Tracking Offline Marketing Campaigns Via Online Analytics Tools
We see it littered on every billboard and cried out from every TV Channel. The ubiquitous Facebook Icon & website, unheard of marketing tools even a decade ago, now play a supporting role in all marketing & communication in the country. In fact, in case of Suzuki Kazashi launch in Pakistan, digital media was used as the main communication and sales channel. A first for the country.
Already more than 10 million cookies a week (source: Google) are now accessing the web in Pakistan (60% mobile) with average media consumption estimated between 1-3 hours daily. Over 19 million Facebook accounts later and when even local publishers like Tune.pk now serve well over 13 million sessions a month from the country, it befuddles the mind as to why despite accounting for higher consumption patterns than most traditional channels, it is still considered a secondary ‘good to have’ channel. Core reason being that both marketers and agencies are lacking the means to demonstrate impact in quantitative terms to cross channel effects and digital marketing ROI.
The real value of correlations analyses can be tapped when they’re based on user’s individual customer journeys, ideally across devices and channels.If lacking the means to demonstrate impact in quantitative terms to cross channel effects and digital marketing ROI are what’s standing in the way of more investments in the channels, than the following methodologies based on organizational capabilities and digital maturity level of agencies and marketers will help bring the value of the digital channels to the forefront
Thus the following provides directional road maps towards attaining ‘attribution’ nirvana.
For The Digitally Aware
Defined as marketers who focus their energies on social channels and on an Informational web presence. KPIs set as traffic, CTR and social engagements (likes, comments, etc). Little or no strategic objectives tied to marketing objectives.
For advertisers with at a minimal of a website and a Facebook page, the simplest measure of efficacy of traditional media online is ‘Direct Traffic’. This is the traffic defined as where a customer typed the URL directly to the website or found their way to your social channels via social search.
A simple and ubiquitous tool like Google Analytics will show you if direct traffic correlates to the timing of your offline campaign such as TV spots, a print ad or new billboards. You can be sure that these extra visits can be attributed to the offline channels.
#Hashes or hashtags as they’re also known, can also prove useful in tracking keywords important to business such as brand mentions or to the campaign at large. Hashes can be created for brands, events and campaigns and are easily tracked using the standard search tools available on all social channels.
e.g. we see that the Pepsi ‘LiveItabhi’ is being shared on Twitter.com as per the example below:
Track Brand Mentions of your website made by others.
Traditional marketing stimulates consumer behavior towards digital channels in Pakistan. It is logical, after all, that a popular brand, news or campaign would have people talking about it online than one that is not popular. Popular campaigns covered by online media blogs to the latest lawn clothing, online buzz and conversations, all can be measured even by those not savvy to analytics. Using Reputation & Keyword Monitoring Software e.g. brands can determine as to what drives ‘conversations’ and the ‘influencers’ in this regard.
Some data from Pakistan e.g. for Hubco’s recent announcement of ‘earnings up 62% news’ drove the topic in the ‘social space’ by those following the company. Some data captured from the time included:
Whilst this on its own is rudimentary, pulling the data into an analytics engine revealed some interesting insights e.g. Express Tribune alone generated over 300,000 earned media impressions for Hubco by tweeting about the news whilst bloggers like Umer Hafeez contributed over 10,000 free earned impressions for Hubco.
We can also see the rise of the conversations and the Keywords which drove the maximum interest of these social-ites.
Brand or Campaign mentions on their own of course do not tell the whole story. However marketers should think ‘buzz’ as a concept beyond traditional channels and aim to create and track those online as well. A few guidelines which might help your content to go ‘Viral’ – Content should either be Funny, Highly Charged (think plunking heart-strings) or plainly Inspirational. Also it should not be ‘In your face’ or overtly promotional. It also helps if you ‘Seed’ the content online.
For The Digitally Activated
Defined as marketers who have moved beyond social into content marketing, CRM and use their websites beyond the “digital brochure” level. Strategic objectives determine KPIs and measured towards marketing objectives.
For marketers who have had some experience of working with digital channels, can move forward towards integration of both online and offline channels. Some of the ways to make digital work to measure offline data includes:
Site surveys are becoming an increasingly popular means of evaluating the efficacy of advertising, online experiences, customer satisfaction and request for feedback/improvements based on real visitor data. Foodpanda.pk e.g. actively surveys its digital audiences for channel efficacy and sales ROI.
These will also help gauge ‘Brand Lift’ defined as the “increase in positive interaction with and/or perception of a brand after post-exposure”. Success metrics which make up Brand Lift such as unaided brand recall, aided brand recall, brand favorability, brand trust, likelihood of visitation to the online/offline store, likelihood of purchase, and likelihood to recommend can also be surveyed from online audiences and if you’re digital commerce ready, easily tied to sales.
