How can you account for offline sales in your attribution model?

Clicks only tell half the story, Track offline sales for a complete customer journey & optimize marketing impact.

Accounting for offline sales in your attribution model is essential for obtaining a comprehensive and accurate understanding of your marketing effectiveness and customer journey. Here are several reasons why including offline sales in your attribution model is important:

  1. Holistic View of Customer Journey: Many customer journeys involve a mix of online and offline touchpoints. Customers may research products online but make the final purchase in a physical store. Accounting for offline sales ensures that you capture the entire customer journey, providing a more holistic view of how different channels contribute to conversions.
  2. Accurate ROI Calculation: To accurately calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your marketing efforts, you need to consider both online and offline sales. Failing to include offline sales could lead to underestimating the impact of certain marketing channels or campaigns, potentially resulting in misallocated budgets.
  3. Attribution of Influencing Channels: Various marketing channels play a role in influencing customer decisions, even if the final conversion happens offline. Attribution models help identify which channels contribute to awareness, consideration, and conversion stages. By including offline sales, you can attribute value to online touchpoints that contributed to driving customers to physical stores.
  4. Optimizing Multichannel Marketing: Businesses often employ a multichannel marketing strategy that spans both online and offline channels. Understanding how these channels interact and contribute to the overall customer experience allows for better optimization. Including offline sales data ensures that you can refine your marketing mix to maximize effectiveness.
  5. Enhanced Customer Experience Insights: Knowing the complete customer journey, including offline touchpoints, provides valuable insights into the customer experience. This understanding can help improve customer satisfaction, as you can tailor your marketing strategies to align with customer preferences and behaviors across all channels.
  6. Avoiding Misallocation of ResourcesWithout accounting for offline sales, there's a risk of misallocating resources. You might overinvest in online channels that appear to perform well in isolation but underestimate their impact on driving valuable offline conversions. A balanced attribution model helps allocate resources based on the true contribution of each channel.
  7. Data-Driven Decision-Making: Including offline sales in your attribution model ensures that your decision-making process is based on comprehensive data. This data-driven approach allows you to make informed choices regarding marketing strategies, budget allocations, and optimizations, leading to more effective campaigns.

Steps to account for offline sales in your attribution model

1. Track offline conversions

When tracking your offline conversions, you can use various methods to link them to your online sources.For instance, you can ask prospects how they heard about you and record their answers in your CRM or sales software. Additionally, you can use unique phone numbers, email addresses, or landing pages for each online channel and monitor the calls, emails, or visits they generate.Furthermore, you can use QR codes, coupons, or referral codes that your online prospects can scan, redeem, or share when they make an offline purchase. Finally, offline conversion tracking tools that integrate with your online platforms can automatically match your offline sales to your online leads.

2. Assign offline credit

The next step is to assign credit to your online channels for influencing your offline conversions. You can use different attribution models for this purpose, such as last click, first click, linear, time decay, and position based.

    • Last click assigns all the credit to the last online channel that the prospect interacted with before making an offline purchase.
    • First click gives all the credit to the first online channel that the prospect discovered you through before making an offline purchase.
    • Linear model gives equal credit to all the online channels that the prospect engaged with before making an offline purchase.
    • Time decay model awards more credit to the online channels that the prospect interacted with closer to the time of the offline purchase.
    • Position based model grants more credit to the first and last online channels that the prospect encountered before making an offline purchase, and less credit to those in between.

3. Analyze offline results

By accounting for offline sales in your attribution model, you can gain a more accurate and comprehensive view of your sales performance while also improving marketing and sales alignment.

    • You can use different metrics to do this, such as:
    • the offline conversion rate, which shows the percentage of online leads that convert into offline customers;
    • the offline revenue, which shows the amount of money that offline customers generate for your business;
    • the offline ROI, which shows the return on investment that your online channels produce for offline sales; and
    • the offline attribution report, which shows how each online channel contributes to your offline conversions, revenue, and ROI.
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