Measuring ROI can increase newspaper AdEx 1.5X by 2025

Guest Column: Manas Mishra, Co-founder, Mediant, suggested that simple solutions like Cloud Telephony can improve the ROI of newspapers, challenging the AdEx shift to digital media

e4m by Manas Mishra
Updated: Apr 23, 2022 3:58 PM  | 3 min read
Manas Mishra

While brands vouch for ROI of newspapers, specific numbers (results) is always a challenge. Why is it so?

Apart from its larger-than-life appeal, newspaper advertising has typically been used to disseminate product and channel information. Objectives are varied: from awareness to brand image to comparison/ consideration to purchase to post-purchase. What metrics do marketers use to measure newspaper ROI? Some examples:

  • Telephone/ Whatsapp number to reach a call center
  • QR Code/ URL to access webpage/ microsite
  • Toll Free number to access All India helpline
  • Dealer Name/ Telephone number across cities
  • Coupons/ cutouts
  • Social media handles

Of all the above, dealer/ branch office address and their telephone number are the most ubiquitous and widely used across categories. Incoming calls to dealers deliver ROI but marketers often may not have an idea of the quality/ quantity of the consumer response in such cases. Without attribution, future investments feel like a shot in the dark – belying the confidence Print advertising should automatically provide.

How can brands change this?

Remote EPABX (Cloud Telephony) has been used by SMEs/ F&B/ BFSI industry for years. The construct is simple: Digitize all incoming voice calls enabling IVRs/ call routing etc. In the post-Alexa era, AI-enabled voice responses have made them even more effective. How can brands use Cloud Telephony with the old Dealer Networks to deliver superior ROI?

Take the case of a typical durable/ consumer electronics brand ad in a newspaper. Up to 20% of the ad space is devoted to dealer names/ telephone numbers (Dealer Panel) and this changes across editions/ cities. By replacing dealer phone numbers with unique telephone numbers that route all calls to the brand’s server before connecting to the dealer, a few data points get added: caller ID, call recording, edition/ newspaper (attribution). Change in quality/ quantity of consumer response (voice calls) with every change in copy/ creative/ newspaper/ edition/ ad size/ ad page/ ad date can be tracked – hence Print campaign optimization can be as granular/ precise as Digital campaigns.

The newspaper business has been affected by the pandemic. Simple solutions like Cloud Telephony can prove short term ROI of newspapers, challenging the adex shift to digital media.

At Mediant we have used Cloud Telephony across categories to improve the ROI of ad investments. E.g. By adding 400 unique telephone numbers to a pan-India newspaper campaign for a laptop brand, thousands of call-ins were registered/ recorded, attributed and future campaigns optimized basis key learnings.

In our next article on the subject, we will share other Cloud Telephony case studies – use of the simple #Missed Call system.

Mediant is a 7+ year old INS accredited national media agency. They partner brands across personal care/ FMCG, consumer tech, healthcare, apps, medical diagnostics, instant foods, agri, footwear, auto-electronics, state govt, security systems pan-India, across offline and online media.

Manas Mishra, co-founder at Mediant; has 20+yrs of Media Agency experience (India/ China). He has held country leadership roles across Initiative, Starcom China, MudraMax and leadership roles at Dentsu Aegis Network. MEC (Group M) and WPP Group.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of

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