Tying Online Ads to In-Store Transactions Proves Beneficial

More and more, online advertising is leading to offline sales, and a variety of firms are finding a new niche in this highly effective marketing tool.

In 2012, social networking giant, Facebook, began its collaboration with Datalogix, a firm that is renowned for tying online ads to offline sales. The 2012 effort was meant to show advertisers how their ads drive offline sales. In 2013, Twitter implemented an “offline sales impact” tool developed in a partnership, also with Datalogix. That tool measured the offline sales impact of so-called “promoted” and “organic” tweets issued for packaged consumer goods, as well as automotive advertisers. Google is now partnering with some key data providers, so that it may track in-store conversions, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In fact, Google will likely be collaborating with a number of firms, including Datalogix and Acxiom, with the goal of measuring Google AdWords ads’ offline impact. This will be accomplished by matching cookies on users’ computers to in-store sales information that the data providers collect. According to the Journal, Michael’s craft stores is among the six or so advertisers that will be part of the test program. “We’re running a number of tests to help clients use their own sales data to measure how their search campaigns impact sales,” a Google spokesperson told Marketingland.com and the Journal. Google was also reportedly experimenting with the use of smartphone location data in November to track offline store visits to associate them with ads viewed on mobile devices. These types of tests are becoming more and more common.

For example, in September 2013, Google announced that it was adding in-store conversions with the introduction of its AdWords’ Estimated Total Conversions, so that advertisers would more clearly see the way in which their ads contribute to conversions, regardless of context or the type of device the customer uses. Google then implemented its Estimated Cross-Device Conversions, which track user clicks on ads from one device that later becomes a completed transaction on a different device. At the time, this was a novel conversion type that was followed with the promise that phone calls and in-store conversions were coming.

Google has since also added some new advertising features, including image extensions, which provide search advertising with greater appeal to brand advertisers. For companies, tying a search ad to its in-store transaction, provides a tangible outcome for using search advertising. Later this month, on April 22, vice president of Product Marketing for AdWords, Jerry Dischler, will be announcing some new features during a livestream from an AdWords customer conference. According to MarketingLand.com, it is not yet known if in-store conversions will be discussed; however, Dischler said that new tools to assist advertisers in measuring performance “efficiently in AdWords with new functionality designed for the multi-screen world” will be part of the discussion. Registration for the livestream is open and available at:  https://services.google.com/fb/forms/apflivestream/.

Source: Marvin, Ginny. “Like Facebook & Twitter, Google Reportedly Teaming With Data Providers To Track In-Store Sales”; MarketingLand.com. April 12, 2014.