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Analytics Package Tracks Real-Time Print Advertising


One of our partners in our small business search marketing company, JetPack, is a company called Conversion Associates. They just ran a very interesting campaign a few weeks ago to test the effectiveness of traditional advertising. Dave Jenkins, CA’s CEO, explained to me that he wanted to give advertisers real time evidence and measurement to a traditional print marketing campaign. Think about that for a second, real-time measurement of print advertising. Impossible? Apparently not.

Here’s how the test was set up:

  • Dave’s team was given some space in the Boston Globe for the test. They placed a Conversion Associates ad in the Globe. The ad listed a specific url with the goal of driving people to a custom landing page.
  • The ad simply said businesses should be tracking all of their ad dollars and if you wanted to see how they do it visit the listed web page.
  • Conversion Associates used their own analytics package to monitor the visits, calls and form submissions.
  • When visitors went online to see the landing page they had the option to view the results of the campaign.
  • The landing page listed the phone calls from the print ad, visits to the landing page, video views, average time the video was watched, and phone calls from the landing page.

The results were 6 total phone calls, 2 from the print ad (both were MassHighTech asking Conversion Associates to advertise with them) and 4 business calls from the landing page. They had 18 total visits to the landing page. One resulted in a sale. The 40 second video was watched on average for 30 seconds.

So what did they learn from this exercise?

  • Advertising in the Globe generates calls from competitive newspapers soliciting for advertising dollars.
  • The 40 second introduction video is about 10 seconds too long.
  • Visitors can be tracked in real-time from a print ad.
  • Considering the high value of a new client account, approximately one sale per campaign is an acceptable acquisition cost.

I’d like to see this campaign run again with some small tweaks to the landing page design and content. Overall though it’s pretty compelling evidence that print advertising can be tracked in real time.

Author Richard Banfield

As CEO, Richard leads Fresh Tilled Soil’s strategic vision. He’s a mentor at TechStars and BluePrintHealth, an advisor and lecturer at the Boston Startup School, and serves on the executive committees of TEDxBoston, the AdClub’s Edge Conference, and Boston Regional Entrepreneurship Week.

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