How to Track Offline Marketing

How to track offline marketing
Offline marketing efforts generally take a lion’s share of the marketing budget for many businesses. It is a time-tested and useful marketing strategy, but it is quite difficult to track offline marketing, albeit highly desirable.

Statistics suggest that more than 81% consumers (and rising), research a product online before they make a decision. This provides an opportunity for businesses to direct consumers to their website for information, and create opportunities for tracking these visits.

The effort to track offline marketing can be made more manageable with some readily available tools. Vanity URLs and custom redirects can be a great assets in tracking. You simply need to create a custom web page address for your campaign.

As an example, a local cake shop at localcakes.com can advertise a special event – like Mother’s Day at localcakes.com/mothersday. It is not essential to create a brand new page; the advertised landing page can do a 301 redirect to the website homepage.

There’s an off chance that the business might not have a name that is easily recognized or committed to memory. In such cases, go for an easier to remember new domain like eatcake.com (continuing our previous example), and whisk visitors to the original site.

URL shortening services like bitly can go a long way, especially when used with a custom URL. Your business could brand the shortened URL for a simpler, easier to remember version like bit.ly/cake, and track visitors from this particular URL.

There are also more complex techniques like using specific discount codes in advertising, and consumers using such codes can be attributed to offline efforts.

How to track offline marketing

Visitor data-crunching could come easier with tools like Google Analytics. Visitors hitting the custom URL can be monitored using attributes like Source, Medium, and Campaign name, thus knowing how well the marketing effort fared.

Expanding our example to the Google Analytics URL builder, let’s say we use the Campaign Source as Mailer – representing our newsletter campaign, the Source can be Print, and we can name our campaign MothersDay2015. Using these details for localcakes.com will give us the following link:

https://localcakes.com/?utm_source=mailer&utm_medium=print&utm_campaign=MothersDay2015

Emphasis added in the link to highlight our focus terms. We have a tracking URL ready, but we can’t really expect this to be used as is for offline marketing. Here’s where our vanity URL comes into play. Customers can simply hit localcakes.com/mothersday, and the website can do a 301 redirect to the URL we just built.

There are several software and services you could employ to track your website visitor analytics, like Statcounter, Piwik and KissMetrics. Each of these has their own strengths, and can be effectively used for website analytics.

Your offline marketing efforts reap more benefits when you can track their success. Contact Us now for a plan that gets the most out of your marketing efforts.