Submitted by: Jess Taylor 29/11/2016
Director of News UK’s creative agency Method, explains the importance of measuring the ROI of branded print content
I’M A PASSIONATE believer in print. At Method, we create lots of digital content and increasing amounts of video, but print is still my favourite format. There are two reasons for this: firstly, print carries an authority that nothing else can replicate, and secondly, if you want luxury, digital just doesn’t offer an alternative. You can see that in the way the luxury advertising market sees itself. Advertising gives luxury brands the expansiveness and premium they desire to show off their products.
But of course, when you are creating print content for brands, it’s vital to measure the effectiveness of what you are doing in the same way you would for digital. The first step is working out what the brand is trying to do with their content. Are they trying to drive sales, increase brand consideration, push their customers towards a new offer? Once you know that, you can set the campaign accordingly then measure against that KPI at the end to demonstrate that you have managed to achieve what you set out to do.
A good example is the native advertising work we did for Brand USA called Secrets of the South. It was all about telling people about the lesser known parts of Southern USA and highlighting their main attractions. This ran in the print edition of The Sunday Times as well as The Sunday Times Travel magazine. We measured a number of KPIs before and after the campaign and found that over three quarters of the readers wanted to find out more about travelling to the USA – a 30% increase from before the campaign – while over two thirds planned to travel to the USA in the next two years. That represented an increase in traveller spend of over £4m. We could actually quantify the amount of money that readers who had seen the campaign were going to spend on travelling to the USA, money that wouldn’t have been spent had we not produced and ran it. As a result, Brand USA have rebooked the campaign for next year.
Native advertising is an increasingly successful area of advertising. Every brand is producing content but they have a real problem finding an audience for it. So if you want to stand out and reach audiences, native is a really good way of doing that. If you partner with a content producer, they can not only create the content but also supply you with the right audience. I can only see native advertising getting bigger. Because of the world we live in, where everything is content, if brands are going to have a voice, that voice needs to say something that’s either useful, entertaining or valid to its brand value. And print is the ideal medium to deliver native advertising.