Emerging Technology in Advertising, Product Management

How To Match Offline Purchases To Online Marketing

One of the questions we get asked a lot is how it is possible to measure digital marketing efforts when your purchase is offline, either in your own store, or through another retailer.   We admit, it’s not the easiest of tasks, but there are ways and means to track back your digital marketing spend to your actual sales.  

1. Go Old School – Use Coupons or Voucher Codes  
Provide a unique coupon code for each advertisement (whether it’s on your Facebook account or via Google AdWords). Then after the time of sale when the customer presents the coupon, you can later match the number of coupon codes back to the original advert they came from.   This provides you with information on the number of people who clicked on your ad, the number of people who reached your landing page and the number of people who actually purchased. A great way to get conversion results.   Additionally if you add a retargeting pixel to this page, you can later retarget to these same customers online.  

2. Ask Your Customer At Point of Sale  
There’s nothing like the traditional method of actually talking to your customers. Ask them when they purchase where they found you and what made them buy that particular item. Not only does it help with you tracking your marketing effectiveness, but it also gets you product feedback.  

3. Run Targeted Ads Locally  
If your product is being sold through a different retailer and you don’t have the opportunity to ask your customers how they found you then another option that is open to you is to run targeted local advertising that allows you to match upward turns in sales back to your local campaign.   This will give you trend data but it’s important that you only are running that one campaign in that area at that time, otherwise your upward turn in sales may be due to some other factor.  

4. Track Store Visits Using AdWords  
Google very cleverly allows you to link your store with your AdWords account. Essentially what you are doing here is linking your Google My Business Account & AdWords accounts. Google will then use mobile users location details (for those who have switched their location on) to aggregate an estimate of the number of people who came in store after seeing your AdWords campaign.   To access this information, you can look under “Distance” in the Dimensions report. Note, you will have to have a minimum amount of customer data so that Google can aggregate this information and make it anonymous, and you’ll also have to have location extensions enabled already.  

5. Add Affiliate Location Extensions  
This is a reasonably new Google rollout, which allows you to add the locations that your product is sold as a location extension. For example, say you sell mobile phone covers and they retail through JB Hi-Fi. You’d be able to add ‘JB Hi-Fi’ as a location extension. It’s live in the USA and is being rolled out to other territories too!   Try implementing some of these techniques to track your digital marketing back to your offline sales, then measure the performance, and adapt your advertising accordingly. Don’t just throw money out there, make sure you’re tracking its effectiveness and putting the right money behind the right initiatives.