Imagine sitting a maths exam where marks were awarded for how neatly you drew your graphs.
As a marking system, it would be useless: Your teachers would be none the wiser about your abilities with numbers and instead gain an unwanted insight into your art skills.
The same applies for campaigns that are measured against any metric except what the marketer is ultimately trying to achieve. If a campaign’s aims and the metrics by which it will be measured are not in perfect alignment, then the results will simply tell the wrong story.
Sometimes, the matter of measurement is easy. For a publisher with an email newsletter, the choice might be between open or click-through rates. But for more complex campaigns that harness location data, doubts persist about best practice for measuring success – so below, we’ve given a rundown.
Connecting the online and offline worlds
Location data brings the real and digital worlds together; at their most basic, location-based campaigns can segment and reach highly specific audiences based on where they go in the world for maximum effect.
In one instance, Jaguar used historic location data combined with the licensing authority’s data to map individuals who previously owned a Jaguar and recently visited a Jaguar or a competitor’s dealership. The campaign was fuelled by real-world information, but the ultimate goal was re-targeting online to inspire individuals to book test drives.
For a campaign like Jaguar’s, which uses location data purely to craft the perfect audience, measurement is unlikely to cause a headache: Metrics should be the same as an online campaign depending on the ultimate goal, whether that is test drive bookings, as with this example, or others such as store visits or video completion.
Real-world metrics for real-world impact
The IAB calls store traffic the “connective tissue between online and offline worlds“. Despite the meteoric rise of online shopping, the majority of purchases are still made in-store, meaning store visits and in-store sales are still the goal that marketers strive towards.
Twitter has shown that telco companies that advertise on its platform have increased foot traffic to their stores by 23% and boosted revenue by 7%. There are several ways of measuring foot traffic following an online campaign, using either beacons, sensors, or Wi-Fi; when a device that is linked to online ad exposure interacts with any of these at a brand’s physical store, it is a sure sign of the campaign’s success.
While beacon and sensor technology is yet to see widespread adoption in South Africa, beacons and sensors will soon allow marketers to see where consumers are to a high level of precision, such as when they enter a certain aisle. If Shoprite supermarkets install beacons or sensors then the food brands that retail there will be able to know when a consumer has just entered a store where their products are sold, and when – more importantly – they have actually gone to the specific place where their products are found.
Online campaigns are not the source of all foot traffic, however: If a gym chain created an OOH campaign with beacon technology on the premises, that brand would be able to use that beacon data to link OOH ad exposure to visits and free trial sign-ups.
Alternatively, if an anonymised device ID gleaned from a mall’s Wi-Fi is used for re-targeting in a KFC campaign then later picked up on the fast-food chain’s Wi-Fi, it also points to conversion.
A deeper audience understanding
Using the right metric to assess a campaign is all well and good, but the importance of measurement does not end there. Brands can combine historic and real-time location data with campaign results and other data sources to build their ideal audience over time, honing in on their behaviours, preferences, and values in order to reach ever more highly qualified leads.
Future campaigns should be informed not only with basic demographic data or someone’s real-time location, as these insights alone are not nuanced enough. With the addition of offline data such as historic location data, in-store shopping patterns, and exposure to OOH ads, marketers can easily identify their perfect customers.
South Africa’s mobile advertising revenue is forecast to hit R1.891 million in 2019, at a CAGR of 19.6% since 2014. An increasing portion of that revenue will come from location data, which is becoming an essential building block in the foundation of marketing strategies as brands increasingly realise the importance and value of knowing where their audience goes.
But what makes location campaigns go further is the intelligent use of metrics, ensuring the campaign is measured against its ultimate goal and allowing future campaigns to benefit from the insights of previous ones.
Shaun Rosen is the CEO of Mobiclicks.