ROI & Metrics: Need for Integrating Offline & Online Campaigns

Offline Awareness, Online Research, Offline Conversion
Note: Some liberties were taken with the statistics to simplify the diagram.

Summary: Up Your Analytics, Strengthen Your Content, Smarten Your SEM

A recent study by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association has found that traditional offline media – such as Magazines, TV and Newspapers – were a high factor (>~42%) in leading to consumers conducting online research on the product/service advertised.

This completes the conversion loop when comparing to the Google’s number showing that of the “25% purchased an item relating to their query, and of that number, the majority – 63% — completed that purchase offline.”

What does this mean:

  • Analytics Integration: Reinforces the Need for Marketing and Sales Analytics that can take offline and online consumer activities and behavior, since consumers freely move from offline and online worlds.
  • Multi-Stage SEM Strategy: The SEM Strategy (SEO and PPC) must properly target both research phrase consumers, as well as, purchasing phase consumers.
  • Content Funneling: Good Content is key to help funneling consumers in “research mode” to become consumers in “purchase mode”.

Offline Awareness, Online Research, Offline Conversion

MediaPost has recently reported on a “Retail Advertising and Marketing Association” done by “BIGresearch’s Simultaneous Media Survey”, which found the following numbers that consumers were most likely to search online after viewing:

  • Advertisements in magazines (47.2%)
  • Newspapers (42.3%)
  • Ads on TV (42.8%)
  • From reading articles (43.7%)

Combine this with Google’s 2006 ComScore data which pointed to:

“Of 83 million Americans tracked by comScore who searched at one of the 24 top search engines in November and December, 25% purchased an item relating to their query, and of that number, the majority – 63% — completed that purchase offline.”

Tracking Offline and Online Marketing/Sales Analytics

At the moment, many companies house their online marketing/sales data completely segregated away from their offline marketing/sales data. Indeed, most website analytics tools are packaged this way, with the exception of the enterprise models that integrate with the company’s CRM datawarehouse. But that’s a major effort and still mostly focuses one way traffic flow: Online Visitor > Offline Purchaser.

Off the top of my head, hear are some straightforward suggestions I’ve offered.

  • Getting the ZIP code (from the online registration) and geographic area (of those that visit online) and mapping that to where your stores are (or should be)
  • Website-Only Coupons
  • Ask your customers! Do a survey as part of loyalty program

e-Storm International, my employer, does have an interesting partner that has a powerful tool that can actually estimate how offline media can shift people’s behavior online and vice-versa. Time for Emergence-Media to conduct interviews?

Multi-Stage SEM Strategy and Content Funneling

Keeping in mind that the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association data shows that online search is a major research tool for consumers, this reinforces the need for 1) “content funneling” (see below); and 2) also translates to need a smart SEM strategy to push that content to consumers who are researching those that are looking to by.

Note this applies to both consumers who convert offline and online; what ties these two together is both use the web as a research tool.

Content Funneling

Content Funnel

Content Funneling is an issue that Emergence-Media has dicussed before in “Building Content for Branded and Non-Branded Search“:

“Content is King” is the old Maxim. And for “SEOing” e-commerce websites, it is about ensuring that the e-commerce website has the type of content the user is looking for for each step of the buying process: 1) General Research (”Why are HD DVD Players different?” Page); 2) Targeted Research (”HD DVD Player Review & Guide” Page); and 3) Purchasers (Product Page for the Specific Item).

It comes down to this: around 40% of consumers will be motivated to do an online search after seeing your ad on TV, Print etc, so when they do their research online will they find buying/product guides (for those not ready to buy) or maybe your product page (if they are ready to buy online)?

Multi-Stage SEM Strategy

Avinash Kaushik has just done an incredible insightful posting on this in “How Thick is Your Head and How Long is Your Tail?“, so I’ll show a teaser here, but I highly recommended reading the whole thing.

From Avinash Kauskik
Take From Avinash Kaushik

Avinash’s “Killer Search Marketing strategy recommendation”:

  1. Focus your SEM budgets deliberately to leverage the Long Tail (/Category key terms).
  2. Focus all your SEO efforts on SEO’ing the heck out of your website / web pages for your Brand key terms (those that are in your Head).



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5 responses to “ROI & Metrics: Need for Integrating Offline & Online Campaigns”

  1. Swati Avatar

    Interesteing data. Is there insight into this from a industry vertical perspective – is this different for retail food, electronics, etc.

  2. Daniel R Avatar
    Daniel R


    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    Most of the data I’ve seen focuses on general data or consumer electronics area, with consumer electronics, especially video games/consoles, being the strongest case for those who research online, but buy offline.

  3. […] ROI & Metrics: Need for Integrating Offline & Online Campaigns at Emergence Media (tags: statistics marketing internet onlinemarketing emarketing longtail Analysis) […]

  4. Adam T. Sutton Avatar

    This is very interesting data. Unfortunately for most magazine, newspaper and television producers, users that decide to search for their websites are not likely to find anything new online. Publishers too often just throw their magazine content onto a website, and users hate that. They prefer unique content, which will keep them coming back for more conversions.
    Publishers need to take more advantage of their print publication’s ability to drive users to their websites, and they need to have something worthwhile waiting for the users when they get there. We discuss tips to drive more traffic to websites frequently at . Anyone wishing to increase traffic and how to turn that into revenue should check it out.

  5. Daniel R Avatar
    Daniel R


    “Publishers too often just throw their magazine content onto a website, and users hate that.”

    Very true, and not just for publishers who have content offline and online. Even offline guerrilla campaigns fail to integrate the online media successfully, see:

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