You can extend the concept of return on investment (ROI) to your print marketing efforts, measuring profitability versus cost. Leading corporations use intensively data-driven approaches to report the economic benefits created from marketing investments. You can develop metrics to measure the effectiveness of your printing expenditures even if you don’t have a full-time staff of business analysts.

Set specific goals for your print campaign. Do you want to increase total revenue and profits? Or is the purpose to increase sales of a particular product or service or expand into a new market? Perhaps you need to spur seasonal sales to offset fluctuations in demand. Or your goal might be less tangible, such as increasing brand awareness or improving your company’s image. Tailor your evaluation methods to these defined goals.

Crunch the numbers. Customize this basic print ROI model with your own assumptions to determine whether your campaign will be successful.

 

ASSUMPTIONS

Number of Pieces Printed

20,000

Total Cost

$2500

Response Rate Anticipated

2.5%

Percentage of Respondents Expected to Purchase

25%

Average Profit per Purchase

$50

METRICS

Number of Respondents

500

Cost per Response

$5.00

Number of Buyers

125

Cost per Buyer

$20

Cost per Printed Piece

$0.125

Profit per Printed Piece

$0.31

 

ROI

Total Profit/(Loss)

$6250

Total Cost

$2500

PRINT MARKETING ROI

150%

Design your printed materials to track responses. Include a customized coupon, code or inquiry card to determine which customers are responding to a specific printed piece.

Document how new customers found you. Train your sales and customer service personnel to ask how a client learned about your organization so you can be certain new sales are a result of your marketing efforts rather than another factor, such as a competitor going out of business.

Recognize that it’s not all about dollars and cents. Print pieces have a long life and might be passed from person to person, so campaign-driven sales might not be realized immediately. And, there are some metrics that you can only capture through market research. For example, organize a focus group or survey of those who received a specific printed piece to measure recall, perceptions about your company and purchase intent.

 

These strategies will enable you to cost-justify your print marketing budget and focus your efforts where you will receive the greatest returns.