6 Tools to Track the Real World Impact of Online Ads

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wifiAs brands dig deeper into local advertising, and programmatic buying gains steam, the need for online-to-offline tracking has gotten greater. In an effort to prove ROI and justify the cost of their digital campaigns, brand marketers are running highly targeted studies to determine how well their tactics are working.

The percentage of companies that analyze online-to-offline interactions is steadily growing — reaching 48% in 2013, according to Econsultancy. As interest grows, hyperlocal vendors are rising to the occasion and refining the metrics they provide. Vendors are doing more than just demonstrating whether online consumers are making purchases in-store. In many cases, they’re actually providing dwell times and visit frequency rates to help retailers understand which digital tactics are and aren’t working in a real world sales environment.

Here are six tools that businesses can use to track the real world impact of their online ads.

1. Walkbase: Compare online and offline traffic.
Walkbase is a retail analytics platform that gives businesses insight into the impact that their digital marketing efforts are having on sales and foot traffic at their brick-and-mortar stores. The company provides its retail clients with capture rates, visit frequency and dwell times. Thanks to an integration with Google Analytics, Walkbase also allows retailers to match CTRs for online campaigns with physical foot-traffic patterns in their stores. By comparing this information, along with pre-campaign data, into a head-to-head format, businesses can evaluate the efficiency of their campaigns and understand how online ads translate to offline visits.

2. Datalogix: Connect digital campaigns to offline sales.
Datalogix’s platform provides retailers with the ability to measure their digital marketing tactics at scale, including digital, social, mobile, email, video and website traffic. Datalogix measures the impressions that get served against in-store purchasing data. The company then uses its results to determine how specific “sub-populations” respond to digital ad campaigns. CRM and purchase data can also be matched to online audiences for ad targeting purposes.

3. JiWire: Measure increases in foot traffic as a result of mobile ad spend.
In developing the Location Conversion Index, JiWire has created what it calls the “first accurate mobile ROI advertising measurement.” The LCI establishes a benchmark of how likely a specific audience is to visit a store based on historical rates, and then measures how many people visited after seeing a digital ad, taking into account other factors (like weather) that could result in an increase in visits. The platform also differentiates between customers who are inside a store and those who are just walking nearby.

4. Dynamic Logic: Quantify the behavioral effects of digital ads.
How does online advertising influence the real-world behavior of customers? Dynamic Logic is looking to answer this question by “quantifying the attitudinal and behavioral effects of advertising.” Using real-time survey data, marketers can optimize their digital campaigns based on their desired audience metrics. Using the company’s proprietary CrossMedia Research solution, brands are able to gain insight into the ROI they’re getting from multimedia campaigns.

5. Placed: Connect the dots between digital ads and physical traffic.
Using Placed’s Attribution tools, businesses are able to understand the relationship between digital ad impressions and in-store visits. The reports that Placed generates can be parsed by day, and they are designed to show the impact that audience targeting has on driving in-store traffic. For example, a retailer can use Placed Attribution to measure the characteristics of the audience exposed to any given ad, including the category, feature, and index.

6. Catalina: Match in-store purchases with online behavior.
Catalina’s BuyerVision provides advertisers with a way to improve the effectiveness of their digital media campaigns. Retailers and CPG brands can analyze the purchasing behaviors of their in-store customers, and match that information against the online behavior of consumers who are served their digital ads using online cookies and anonymized mobile IDs. Catalina differentiates itself from competitors by offering “multi-channel campaigns” that include display, video, and mobile advertising.

Know of other platforms that retailers can use to track the real world impact of online ads? Leave a description in the comments.

Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.