Offline Conversion Metrics Becoming A Critical New Standard

Literally for more than ten years I’ve been talking about how marketers miss the majority of digitally influenced conversions because they can’t measure offline store visits or sales lift. However that is now changing at a rapid pace.

In fact store visits and offline conversions are becoming a new standard and must-have metrics for brands. Eventually offline visits will be a critical metric for providers of SMB marketing services as well. Indeed, it’s already starting to happen.

As evidence of what I’m saying, here are just a few examples of new offline measurement capabilities announced in the past week:

ZenithOptimedia (ZO) and NinthDecimal announced a relationship last week wherein ZO would use the latter’s “LCI” location intelligence platform to measure digital’s impact on offline store visits and to help improve real-time campaign optimization — optimization for offline visits.

ZO has committed to using NinthDecimal technology broadly across its client base, initially for offline digital media tracking but ultimately for media planning and traditional media measurement as well. The pair described the partnership creating “a new standard of omni-channel measurement and audience insights.”

Last week PlaceIQ also announced a sweeping deal that will expand the measurement of television advertising’s impact on offline store visits and sales. The announcement was made with partners Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) and Acxiom.

PlaceIQ is helping SMG link TV ad exposure to in-store visits. As with the ZO-NinthDecimal deal, there are significant audience segmentation and media planning implications here too.

Just yesterday Square announced new email marketing and CRM tools for small businesses under the rubric of “Square Marketing.” The chief innovations are pre-defined audience segments based on customer purchase history and closed loop tracking.

Because Square operates the POS it knows which customers came into local stores or business locations and bought something. Those purchases can be connected to email opens for clear attribution to offline sales — not just visits.

In addition, Google has been improving and beefing up its Store Visits metrics for AdWords advertisers as part of its broader Estimated Total Conversions program. And there’s more coming soon.

Facebook and Twitter have also been adding “real-world” metrics to their advertising programs. Most recently Facebook added (offline) Conversion Lift Measurement to its offering for larger advertisers. It will eventually add this capability for SMB advertising as well.

Taken together all these developments — as well as others from xAd, ThinkNear, Verve and Skyhook — signal a measurement migration from clicks, impressions and even “engagement” to more results-oriented real world metrics that matter.

At LSA 15 we have quite a few sessions dedicated to how location is being used to define audiences, measure ad impact across devices and ultimately in the real world. If you want to fully understand these critical developments and how the market is changing you need to attend.

One Response to “Offline Conversion Metrics Becoming A Critical New Standard”

  1. Good stuff. All above are major steps forward for retailers and restaurants that have locations and/or loyalty programs. For brand manufacturers, the equally monumental change is in the migration from surveys & coupons, to actual sales lift for specific skus in specific stores. This is currently available across more than 60,000 stores including Walmart and other mass merchants, grocery and drug retailers.

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