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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Test Your Off-line Marketing

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thank you all for the great comments and questions you've been sending to the Marketing Blog. As a result, I'd like to start answering your questions here on The Marketing Blog - so keep them coming.

Today's questions is from Peter: How do you propose split testing for a campaign using offline media? There are many tools to do so with online media, but how do you measure the design of two different magazine ads?

It's true that there are a number of tools for measuring the effectiveness of online campaigns. And it is, in many instances, easier today than ever before to evaluate the impact you marketing has with online tools such as Google website optimizer and a whole host of other resources. However, off line marketing can still be effectively tested and measured.

I've been testing offline campaigns for over a decade. The only change in the last few years is that many offline campaigns have been expanded to have an online component making it easier and quicker to track results. For example, you send a post card or publish and ad and have individuals fill out an online request form. This shows you quickly what type of results your campaign is generating in real time.

Without the online component, you can still track the effectiveness of your offline marketing. Personally I recommend you read, "Tested Advertising Methods" by John Caples a direct response expert. You'll learn the methods John has used to evaluate campaign effectiveness. When marketing offline, you should always test one element at a time (ex: headline). Split test ads or run them consecutively within the same publication.

Always have a direct response mechanism. This can be a 1-800 number, an email address, or business response card. By having a direct response element, you can always test the response of your print campaigns. Different methods require different measurement techniques.

Test your print campaigns by circulating multiple versions of your creative in each campaign. Put in some type of mechanism to measure results that you can tie back to the unique version of your post card, magazine ad, or prospecting letter. By doing so you will always be able to test and improve your print campaigns.


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