Linking online marketing to offline consumer behavior

by Heather Roach, 08 Jun 2017

It’s no secret that in today’s world, it’s critical for online and digital marketing to be staples in any well-rounded marketing plan. But for brick and mortar industries such as retail or restaurants, one key challenge for brands is connecting online marketing to in-store results. The big question is: “how can I accurately prove that my online marketing is driving in-store sales?” The answer is surprisingly common. So common that you probably have one sitting on your desk, or in your pocket right now. That’s right, our mobile devices are the key to linking online and offline. By using mobile location data, marketers can tie exposure to and engagement with online advertising to in-store foot traffic and even sales. But before you set off on tracking store visits, there are several factors that need to be in place to make the most out of the location data linked to online ads:
  1. Know your community: Knowing and mapping the precise location of your store(s) and the surrounding store(s) is crucial to measuring store visits. By tracking visits to other stores in the area, you will begin to see patterns of behavior and movement that can provide insight for other channels of your marketing plan.
  2. Know your audience: Along with knowing movement patterns of your customers, you should also have a good knowledge of who your customers are. If you have a base reading on who your customers are, you can pair that with mobile data coming in to build even stronger customer profiles with insights such as visit frequency, travel distance, and time to visit from ad exposure.
  3. Ensure healthy data: A key component to measuring store visits is to establish a control group. Make sure you set aside a portion of your target audience as a control so that you can measure not only store visits, but store visit lift as well. You should also have clear parameters defining a store visit. For example, a 30 second visit could just be someone passing through, or a 6 hour visit would likely be an employee; make sure to only read those visits that are within your parameters.
By knowing these factors and working with media partners who have all three in place, you and your brand will be on the road to capturing real-world results from online marketing.