Tackling The Challenge of Online to Offline Attribution

Posted by Andrea Ramirez on Sep 29, 2015 12:54:00 PM

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What is the first thing you do when you wake up? Chances are, you’re checking your phone for updates, talking to peers on social media or researching a product you were dreaming about. And without a second thought you will continue to engage with your phone, computer, GPS, and other devices as you move on throughout your day. With the amount of time on your devices, you’re exposed to a plethora of ads in all shapes and forms. But how many of those are actually resonating with you?

As marketers, we need walk a mile in the customer's shoes to understand if a brand’s offers on digital devices are compelling enough to drive in-store traffic. 

To create more compelling offering to our consumers we need to face some facts:

- Consumers are on their devices now more than they ever have been in the past.
- As a result the once linear consumer journey has become fragmented and complex.
- Consumers are not loyal but are looking for the nearest good or service to satisfy intent. In fact,    Google searches with ‘near me’ surged 34 times since 2011.
- If we advertise to engage mobile customers, we must target situationally and show value.
online to offline attribution elliot waldron

The trouble lies in our ability to appropriately connect those advertisements to in-store visits. During our panel on, “Online to Offline Attribution,” Elliot Waldron, Director of Analytics at Placed, explains the complexity and challenge of this task at Brandify Summit 2015:

The traditional methods of clicks - we found- are not very correlated with someone that goes to the store. With a location perspective we need to keep that in mind. It's a brave new world out there. Now people are walking around with these devices and giving us a whole new data set. There are also more big opportunities to leverage that data and new interesting things to it. So open your mind about location.

Explaining the wavering nature of consumer-to-brand interaction, William Merchan, SVP Strategic Alliances & GM Dynamic Pricing at MarketShare, followed up with this statement:

The reality is that the consumer's journeys are all more complicated now. In many cases it's offline to online to offline to online…..Many O’s!”

Remember: It’s all About Outcomes

Whether you’re ready for it or not, your marketing needs to become more personal and more local to improve your bottom line. Start with the end in mind and identify exactly how your brand gains conversions, then work backwards. 93% of consumers are making their purchases in a physical location, so get your team together and ask deeper questions about what consumers will use to get there. From locators to social media, display ads or even mobile PPC--- leveraging these micro-interactions will lead to the macro-outcomes you lay out.

As mentioned earlier in this blog, clicks are not the sole correlation to someone visiting your location, therefore first click attribution should not be the first choice to contributing your online to offline attribution. Instead, identify each point of contact your consumers have with your online properties and take note of common themes in the data. Once you have sorted the themes of your data, you can start piecing together the puzzle to see if your metrics are helping you measure the bottom line impact.

For example, are high star ratings for an online review channel contributing to more traffic to your local pages or more directions sent from your business locators? Is the amount of  consumer engagement on a Facebook Child page (location page on Facebook) correlated to in-store sales? Once you Identify these correlations, you can align them to your outcomes through data stitching.

Use a Tool to Unite Your Data

Data stitching can to tell an even bigger story of your consumer's path to purchase, but you need a tool to tie all of these bits and pieces of information together. That’s where Brandify’s Technology comes into play.

Brandify’s Technology  evaluates enterprise level brands’ location-based marketing performance locally and nationally. Using a field-tested benchmark, known as a Brand Score, Brandify evaluates over 250 different variables across six core location-based pillars: Local SEO, Data Quality, Engagement, Local Advertising, and Competitor benchmarking.  Stitching together the crucial points of your consumer's journey together to tell the story of your brand’s online to offline experience.

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Topics: Local Advertising