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» Tracking Offline Conversions

  • “Traditional companies often found that much of their advertising dollars were wasted. Today, we still witness the same business problems of identifying which advertising works and which doesn't.”

    Paul Hamilton


This certain need for better accountability of business advertising dollars is making and breaking many. C-level managers are demanding to know whether their advertising dollars are bringing an acceptable return or not.

Online marketers do struggle to find ways to measure the effectiveness of advertising, including those elusive offline conversions.

Offline Conversions from Internet Presence

...Simply - sales that start online but are completed offline. Many online converted sales businesses celebrate are now taking place by phone calls or visits to physical stores, but the challenge is tracking that customer behavior after customers leave their computers.

With so many competitors entering the online arena, the ability to optimize and streamline campaigns is going to be increasingly important in the future.

Online analytics programs do some of the work of collecting online conversion data, but when subjects of offline conversion tracking comes up in a business meeting, it's usually followed by despair or confusion. Measuring offline conversions and proving on paper that the online marketing triggered the offline conversion is indeed tricky.

How Online Search and PR Drive Offline Sales

A few years ago, a comScore study for Google showed 63% of purchases by consumers who conducted online searches were made offline. Consumers called or went to local stores rather than purchasing an item from a web site. This is proof that even local businesses should be paying more attention to their web presence as statistics grow in both International AND local Online searches.

The comScore study showed very high offline conversions in many areas. Video games and consoles were converting a large 93% of buyers offline! These were buyers who started an online search then left their PCs to purchase in stores. The influence of online search driving offline sales in many catagories has grown so rapidly in the last few years as well.

Why are so many web searched purchases made offline? Many businesses today prefer offline conversions. B2B companies and companies with long, drawn-out or complicated sales processes prefer to speak directly with customers to provide clarification, define wholesale accounts, etc. Many lead-generation strategies performed online purposefully direct online prospects to offline channels for conversion.

How Web Search Behavior Dictates Purchases

Neilsen / NetRatings and WebVisible search studies have revealed that local search behavior is quite different than strictly Internet Retailer searches, where the transaction has to occur online.

According to Neilsen / NetRatings and WebVisible studies, local searches would find a local business via search, but then use the phone 68% of the time to make contact with and/or purchase from business.

The results of these studies indicate that even if you are a local company, you should be advertising online. If you are already advertising online and your company completes any transactions offline, you may want to track offline conversions to get a complete picture of the importance of your Internet presence. This may also provide more opportunities to improve your offline tracking, as many businesses find dollars are better spent online today.

Try looking into offline conversion tracking ideas to help provide the information you need to make better business marketing decisions and to better allocate your advertising resources. Companies using web-only analytics, and not offline conversion tracking may be missing a piece of 2015's marketing puzzle.

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