Traditionally, offline advertising has been tough to measure. With online advertisements, it’s as simple as pulling up a page to easily gauge impressions and click-throughs; offline advertising is not so simple, however. While businesses have general ideas of advertising engagement, getting hard numbers can be difficult. Without those numbers, it makes it difficult to justify the continuation of offline ads because you simply don’t know if they are driving people to your website, online store, or blog.
That’s not to say offline advertising is dead, but that you and your business will have to think outside of the box to gauge interaction and use new and creative ways of reaching people in “the real world.”
Modern Mobile Advertising
We’re not talking about mobile banner ads, but literally mobile advertising on vehicles. Bus ads and even on-car advertising have always been around, but it’s outdated, with brands unable to truly track the effectiveness or coverage of them. Russian startup, StickerRide, wants to change that. Having already been successful in Europe and Russia, they recently debuted in the US to offer brands unique, and more importantly, trackable offline advertising. They are able to do this thanks to the StickerRide app that tracks where drivers have been.
Companies work with StickerRide to come up with campaigns, locations, and graphics and drivers interested in becoming brand ambassadors sign up for the campaign through the app. StickerRide pays drivers based on their mileage and uses higher paying “flash mob” events (think outdoor fairs, concerts, or anywhere expected to have high foot traffic) to get brands in front of even more eyes. These types of innovations promote increased driving, and in turn, increased engagement for the brand.
If you already have an active website and advertising campaign, it can be nearly impossible to gauge what percentage of your traffic is coming from your offline ad campaigns. This is where a URL, unique to your offline campaign, comes in handy. By using a unique URL, it can even mirror your homepage if you so choose, your marketing team will be able to look at analytic reports to see how many visitors landed on the unique page dedicated to your offline advertising efforts.
This is by far one of the easiest and cheapest methods of gauging offline engagement and should be implemented whenever possible.
Use an attribution platform
Measuring offline advertisements (such as television commercials) in relation to online or offline sales is a tricky subject, but startups are starting to pop up that specialize in it. Clarivoy is one such company. By using a variety of technological identifiers such as IP addresses, device IDs, social monitoring, and a specialized scoring algorithm, Clarivoy is able to give you the likelihood that a particular advertisement played a factor in the purchase. By working in reverse from the time of purchase, and by using the information listed above, Clarivoy can predict if the customer was exposed to the ad in question.
This type of monitoring is extremely new, and currently requires some pretty specific factors — tv ads and their run times, for example — but it is a promising concept for the future of offline ad monitoring.
It’s hard to argue that the general public hasn’t become desensitized to ads, both offline and online, but that doesn’t change the fact that businesses will need to continue to come up with creative ways of pushing their product or service if they want to stick out from the sea of others trying to do the same thing. Online advertising continues to get snuffed due to things like ad blockers, but offline advertising is still ripe for the picking. It will just require you to offer unique advertising experiences through things like StickerRide, attribution through services like Clarivoy, and to utilize non-tech related methods like guerrilla marketing and paid mural/street art placement to leave a lasting impression in people’s minds.
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This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.