From the Desk of the CEO

Return on Ad Spending

Your first step will be determining exactly what ROI (return on investment) means to you. Many people use the term but often confuse the meanings. If you’re looking at trying to calculate how much your spending in print advertising translates into sales, you’re technically looking at Return on Ad Spending (ROAS), but the terms are similar enough that many people just use them interchangeably.
Other things to consider are, again, to determine what qualifies as “success” – a lead, a conversion, increased advertising awareness, increased brand awareness, etc.

For simplicity’s sake, assuming that you’re looking at increased store traffic as your measure of success, here are some things you can do to calculate your “ROI”:
1. Put a coupon in your print ads and have consumers bring the coupon in to your store for a discount, and count how many people bring in the coupon.
2. Put some copy in your print ad that says something like “bring this ad in for a free gift!” and offer your consumers who come into your store a free gift, and again count how many of the gifts are redeemed.
3. Assuming you’re not doing any other advertising, you can calculate your average monthly store traffic prior to the start of your print campaign, then calculate it during your campaign, and then after your print campaign is over, so you can get a sense of how much the print impacts your traffic.
4. You can have your store employees ask each customer who comes into the store “How did you hear about us?” and then calculate how many of them say “from The Monthly Grapevine ad.”
With these increased measures in store traffic, you can also, of course, calculate your increase in sales/basket-size to determine the effect on sales.

Remember with print (specifically with magazines), it is a very slow-build medium. It takes a long time for the total audience for a monthly magazine to accumulate, meaning that a print ad that you run in June could have effects on your store traffic and sales for two or three months down the line as it gets passed around and new people are exposed to the ad.
Best of luck to you!
Sonya North, CEO

Sonya North is the CEO and Editor of the Monthly Grapevine. She has over 19 years of Publishing and Management Experience. She may be reached at 925-634-0880 or