According to ‘The Local Merchant’ a report generated in 2015 from Street Flight and Business Owners find that Online Advertising has proven to be the most effective marketing platform for their business but many still want to Track Online Marketing ROI for their Offline Business. And according to Google, 90% of sales still happen in stores and not online.
However, it was noted that tracking ROI the digital way was a big struggle for most of them. But those who do no track, do not know where their efforts and investments are heading. So, we bring you 5 most effective ways of tracking online ROI for your offline stores.
1. Store visit figures
Store visit metrics help you to determine the intent from customers who are willing to visit your offline store. Google surveyed the same on around 5 million people and confirmed the report to be 99% accurate. If you want to use this method, you simply need to claim your business location using Google my business. After verification, you are required to add your location on map to all your marketing channels whether it is offline or offline. The measure of intent is a good way to scale which campaigns are your main source of customers that land up at your store. You can deploy these for measuring your visit figures:
- Google AdWords
- Facebook Local Awareness
- Kuponi Smart Widgets
2. Coupons and Promo Codes
In the online world of spending and specially in such times of demonetization, who wouldn’t love the coupons and the promo codes? This is the technique to provide the customer with an incentive when he makes a purchase. This allows you to measure how effective various media channels are and enables you to deploy marketing in a controlled manner and test different advertisements and offerings that your business has to offer.
Let’s analyze this with an example. Say you are offering a different offer for different product, you can display different coupon codes in order to track which has made more sale and therefore know which where you need to make changes and by how much. You need to simply require the customer to hand over the coupon code to you at the time of purchase and tell you where exactly he found them. This also helps you to know whether your marketing efforts are reaching the right audience and by what amount.
3. Trackable cell phone numbers
This is a very simple yet effective method to know the source of traffic. Different ads can have different phone numbers thus helping you to track the source. Let’s say, for instance, you are running ads on the search engines such as Google search and Bing search, then you can provide two different phone numbers for each of them respectively. Then when a user calls you from the number you provided in the Google ad, you know where the sales has been generated from. Similarly, for Bing search ads. This method is effective when you have large group of ads and you want to find an effective method to calculate ROI on each ad. However, if you intend to track the calls down to the keyword, this method can become a bit expensive for you as you will be requiring as many phone numbers as the number of keywords you have provided. This is not practically possible, so keep this method for use when you need to track ROI in groups and not when you need them on a keyword level of detail.
Since, this is a problem, there is a solution as well. Some of the online tracking companies uses dynamic phone numbers, but let’s keep this detail for another time.
4. Brand Surveys
These types of surveys are used to keep a check on the awareness, loyalty and liking the customers have for a particular brand following the advertising program. The best results are seen when these brand surveys are conducted twice – one before and one after the ad.
If you aim to elevate awareness and you want to stand out from the competition, then these type of surveys prove effective enough to scale the impact of an advertisement or marketing campaign on your consumers. To avoid the risk of getting misleading results, take special care that if you want to have a clear understanding in the shift in customer sentiment, the audience you are making as your survey subject should not have been exposed to the tangential messaging during the same time period.
It is advisable to consult a marketing team which has a prior experience in this sector when you are developing the surveying methodology. You may conduct these surveys online, via email and either by phone or in person. Make your research program customized to meet the organizational needs if you are looking for a statistically relevant result.
5. Social Media Monitoring
Let’s assume that you like the idea of brand survey, but not interested in investing the required resources to collect data from your consumers, how else can you measure the impact your advertising campaign has on your customer? One of the proven methods is to monitor the social media to check if there is a change in the discussion pertaining to your brand, service or product. You can utilize the tools, both free and paid that will help you monitor the social media chatter. Some of them are:
- Social Mention
You should look at some of the factors governing the tools:
A – How has the volume of discussion or ‘chatter’ changed regarding your brand before, during and after your campaign? For accomplishing this task, you need to figure out the benchmark of discussion frequency before the campaign has begun. Ideally speaking, you need to monitor this over a period of 6 months or 1 year if you want to minimize the impact seasonality has on your benchmark.
B – The change in attitude or sentiments of consumers towards your brand or product or service before, during and after the campaign. The main goal is to make a note that the discussion on social media is positive, negative or neutral pertaining to your brand.
However, the downside to using this method for tracking ROI of your advertising and marketing efforts is that the data you collect is from a highly motivated part of your customers and not from all of them. If you need a realistic figure about what your brand is amongst the audience, you need customers who feel very strongly about your brand, both in a positive and in a negative way to talk to you about it online.
These are real shortcuts and at the same time great solutions to track your ROI for offline shopping while advertising online, but you should really try many more methods available to see which method moves the needle and yields the most accurate results. These will only get you a deeper understanding of your performance and what’s blocking you from moving ahead. So, what’s your favorite method?