Google Links Ads to Brick-and-Mortar Sales
Now, Google is linking that sale to the ad touchpoint, the search giant revealed last Tuesday.
“Attribution” isn’t exactly a sexy term to marketers, but “sales,” “revenue” and “ROI” are just that. So as Google explained how it would link online ads to offline sales, those were more like the terms used by Keynoter Sridhar Ramaswamy, SVP of ads and commerce at Google, during May 23’s Google Marketing Next live stream.
An article published on May 23 by the Associated Press got more into the weeds. Consumers logged into Google leave a digital footprint, which the search giant tracks. Those consumers visit the marketers who placed the ads and convert in physical locations. If they use credit or debit cards that Google can track, the advertisers know that ad was responsible for the retailer’s visit, reads the AP article.
Revisiting Ramaswamy at the live stream, he says:
“We’ve found that consumers who click on an advertiser’s Google search ad before visiting a store, are over 25 percent more likely to make a purchase while they’re at the store. And they also spend 10 percent more, on average.”
So Google ads influence which retail store consumers pick, he notes.
“That’s why, later this year, we’re also rolling out two new tools to help you measure store sales accurately and completely. The first one will allow you to import transaction data into AdWords to see store sales and revenue at the device and campaign level for your search or shopping campaigns. We have a second tool where you can take advantage of Google’s third-party partnerships to get store sales data with no implementation on your end.”
Again, the AP article explains the process in a more nuts-and-bolts fashion.
“Google says it has access to roughly 70 percent of U.S. credit and debit card sales through partnerships with other companies that track that data. By matching ad clicks with this data, Google says it can automatically inform merchants when their digital ads translate into sales at a brick-and-mortar store. Previously, if people clicked on an ad without buying anything online, an advertiser might conclude that the ad was a waste of money. If the program works, it could help persuade merchants to boost their digital marketing budgets. The data add to the digital dossiers that Google has compiled on users of its search engine and other services, including Gmail, YouTube and Android.”
If marketers do adopt this offline-sales-tracking tool, it does raise the question of whether ad-retargeting budgets will slow. Also if online retargeting slows, will other offline-retargeting tools lose revenue? (One example is a postcard option e-commerce marketers have been using in lieu of or in addition to abandoned cart emails and online retargeting.) What else could benefit from or be hurt by this Google option?
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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