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Bringing Online to Offline, Sort Of

Since 2004 I’ve been somewhat close to print advertising through my relationship with our current President & CEO Tom. Tom and I have had several conversation with regards to print (alt media in this case) not performing as bad (ROI) as people give it credit for and search most likely doesn’t perform as well as people give it credit for. You see, before all this cross channel attribution “stuff” came into play, we were thinking down this path.

Out of these discussions first came our understanding of how print folks report on results as well as plan and make their media buys. We were accustomed to technology enabling us to manage a tremendous amount of information which simplifies our reporting and decision making process. We looked at what the print team was doing and much of this was manual. First there was the aggregation of dozens of vendor details (cost data) into a singular spreadsheet and call center conversion data (down to the zip code), to the actual media plan which links the costs to the conversions. Then they had to manually dig through this data to identify the optimal CPM where the next buy should take place. All this plus the fact that in print, when you make your first drop you start with all costs and zero conversions and as time goes on your ROI improves. Eventually (weeks or months) you gain enough data to make this CPM decision.

If you’re not from the print side, you can see how tough this is (you print folks already know this) and how we online folks do all this in a matter of minutes or seconds.

We set out to leverage our knowledge of the online process and turn this into a process used for the offline world. So, prior to ConvergeTrack, all of the data matching between media plan detail and clients’ sales leads has been manual. Thus, we were disabled from understanding program performance down to the smallest possible component. Today, we can optimize geo-data by program down to the zip-code level allowing us to drive higher quality sales at strong return-on-investment. Response curves take days, not weeks or months.

It’s one of the true innovations in the marketing world and since it’s housed under one SQL database, there’s no issues connecting offline data to online data.

Now that’s attribution.

Steve Jacoby,
Managing Director, Search

 

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