Custom Landing Pages
One of the best means of tracking offline promotions online is via the use of custom landing pages specifically created for offline marketing campaigns e.g. Pepsi could have created www.pepsi.com/liveitabhi (they didn’t) instead of sending TV audiences directly to www.pepsi.com (they didn’t do that either).
Custom landing pages focus the content and the audience’s attention around the incoming visitor’s profiles. E.g. TV audiences can be directed to visit www.pepsi.com/liveitabhi whilst outdoor audiences can be directed to www.pepsi.com/liveitoutdoors. Each page will have content specific to its incoming traffic. This allows advertisers to segment audiences (and efficacy) even better. Coca Cola being more proactive however seems to have created a small landing page for 100 years of coke campaign http://www.coca-cola.com.pk/.
Meezan Bank for its recent ‘Riba Say Azadi’ Campaign used a custom landing page to capture all leads specific to the online audiences.
A good rule of thumb is to keep custom page URLs short. Typing out complicated URLs especially on mobile phones is an impossible feat.
Another means to track offline promotions is through domains specifically created to redirect visitors to (ideally) custom landing pages or your main website. Using the same example above, Pepsi Pakistan creates www.liveitabhi.com and advertises it on traditional channels. A person typing this URL automatically redirects to www.pepsi.com. With the unique URL, marketers can thus easily track the audiences from traditional media referrals independently via their analytics tools.
Customized Discount Codes
Custom discount codes are another popular solution towards tracking offline marketing campaigns. Simple enough to implement, the advertiser can places a customized discount code in each channel. MI Digital e.g. promises anyone who uses the code AURORA15 for 15% off your order for a website if you send us a query from our website www.midigital.co. Unique codes in each city area or medium can help track offline efficacy.
For Digitally Addicted Marketers
Defined as marketers who use data, analytics, and marketing-automation platforms. Have a digital strategy in place that covers integrated and multi-channel marketing. Is looking to or has already integrated customer services / CRM, sales, and inventory management capabilities with their digital solutions.
For the truly connected, the offline and online worlds are merely part of the same equation. Such ‘unicorns’ epitomize, optimize and use the full potential of digital channels to their organization’s advantage. Some of the manners this is possible include:
With the second-screen device usage going up, especially during ‘national events’ like ‘Cricket World Cup’, marketers can optimize TV spends with the same accurate granularity as digital.
Using very sophisticated analytics solutions, advertisers can overlay the TV media spots data on a minute by minute basis over the analytics data gathered from all channels allowing them to see the incremental lift whilst unearthing spot opportunities for greater efficacy both immediately and over the long term period. Marketers can segment based on:
Activity Type Data: Search increases by brand and category keywords, Direct and Call Ins.
Device Type Data: Data by Desktop PCs, Mobile and Tablets.
Other Pairings Data: Mobile / ISP network and program, TVC Versioning Efficacy, TVC Length Efficacy, Day-parting data and even geography can be co-related.
With digital commerce integrated, the marketer’s actual conversion and sales data can also be fed to this TV attribution data set to provide ROI metrics.
Rise in Branded & Related Searches
Searches on brand name terms or campaign searches correlate rather nicely with offline media. This is especially true with a campaign running with a unique slogan which helps in tracking these searches. E.g. in the example below, the traffic from the Branded Keyword ‘Meat One’ searches during our last campaign increased by 235% in March – April, 2015 and ‘Direct Traffic’ to the site increased by 259% during the same period.
Source: Google Trends
Google trends showcases the data perfectly, showing how the brand got a lift of 13% in its branded Keyword search online during the campaign period.
Cross Channel Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs that are designed to work and reward cross-channel are ready to be launched in Pakistan. Such loyalty cards will give advertisers the possibility to track sales from a micro-segment of one irrespective of channel behavior. Such unique identifiers when connected to actions online and offline will provide a rich source of behavioral data that can be used to customize offerings personalized to customers wherever they are.
For Big Data Users
Linking Audience to IDs
Whilst this would be out of the scope of the article and the general populace of advertisers, as a marketer with Big Data you will have the ability to provide individual IDs of your customers (that are already associated with their online behavior), along with their Personal Information (name and address) to data management platforms such as BlueKai.
Those DMPs overlay demographic data from their databases onto those names/individual IDs and provide them back to you.
Running attribution on this data will than segment the audiences and can help determine customer’s lifetime value, highest propensity to convert and optimization of tactics and channels on efficiency basis.
The time is drawing near where due to the ever increasing fragmentation, the need for maximizing overall ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend) will become the Pakistani’s advertiser’s first priority. There is now a real need to go beyond CTR and understand digital media channels better with such cross channel attribution initiatives along with the possibilities and the efficiencies to be gained for the future. For advertisers, It is now time to mix-up their love affair with traditional with a strong dose of digital.
Note: This article first appeared in Aurora, Jul-August, 2015 Issue.