How do I monitor advert response?


Monitoring response rate is always an area for concern, because it’s actually quite difficult to get an accurate reading, even if you’re rigorous.

Ideally, we could put in place a system to monitor response to adverts, in order to identify magazines delivering good results, but in practice it’s extremely difficult to both implement a system and also to monitor accurately.

This is because firstly, the public, when prompted, are fairly unreliable when queried about where they saw your advert.  For them, this is of little interest and they’ll generally say the first thing that comes into their head.  Secondly, if you’re more pro-active and build an offer into your advert, it’s hard to know what’ll get a response. If the offer you put out doesn’t spark their interest, then you’re wasting your time and yes, it’s not great to erode your margin as whatever you offer will come off your profit margin first. Also, the offer may well give you a false reading about the magazine you’re advertising in and you could end up throwing the baby out with the bathwater. If you are building-in an offer, it’s good to provide an offer that won’t erode your margin, perhaps you have something that you can throw into the deal, along with the purchase. So say you sell beds, perhaps throw in pillows at half price or even free if the margin will allow, it’s very much about grabbing their attention in an uncomplicated way. Many times we’ve seen businesses add in ‘10% discount with this advert’ – really they may as well have not bothered. If the customer is that money conscious, they’d probably go to the internet to make the purchase. Make the offer simple, eye grabbing, attractive and immediate.

If you’re going to add in an offer for monitoring purposes, be creative and make an effort to think it through carefully – it’ll be worth the effort if you get it right, but if you get it wrong, you’ll get a false reading for the magazine you’re trialling.

In terms of getting systems in place, so you can leave staff to deal with monitoring in the knowledge that you have a failsafe system – there are point-of-sale software systems that require an entry where the consumer is queried where they saw their company advert – these can be useful, but as mentioned earlier, just be aware that the public may say anything to get the purchase rapidly completed.

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