Is Online Tracking Dying? How Offline Tracking Can Save the Day


ADOTAS – The internet was supposed to be a marketer’s nirvana. Every action consumers made digitally could be tracked, stored and repurposed for advertisers. Yet a number of recent events pose a huge challenge to ad measurement:

Microsoft has announced it will effectively encourage users to select “Do Not Track” when it releases Internet Explorer 10.
As mobile devices occupy 23 percent of our media viewing time, consumers spend much of their time on apps that can’t be easily associated with other mobile activity.
These mobile devices come in all shapes and sizes, requiring marketers to consider measurement solutions for the Apple, Amazon, Google and Blackberry families of products.

Ironically, a consumer’s offline engagement with digital ads is one of the most promising measurement solutions.  For starters, phone calls (62 percent) and in-store visits (59 percent) are the most common response to a mobile local search (according to Google/Ipsos). In addition, if a consumer redeems a coupon or makes a phone call from a specific digital campaign, this offline event can be associated to a digital advertising event and provide ample opportunity to understand consumer engagement.

For example, a travel offer is targeted to a group of mobile apps believed to index young and affluent. Using a specific call tracking number to measure inbound phone calls from this campaign not only provides a measure of engagement, but the inbound phone numbers tell you whether or not it’s actually the young and affluent responding or a different segment less likely to be a loyal, repeat customers (data companies are doing an increasingly better job at modeling demographics based on mobile phone numbers).

Taking this a step further, an integrated call analytics solution can tell you whether each phone call was a new customer, a follow-up call or a wrong number. Purchase data can be tied to the advertising campaign. Demographic data from purchases can guide the next set of media buys and the ad creative based on the products that best converted from the previous campaign.

With digital-only measurement threatened by a fragmented mobile ecosystem and the new generation of web browsers, digital marketers can look to offline measurement in the form call tracking numbers and coupon codes as the new “tracking pixel.”





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