How to measure offline campaigns and combine data with web analytics - Part 1
March 20, 2013 at 2:57 PM
by Mikul PatelDigital Marketing Consultant at Matraxis
In a world that is becoming more digitally focused, it could be said that the need for offline advertising is becoming redundant; a recent Forrester Research paper forecasted online ad spend to exceed $12.7bn in the US alone.
In an effort to bridge the gap, it is now common for offline adverts to display website URLs or even a twitter hashtag. But are marketers aware of the impact of their offline campaigns and how they drive online traffic and discussion? This two part guide will look at some of the easy tricks that you can use to help combine offline and online advertising data.
Create a custom landing page
Level of difficulty: easy
Rather than sending an offline advert viewer to the main website, a targeted landing page for only offline adverts can allow you to focus your message and increase conversions. You can also compare how offline campaigns perform against online campaigns if they are delivering the same message.
e.g. your website sells books and you run an 10% off sale advert in the local newspaper with the URL acmebooks.com/news10 displayed in print. You have an online email campaign with the same 10% off sale offer but that instead directs the user to acme acemebooks.com/email10.
Through web analytics you can then quickly compare stats such as the bounce rate and time spent on site/page. If you use Google Analytics, you can find the landing pages report at Content > Site Content > Landing Pages. With this, you can get a rough idea on which medium yields the most engagement.
- Use short URL names that are memorable and avoid input errors
- Keep a record of the URL’s used for offline/online campaigns - preferably in a spreadsheet
- To stop search engines from penalising any duplicate pages, add a noindex meta tag () which basically tells the search engine bot to not index that page
Redirected pages with campaign parameters
Level of difficulty: medium
For online marketers, the use of campaign parameters plays an important role in campaign attribution. With a simple website URL redirect, the same principle can also be applied to offline campaigns to help understand their contribution towards website activities.
e.g. your website sells shirts and you run an 10% off sale advert on TV with the URL acmeshirts.com/tv10 displayed in print. When someone enters the URL acmeshirts.com/tv10, they get redirected to another page using the campaign parameters relevant to your web analytics package
- Google Analytics version: acmeshirts.com/sale?utm_source=shirt&utm_medium=tv&utm_campaign=winter12
- Webtrends version: acmeshirts.com/sale?WT.mc_id=shirts_television_winter2012
Through Google Analytics, you would then find the campaign reports in Traffic Sources > Sources > Campaigns. In Webtrends On Demand, you would find the campaign reports within the Campaigns folder. Note: further configuration needed in Webtrends to make the parameter id legible to read within the standard reports.
- If you use multiple web analytics packages, e.g. Webtrends and Google Analytics, it is possible to use a universal campaign tagging workaround to pass campaign data to both packages.
Stay tuned for part 2 where I will discuss how you can view the impact of your offline campaigns against your website analytics
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