How to track the effectiveness of offline ads

Alina Ostapenko
12.11.2020339 views Write the first comment
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The offline ad may not be a cheap one. That’s why before looking at competitors and launching it, you need to decide whether it is profitable for you. We at Ringostat made a list of methods to show you whether the ad worked out or not, so make sure you checked the article below.

How to track the effectiveness of offline ads

There are Google Analytics and similar services that are used to determine the effectiveness of online advertising. Outdoor advertising is more complicated. A person might receive a flyer, visit a website, make a call, or even go directly to the store. Here you will not see a clear connection: ad — transfer — adding a product to cart. But there are still ways to define which ad brought a customer.

 

Method #1: “How did you found us out?”

The sales rep asks how the customer found out the company and enters the answer into a particular table or CRM. It also contains data on the effectiveness of each type of advertising.

Advantage

  • It’s free.
  • No additional tools for the analysis required.

Disadvantage

  • This question will irritate about 20% of customers. Another half simply won’t remember where they first came across your ad.
  • The customer may reply, “I found you out from the newspaper.” But what if you advertised in several newspapers? And there were two or three ads. In other words, this way may cause a high probability of a mistake.
  • Sales reps may forget to ask these questions, or they will ask it from time to time.

 

Method #2: Show our flyer and get a discount 

The buyer presents any printed media of the company with advertising to get a discount. It may be a flyer or coupon got from a newspaper. 

Advantage

  • Relatively low costs.
  • No additional tools are required.

Disadvantage

  • This way, you can track the effectiveness of only one advertising channel.
  • Potential buyers are sometimes annoyed by people who distribute flyers.
  • You have to count and enter data into tables or CRM manually. This is a somewhat routine process that takes up a lot of working time.

 

Method #3: Promo codes

It’s the classics that always work. The thing is that the buyer gets the code that becomes an identifier to contact the company. By using it, the customer receives a discount. This method can be conditionally divided into:

  1. Promo codes, consisting of numbers and letters, for example, to place it on the flyer.
  2. QR codes consist of small rectangles arranged in a specific “pattern” so you can read it using a phone.

There are special services that allow you to get a promo code, then place it on products and check with the advertising source. Let’s take IfTheyCall as an example:

  1. A special script generates a promo code on the website.
  2. The customer places it on the product.
  3. While answering the client’s call, the sales rep asks for a code.
  4. It is entered into the account on the IfTheyCall website.
  5. Now you know which source led to the call.

 

The sales rep can enter information into CRM or other special programs. As a result, it will be possible to track which ad drove a specific order, calculate the average check size, etc. Similarly, if a customer did not call but instantly came to the offline store.

Another variation of this method is “Say the key or code word.” Only instead of a promo code, a phrase is used as an identifier. The phrase is placed on the ad, and the buyer must name it to win a prize or get a discount.

This method is quite suitable for game lovers, but it may seem strange to many buyers especially when it comes to expensive goods and services.

Advantage

  • More accurate data on the advertisement that brought a customer.

Disadvantage

  • You need to motivate the customer to remember the code or phrase.
  • Manual routine work to enter data into the appropriate form.
  • While watching/listening to advertisements on TV or radio, a potential buyer may not have time to write down the code.

 

Method #4: Call tracking

Custom call tracking

To do so, you need to buy several SIM cards and put different phone numbers in different advertisements. Sales reps would have to note users’ numbers and compare them with the ad source. After that, they will manually generate reports.

Advantage

  • No additional tools are required.


Disadvantage

  • The need for manual work and, as a result, the likelihood of data errors.
  • Lots of things will remain behind the scenes. For example, whether the ad brings targeted calls. Or the designer has made such a billboard that people always want to buy a house from your company, however, you only sell tiles and parquet. It seems that there are calls, but whether such an ad works for you?
  • You don’t control inbound calls. Thus, a sales rep is not polite with clients or send them to competitors. And you won’t even know about it.

Professional call tracking

There are several types of call tracking. You can find out all of them in this article. But for offline ads, a static one is the best.

Static (classic) call tracking is a method that assigns a separate phone number to each advertising source. The user can rent these numbers from the service or connect his own ones. After that, one number is placed on the billboard, another in the newspaper, the third one on TV, etc.

The client calls the number he sees in the advertisement. The system collects data on the source. Then the information can be transferred to other services and web analytics systems for in-depth analysis. So the call tracking user will see in Google Analytics how many calls were brought by offline advertising. It would be impossible to do that without this tool.

In addition, for example, in Ringostat you can combine call tracking with a virtual PBX. This allows you to process calls more effectively and control the sales department. Schematically, the work of static call tracking looks like this:

 

Thus, a call tracking user can accurately evaluate the effectiveness of each advertising channel, considering calls. If you integrate call tracking and a CRM system, then the data on calls will be transferred there automatically, which opens up many opportunities.

Check the article about opportunities that give you Ringostat integration with HubSpot and Salesforce.

Advantage

  • Everything is automated, and the information is as accurate as possible and does not contain errors.
  • Controlling the sales department and reducing the number of missed calls. The system collects data on how long the conversation lasted, how quickly the sales rep picked up the phone, etc. In addition, you can listen to the recording of the conversation.
  • The opportunity to determine the best time to advertise on TV and radio.

Let’s discuss the last one a bit deeper. Call analytics services contain information on how many phone calls are received on what day and time of day. This allows you to determine the workload of the sales department. Here’s an example of such a report:

 

The peculiarity of advertising on TV and radio is that a potential buyer most often calls as soon as he sees/hears it. That’s why you can use call tracking data on the load on the sales department the following way:

  1. Understand when to expect a lot of calls, and think over a schedule so that all sales reps are in place at this time. Or you can get a responsible person for calls that come after hours.
  2. If there are fewer calls during working hours. Then it is better to “pause” advertising activities for these hours. That’s how you won’t waste your budget and reallocate it for hours when people are more interested in your ads.

Disadvantage

  • You have an additional expense for the analytical tool.

No matter what you choose, you shouldn’t instantly stop launched activities if the ad seems ineffective. Let’s take an example from our client’s experience. The company had outdoor ads right next to its stores. And, according to the analysis, it seemed like it was not bringing in calls and sales. But the company did not refuse from this as. The marketer decided that after seeing such a billboard, visitors immediately come to shop. Why would they call or go to the site if the store is right next door? Therefore, compare all the factors, make the right conclusions and be successful :)

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