Attribution and Traditional Marketing: How to Prove Its ROI

Posted By Joseph Naylor on February 18, 2019

iStock-925256780-2Traditional marketing methods like billboards, print ads and TV/radio commercials were used long before digital marketing, but local marketers may struggle with tying traditional marketing spend to customer acquisition. Digital channels like online ads or social media provide convenient and intuitive dashboards with all the information you need to know.

But when you combine the insight of data with the appeal of print and broadcast media, the result can be greater than the sum of their parts.

That's why so many businesses today are using traditional forms of marketing in conjunction with organic, paid and social channels. According to Borrell's 2018 Local Advertiser Survey, most companies are planning to increase spend across the board.

Borrell Quote-1

Where SMB Marketers Are Spending

Borrell surveyed thousands of local businesses about their marketing plans, asking around 40 questions to gauge the advertising landscape. Overall, spending appears to be on the rise and digital advertising is strongly linked with traditional advertising. Eighty-one percent of small business owners who purchased traditional media also bought digital ads through the same company.

Video advertising and social media are the digital channels expected to see the most growth, with over sixty percent of respondents showing plans to deploy these solutions.

Audio/podcasting, content marketing, search engine marketing (SEM) and email marketing are also popular digital channels, with more than half planning to increase budget for these channels.

Traditional media continues to be an important element to an advertiser’s media mix. While every company's strategy and media will be uniquely tailored to their needs, there's a clear trend of SMB marketers utilizing a mix of traditional and digital channels to reap the benefits of both. Marketers leaning on traditional methods can use digital to give their offline strategies some extra lift, and vice versa. Social ads could reinforce your newspaper ads, for instance, or perhaps your billboard will remind a customer of a humorous video ad you posted last week.

Even though these two strategies can work in tandem, the attribution question still remains: How can you attribute sales to your traditional media channels?

Tying Attribution to Traditional Marketing

The Cox Analytics solution is a multipronged approach that leverages the benefits of both traditional and digital media. It lets you see how your ad dollars are being spent, while reaching the largest, most relevant audience possible.

We combine first-party data with social audiences and advertiser schedules to attribute customer actions to specific ads or broadcasts, allowing visibility into which messages are resonating and which audiences are most viable. For example, when a radio commercial airs, we start tracking listener behavior on your website to see the effect the ad had on your traffic and clicks.

Our team compiles all insights into an intuitive dashboard to show you attribution to traditional marketing, audience segments, actions taken and analytics. This approach allows us to track the impact of each radio ad by connecting offline and online behavior, as well as measure the full customer journey. You'll be able to make informed, insightful marketing decisions, and target with sophisticated segmentation.

So if you find yourself torn between the "old" and the "new" forms of marketing, the good news is you don't have to choose. Mixing digital and traditional forms of marketing can be a successful play for your business, and you'll have analytics tools on your side to let you know what works best.