Understanding touchpoints that can influence a purchase is a necessary but challenging exercise. The complexity arises due to multiple factors, but largely due to the fact that consumers keep switching between touchpoints that are online and offline. For a marketer, it is critical to identify factors that influence brand and business outcomes across marketing touchpoints and prioritize advertising spends to drive better results. But this is easier said than done.
The journey that one takes to buy a car vs buying a shoe vs choosing a good gym to go to would all be different. The only way to understand factors in the consumer journey that can drive business outcomes is to look at data at multiple levels and draw insights through that.
Given this context, we felt it was critical to initiate a study that could help marketers get answers to some of the critical questions on how online exposures can influence walk-ins to offline stores. GroupM partnered with analytics specialist Lifesight and evaluated over 300+ campaigns across 200 brands to find answers to a few pertinent questions. Here are the key questions:
-Average number of exposures needed to drive walk-ins to stores (WTS)
-Average number of days need to drive a unique WTS
-Cost difference by industry for WTS
-Which industries work best
-Weekdays vs Weekends
-Time of day
-What sort of audiences are most receptive
-What works best on desktop vs Mobile
The insights we gained were quite interesting. For instance, we learnt that it takes 3 times the average cost to drive visitors to dealers in the auto category and 2 times the average cost in consumer durable category. This will now help us set suitable benchmarks for clients so we know if the campaign is in line with industry standards or not.
Offline attribution works best for Auto and QSR since most people would visit a physical store. While the cost might be more the ROI and conversions may differ by industry.
Our assumption was that it would take on an average 2 to 3 days from exposure to walk-ins. But the study shows that apart from general retail, all other industries showed an average of 6 to 7 days from initial exposure to walk-in. This study also revealed that for a first-time walk-in it takes at least close to 6-8 exposures. Most campaigns do not account for this. This clearly indicates that the way we may need to flight our campaigns would need to be thought through.
Another interesting nugget was on how we should plan our campaigns for optimum results. i.e. weekdays vs weekends, Desktop vs Mobile, etc, as the user behavior and responsiveness differs by platforms and industry.
The consumer’s journey is a complex one and understanding the nuances of the journey can only happen when we have data that can help us connect the dots. While planning campaigns to drive optimal performance, it is critical to identify and tap into different data signals, identify what is working and what is not and prioritize your audiences accordingly. The need of the hour is a holistic view of the connected consumer by augmenting online behavior with offline interests with affinities.