Paving the Path to Faster and More Accurate Online to Offline Attribution

US marketers spent nearly $60 billion in digital media last year, driving store traffic and influencing 64% of all brick and mortar retail sales, according to Deloitte Digital. The beauty of digital advertising is that it comes with a powerful set of capabilities for measuring performance. Click-through rates and online sales conversion from digital ads can be easily tracked for virtually any campaign. But what about measuring the impact of digital ads on OFFLINE behaviors, such as visits to physical retail stores, where more than 90% of retail sales take place? Unfortunately, existing solutions for understanding this critical online to offline linkage suffer from a variety of challenges, including data inaccuracies, lack of transparency, and long leadtimes for results reporting. Fortunately, that’s all about to change . . .

With the recent launch of Swirl Attribution, Swirl is helping marketers and media buyers take advantage of retailer-owned location signals (including in-store beacons) to optimize their digital advertising investments. Swirl’s online to offline attribution solution allows retailers to quickly and accurately measure the drive-to-store/drive-to-aisle effectiveness of specific online advertising campaigns. By comparing the rate of retail store visits for shoppers who were exposed to a particular online ad against the natural rate of store visits for a large-scale audience of consumers who have opted-in to share their mobile location data, Swirl enables retailers to quantify the precise impact of their digital investments on store traffic. Real-time reporting means that marketers can measure and optimize their campaigns on an ongoing basis, ensuring that they get the most from their digital media investments.

Most of the existing online to offline marketing attribution solutions available today rely on GPS location or panel-based data, both of which are burdened with a variety of shortcomings. According to the Mobile Marketing Association, less than one-third of ad requests that contain GPS-based location data are accurate within 50 – 100 meters of the user’s true location. And panel-based solutions that rely on incentivized consumers suffer from small sample sizes and skewed results based on self-reporting bias.

For a side-by-side comparison of Swirl’s online to offline attribution solution with other marketing attribution solutions available on the market today, check out this table.

Attribution Solution
Attribution Solutions
Precision Store entrance or dept. visit & dwell General vicinity of store
Accuracy 100% – based on verified interactions with in-store location signals; works in background Limited – based on GPS signals or consumer surveys; requires active app usage
Data Source 1st party 3rd party
Reliability High – based on massive audience & retailer-controlled test parameters Low – based on small, incentivized consumer panels & vendor-driven analysis
Speed Real-time performance reporting 30-60 day delay in results reporting
Transparency High – easy to understand & full data access Low – black box algorithms & limited data access

Learn more
about how Swirl Attribution can help optimize your digital ad spend.

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