TECH TALK #1: Online & Offline

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Adotas is pleased to launch a series of Tech Talks that offer insights and explanations regarding the sometimes mysterious meaning and use of various digital tools. Your guide is Stephen Upstone, CEO of LoopMe.

“Online and Offline” need not be a stumbling block. One of the many terms you’ll hear in the world of marketing tech is “online and offline”. It might not be the most technical-sounding term, but exactly what does it refer to, and why should we be paying attention to it?

When it comes to online behavior, consumers leave a digital footprint and generate large amounts of data. That might be from searching holiday destinations on their desktop, browsing new outfits on their mobile, playing games on their tablet or watching films on their connected television. As for offline activity, there will be times when consumers are exposed to out-of-home advertising, like billboards for car insurance or for a limited-edition flavor of potato chips. Importantly, consumers still make many of their purchases in physical stores.

Successful conversions are the lifeblood of marketers, but the path to purchase in today’s world often remains a combination of online and offline activity. Consumers might see your digital ads, but instead of buying online, they might actually go to a physical store to buy your product. Alternatively, they might see your billboard ads, and later purchase your product online. How do you track and attribute sales in this context? Well, this is where marketing tech gets interesting, and “online and offline” really becomes important.

New technologies are increasingly helping marketers join the dots between consumers’ online and offline activity. Location data is particularly useful. An increase in online sales in a particular zip code can be attributed to an out-of-home campaign running in that area, for example. Transaction data means that a customers’ in-store purchase can be linked to the digital advertising campaign they were exposed to online.

Even more interesting, this online data can then be used to promote offline activity. If a brand can establish which customers are buying a product in store after seeing an ad, it’s possible to target consumers who have a high probability of following the same pattern. AI and data can help unlock online’s offline potential.

Bridging the online and offline frontiers need not be a stumbling block for marketers. Digital marketing isn’t just about targeting the right person, with the right ad at the right time: it’s also about harnessing data to recognize and drive the interaction between online and offline activity.

 

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