What is offline marketing attribution?
Offline attribution allows businesses to see how their customers, and potential customers, react to a digital marketing campaign in the real world. It measures the performance of your programs against your specific end goal, for example new customer visits, and shows how much each part of your marketing contributed to the result.
Offline attribution can also help you understand performance metrics such as time to conversion, average time spent at a location (dwell time), lifetime customer value (LTV), customer acquisition cost (CAC), return on investment (ROI) and customer loyalty. These insights are useful for strategic and campaign planning.
Digital advertising gives marketers the ability to track and measure online success measures such as impressions and clicks. However, a physical visit is much harder to measure than a website visit. Because 90% of retail purchases are still made offline, bridging the gap between online marketing and offline results is important to marketers.
Merchants have used solutions like coupon redemption and offer codes for years, but these options are giving way to more precise technology-based alternatives. Smartphones are a powerful tool for marketers looking to understand customer behavior in the physical world thanks to location data. This data comes from a number of sources, including:
- SDK (software development kit). An SDK is a piece of code placed within an app that tells it to collect location data. It can also send out notifications, information, offers, etc. in real-time based on the location of the user.
- Bid stream/exchange data. Latitude/longitude (lat/long) data can be acquired from mobile apps. This usually comes from ads running on installed apps. This can help activate ads and help businesses understand where customers go after being exposed to them.
- Beacon data. This data is collected with hardware located in brick and mortar locations, including WiFi hotspots and Bluetooth boxes that transmit offers to nearby shoppers. Beacons work with SDKs within apps, and deliver location data within feet of the device. Marketers can see if someone has been in a store, and for how long. Because beacons are hardware based, they have to be installed in every location they are needed.
- WiFi data. WiFi routers can collect contacts and associate them with a specific device’s unique media access control address (MAC address). This allows the WiFi router to identify when a specific device connects with it, and by extension, when a customer returns.