“Because otherwise it’s hard to measure,” is a stupid reason for doing anything. Measurement limitations shouldn’t set marketing strategy. Campaigns come first – which might then keep your analytics team challenged…
In retail businesses, all too often, digital marketers actively avoid driving in-store sales with their campaigns; while store managers do everything they can to keep their footfall from walking online. Why?
“Because if you can’t measure it, it didn’t happen.”
Because it’s hard to attribute success in the right place, when it was a browser cookie that logged the ad impression, but a person’s fingertips that pulled the bank note from their wallet. Of course it’s crazy. The digital marketer and the store manager work for the same company! They serve the same customer, and that’s the way the customer sees it too.
So what can we do to help support the natural behaviours of a business and its customers?
1. CALL TRACKING
Great call tracking technologies like Infinity can generate unique phone numbers on your website for each of its visitors. They integrate with your digital measurement platforms. When a visitor dials the phone, instead of appearing to have bounced or exited, their session continues in Google Analytics, with conversions tracked into AdWords, Google Analytics, DoubleClick and other platforms.
2. IN-STORE VISITS
Businesses with bricks and mortar will need to use the features of Google My Business anyway. Careful management of these listings is an important aspect of organic search marketing, and also a crucial first step to enabling the in-store visits metric in AdWords.
Google uses survey results and your visitors’ mobile phones to measure visits to the real-world stores in your My Business listings made by people who clicked your ads.
AdWords isn’t all your marketing spend, and store visits aren’t revenue; but AdWords is an important marketing channel, and is an important indicator for how well web traffic converts to in-store traffic.
3. LOGGED-IN EXPERIENCES
Digital platforms like DoubleClick and Google Analytics have good features for receiving measurements from offline sources. The challenge is in uniting offline measurements with the online record generated by the same customer. If a customer identifies themselves online, and also offline, then it’s possible to pass cookie or user IDs between data systems. This way, when an offline measurement is delivered to a platform like DoubleClick or Google Analytics, it can carry the same cookie ID for that platform that the customer has on their web browser.
Mechanisms for joining up user identification include online app or site features, where a customer can begin the product design process; or, more simply, a form used for booking an appointment with an in-store consultant.
Customers are increasingly savvy about the value of personal data, so remember that a successful experience like this will feel sensible, natural, and like a fair value exchange. In some circumstances, the most direct value exchange is a registration in exchange for a voucher that can be redeemed in-store. Verticly is one on- to offline attribution technology set up to cater for measurement and data integrations, but also the logistics of voucher generation and redemption – including in supermarkets and other stores where the product brand is not the store merchant.
If you’d like to find out more, or have any questions on on- to offline measurement, give us a shout!