Our Thinking

Do You Know The Offline Impact Of Your Online Marketing Channels?

By Jeremy Griffith. Posted in Analytics

July 10, 2017

Today, marketers must optimize every dollar they spend on advertising for conversions. However, most retailers still operate with a siloed mentality. Digital spend is optimized for digital conversion, and offline spend is optimized for offline conversion. This makes theoretical sense, but your customers don’t operate in silos. When it comes to the buyer’s journey, customers use a mix of online and offline browsing and shopping to make purchasing decisions. In order to truly optimize spend, marketers must be able to measure the offline impact of online marketing channels.

Why Integrating Offline And Online Measurement Matters

Retail as an industry has become virtually obsessed with e-commerce. Online shopping is big business, but according to US Census data it still only accounts for around eight percent of all retail purchases. That means that the majority of the time, most customers are still traveling to a store to spend their money.

We can infer, given the fact that 92 percent of purchases happen in store and the high amount of time Americans spend online both on computers and mobile devices, that people do a lot of browsing, comparing and investigating online before they make a purchase. Therefore, the messages they see online do have an impact on in-store behavior. Measuring that impact is critical if retailers want to truly optimize digital ad spend to influence offline behavior.

With data onboarding, it is possible to make digital channels as addressable as traditional channels. By getting a full, 360-degree view of customer interactions across communications channels, it is possible to apply “old-school” direct marketing sensibilities to all channels.

The Many Measurement Methods At Your Disposal

The strategies marketers already know can be strategically leveraged to help measure the offline impact of digital marketing. Pulling the strengths for each methods helps create the full picture of how your marketing efforts translate into dollars:

  • Media mix modeling: A strong media mix model helps understand where, and how your dollars are currently being spent and how they can be reallocated for maximum ROI. Media mix modeling is best suited for mass channels like radio and television, but it does have limitations when attempting to optimize per campaign or on a customer level.
  • Attribution Modeling: This method is typically only applied for online conversion tracking of digital channels. However, because it allows retailers to measure the contribution of addressable media like direct mail, email and digital display as well as non-addressable media like search traffic, it can be extended into B&M conversions and traditional offline conversion.
  • Test and Learn Contact Strategy: This method allows retailers to test and optimize channels that are accessible at a customer level. This is currently done with direct mail and email, for example; testing models that adjust number of touches and channel preferences. It can be extended to include digital channels beyond email, as well, allowing for measurement of true incrementality of different touchpoints.

Many marketers are blending their messaging and media, but they aren’t blending their measurement strategies to achieve a meaningful picture of the impact of online marketing on offline conversions. You’re already collecting the data, it just takes a new approach to analyze in order to uncover hidden insights that can bring about meaningful ROI based on the way your customers shop today.