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September 27, 2016

Linking offline sales to display campaigns

Google just announced some very interesting developments in reference to upcoming Google Display Network (GDN) capabilities. These new abilities will give campaign managers specific improvements in term of how you track and attribute offline sales activity to display campaign efforts (spend).

To summarize, the GDN will soon have the ability to do the following:

  1. Display location extensions along with your creative copy
  2. Record user store visit data produced from display campaigns
  3. Retarget logged-in (Gmail) users cross-device

Location Extensions

This feature could become incredibly effective on mobile devices, as it allows users to be targeted contextually and demographically while also displaying the closest brick-and-mortar location in respect to the user’s present locale. The displayed address will greatly increase urgency as well as facilitate navigation and/or contact information to the user without adding additional clicks or steps in the process.

Store Visits

Many of you may be familiar with store visits data associated with search campaigns within the Adwords UI. Visualize this same store location data being present within GDN campaign efforts, and you have the general idea.

For those who have yet to experiment with store visits, here’s a recap:

Google uses mobile phone data from users who are also logged into a Google account to track user locations. This data is then utilized to calculate if and when users may have entered a store location for which they have clicked through on an advertisement within an established conversion lookback window. Basically, if you’ve ever searched on your phone and clicked on advertisement and then arrived at the location, we could track that.

Why is this data crucial?

Not every user who has engaged with an advertisement in some way will also convert on-site, but this does not necessarily mean that the user failed to engage with the content. Many users, myself included, will choose to show up at a location rather than pencil something in online. Google has corroborated this behavior to a degree through recent studies.

For example, Google reported in a recent blog post that 30% of smartphone users who visit a store’s website or application will buy something from that store within the next 24 hours.

The point is that now we may have access to user store visit data to utilize in display reporting. Drawing on an average order value, we can then calculate estimated offline store revenue and construct ROI calculations for display efforts. Perfect.

Cross-Device Retargeting

This is a perfect tactic to utilize for individuals who fit the following scenario:

Imagine a user is at work and searches for an “oil change shop." They are presented with an advertisement, click and view the landing page, but fail to convert on-page.

A few days later, they are out running errands and conduct a search from their mobile phone. Because they are logged into their Gmail account, we can retarget them with an “oil change” display creative along with a location extension showing a store less than 3 miles away. The user is reminded of their original goal to get an oil change and speeds off to the local shop listed in the copy.

These audiences and more scenarios like it should be available through cross-device retargeting.

Get the word out and keep your eyes open for these features coming within the next few months. Your clients will thank you.

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