Offline Attribution: Improving Transparency Metrics Beyond Viewability & Brand Safety - Lifesight Blog - Thought Leadership on Location Intelligence

Digital marketing, especially with programmatic leading the charge, shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, 2017 was the year digital ad spend surpassed TV, with $209 billion and 41% market share as opposed to $178 billion and 35 percent for TV. As digital gains more foothold around the world, and technology-led programmatic becomes the new normal, marketers have started seeing some of the loopholes that need to be plugged for a safer, richer advertising ecosystem.

With marketers demanding media transparency and measurement for digital advertising to be at par with traditional media, the last few years saw the rise of standards such as brand safety and viewability. At its core, brand safety and viewability have gone on to become industry standards to ensure –

• Less ad fraud due to falsified traffic and inventory

• Less ad spend wastage on platforms, channels, and creatives that garner no views or engagement

• Minimizing brand associations with toxic activities in the online space – hate speech, racism, fake news and more

The general belief is that digital marketing is becoming reasonably safer from reach, engagement, and brand perception perspectives – and that’s pretty accurate too. But the question on ROI measurement still remains.

Most of the digital marketing measurement standards on the market focus on clicks and engagement. CMOs as well as the larger industry are mistaking channel engagement for channel performance. Sure, your digital ad appeared on all the right, positive, and targeted channels. Sure, it garnered engagement from all the right and targeted audience and sure, these audience were all human, not bots.

But did all of that actually mean anything as far as a store visit or an actual sale closure was concerned? That’s still very hard, even impossible, to say.

Location tags to the rescue

As the online and offline worlds of consumers continue to collide, every single consumer journey is far more non-linear now. It often begins with search or digital ad, has a store visit thrown in where the sale is completed or products touched and felt before the sale is completed on an e-commerce portal. Clearly, the boundaries between online and offline commerce and consumer journeys are blurring. Measurement standards that are exclusively focused on the online parts of them will eventually fail in telling marketers the full story.

That is why astute marketers – who demanded brand safety and viewability – are now demanding that their metrics tell them not only what happened with their digital ads online but how these digital affected the offline behaviour of consumers. And that’s pretty much the core of all that Lifesight has been working on these last few months.

We have made it possible for marketers to gauge the offline behaviour of their consumers as a result of their digital spends. All they need is that their programmatic and other media-buying partners include “location tags” in their digital campaigns. When they do that, on-screen ad exposure, clicks, and engagements can be easily linked to physical visits at the store. This helps complete the online to offline consumer journey picture that marketers need to see in order to understand how their digital marketing initiatives are working .

Like we said, after viewability and brand safety, marketers and CMOs have a new goalpost in media transparency. They need to include offline behaviour into the equation. And they need to demand this quickly in order to optimize their omni-channel spends and make their media spends more accurate, targeted, and transparent. Several CMOs around Asia are already inching towards this new goalpost with Lifesight’s signature Location Attribution tool that enables the inclusion of location tags in digital advertising.

Are you ready to complete your media transparency checklist with location tags and location attribution? We know we are!