a fundamental tenet of measurement, which is defining what one is trying to measure; an apt beginning to the title of this article. Without defining what constitutes success, any attempts at measuring it would be like navigatingthe proverbial rudderless ship. Thus prior to looking at ways to measure success of print campaigns, let’s quickly examine what would constitute success not just for a print campaign but any marketing communications programme.
The attempt of a marketing communication programme would be to influence one or more phases of the journey that a consumer undertakes in his or her decision to engage with a product or service.
Typically this journey for a consumer would start with an active or passive search for a product or service that matches their need.
Many products might fit the bill and, therefore, to make a decision, consumers would get into a research mode on the available choices. Rational and/or emotional involvement with the consumer during this stage would be an important campaign consideration. This leads up to the active transaction stage where a consumer is ready to act and make a choice. FMOT experiences, deals and value perceptions are some of the factors that brand campaigns seek to influence at this stage for a favourable verdict. In case the customer is already a user, the attempt would be to induce re-purchase or increase usage.
In today’s networked world, where consumers are mediums themselves, the job of a campaign does not end with a sale. Managing the experience of ownership and the word of mouth that results are equally important campaign considerations.
The success or otherwise of a print campaign needs to be assessed against its ability to influence the specific phase of the consumer journey that it is designed to address. If a campaign is designed to influence consumer discovery of a brand, it would be meaningless to measure it on metrics designed to assess advocacy or sharing.
With that perspective, what follows are seven ways in which you could measure the success of your print campaign at various stages of the consumer’s journey:
Stage - Discovery:
1. Awareness: Brand & message recall vs. category norms
2. Inroad into category consideration: Ratio of spontaneous awareness to total awareness vs. competitive brands
Stage - Involvement (rational):
3. Persuasiveness: Intention to try/buy, message credibility
Stage – Involvement (emotional):
4. Personal relevance: Likeability of advertising, strength of relevance of message to self
Stage - Action
5. Usage rate: Share of category trial in the campaign period, share of last purchase in the campaign period
6. Re-purchase rate : Current brand to last brand ratio, future purchase intention
Stage - Sharing
7. Advocacy: Likelihood of recommending brand, share of buzz
While this article focuses on the success metrics associated with a print campaign one must bear in mind that ‘a print only’ campaign is a rarity in today’s media-crowded world. Print, more often than not, will work within an ecosystem of mediums where it should have a defined role based on its strengths.
For example, print might not be the best channel choice if the campaign is designed to generate advocacy and perhaps digital channels will have a stronger role in that space.
The trick in designing a campaign today is to match the right medium to the different stages in the consumer journey based on their inherent strengths in a manner which optimises media investments while delivering the campaign goals.