Understanding Your Creative’s
Influence on Offline Events

Offline Attribution at the Creative Variation Level

By: Denila Philip, Sr. Product Manager at Clinch

August 24th, 2023

The meteoric growth in e-commerce and digital shopping habits over the last decade, fueled by social media, subscription services, and more recently, the pandemic, is undeniable. Despite this digital takeover, physical retail is here to stay. According to Forrester, 72 % of U.S. retail sales in 2024 will still occur in brick-and-mortar stores. 

The typical path to purchase is no longer a linear, black and white, one versus the other narrative.

As consumers, we interact with brands and retailers across multiple touchpoints before reaching a purchase decision.These touchpoints, which are scattered across a plethora of devices, channels, and locations can include online ads, website visits, social media interactions, in-store visits, etc. A successful omnichannel marketing strategy needs to leverage a brand’s online presence, and translate it into offline sales. However, to do that, Advertisers need to be able to effectively connect the dots between these two realms. 

For instance, a typical customer watching the news on a Monday morning sees a commercial for running shoes. They browse the internet for reviews, price comparisons, and possibly see another ad for the same shoe while scrolling through social media. Over the weekend, they visit the brand’s physical store and eventually walk out with new  running shoes, excited to hit the gym. In this example, the omnichannel ad campaign was highly effective in guiding the consumer from awareness to consideration, all the way through to a successful transaction. However, without the appropriate tracking in place, how would the brand be able to recognize the online and offline consumer as one-and-the-same, and measure the full return on ad spend (ROAS)? 

A common method we deploy in Flight Control, Clinch’s omnichannel campaign activation platform, leverages solutions like LiveRamp’s File-Based Recognition (FBR). Using LiveRamp’s Ramp ID, a persistent privacy-safe identifier assigned to individuals within the LiveRamp ecosystem, Flight Control ties anonymized offline purchases to digital profiles previously exposed to ads served by Clinch, and uncovers both offline and online conversions in mid-campaign and post-campaign analytics.

Here’s another example involving a jewelry line looking to increase sales by running an extensive advertising campaign for their latest nature-inspired line of earrings. The campaign strategy is a combination of prospecting and retargeting, and the ads are running across Display, Video, Social and CTV. Having an existing agreement with LiveRamp for FBR, the jewelry line passes their first-party data and offline event-level data to LiveRamp at an agreed upon cadence for FBR processing. Specifically for this case, they’re looking to tie online activity to in-store sales down to the product SKU, category, amount, and more.

Using their proprietary identity graph, LiveRamp maps offline data to online profiles assigning a Ramp ID to each, and sends the mapped data to Clinch. By mapping those Ramp IDs to the corresponding User Profile IDs (UIDs), Clinch is thereby able to attribute online impressions to in-store sales. Going a step further, Clinch’s Flight Control platform breaks out total conversions by online vs. offline across campaigns, creatives, and for multiple lookback periods.

Other useful insights that can be uncovered with correlating offline event data and ad impressions, involve expansion of audience and conversion metrics. For example, seeing a breakout of impressions and conversions by channel and audience (i.e. existing customers vs. prospects) could indicate a beneficial shift in budget from CTV into Display in order to capitalize on higher prospecting conversion rates. Similarly, a breakout of total conversions by creative messaging (i.e. promotional vs. evergreen) could uncover additional creative intelligence to inform future media planning and creative optimization.  

By bridging the gap between online and offline events, Advertisers can gain valuable insights about the impact of their cross-channel campaigns served by Clinch, and make informed decisions to optimize and target effectively. 

With the ability to measure the impact of online efforts on real world outcomes, marketers can allocate resources effectively, identify high-performing campaigns, and refine their messaging for maximum impact. This granular understanding of the customer journey ensures that every advertising dollar is wisely invested, delivering tangible returns and fostering sustainable growth. 

To learn more about offline event attribution, contact us here.