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How can the success of press work be measured?

Friday, 8. September 2017 | by: Dietrich Homburg | Exhibit Marketing

Every press work ultimately has the sense of "selling". However, to want to read the success directly to the next sales figures is certainly too short. Press work usually only works for a small part directly. Far greater is the indirect effect, which initially increases awareness, creates acceptance and thus influences medium and long-term attitudes and actions.   The effect of press work may be read in the long term in the change in turnover, but in the short term it is not a suitable control variable. Questioning the target group and thus identifying the increase in awareness and acceptance would be possible in the short term. But this is not easy and expensive in the B2B business.

The managing director of one of our customers has a very pragmatic solution: he announces to his marketing department how many editorial publications are to be published in the year. The method is success-oriented and gives clear targets. It also works quite well as long as the publications are comparable and not, for example, a short caption is equated to a complete professional contribution. However, it does not take into account the distribution and importance of the journal.   An established size helps solve this dilemma.

Advertising prices have been commuting in a competitive environment for many years. They say what value advertisers measure to a particular area in a magazine. This can be used – of course with reservations – for press work. It is relatively easy to calculate how much the space occupied by editors would have cost as an advertisement. If this value is set in relation to the costs incurred (which is not a problem when working with external services), the equivalence factor is obtained, i.e. a measure of the efficiency of a press campaign. We assume that a good press action should have an equivalence factor of about 10 and guarantee, for example, in our multi-X method that it is never below 6.7.  

Editorial publications generally encounter more acceptance than ads for readers. The probable reason: Display area can be filled in any way, even with useless for the reader. Press texts, on the other hand, are in fierce competition; Only the best will make it into the booklet. So the equivalence factor is more of a low-level forklift. Yet or just because of that he has his pitfalls. He could be tempted to replace ads with editorial texts. This is dangerous; There are different tools, both of which have their authority. OK, you can also tighten a screw with a pair of pliers, but should not whine if you up it or pinch your fingers. And one should bear in mind that the trade press lives almost 100 percent of ads. I can well understand that editors sometimes react angrily if someone wants to deprive them of the economic basis.  

Our tip:

Optimize the overall system so that ads and press work can bring the greatest possible benefits together. Anyone who operates press work without ads will be catapulted out of the market sooner or later. Anyone who switches ads and does not use this to promote his press work gives away cash. An additional 10% for press work should usually double the effect.  

provided by rbs Redaktionsbüro Stutensee; first published by

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About Dietrich Homburg

Dietrich Homburg studied communications technology and afterwards worked as a developer, lecturer for electronics and digital technology as well as a responsible editor of a trade journal. Since 1980 he works as a freelance technology journalist and press consultant.

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